Stewart Athletic Development

Tackling your New Year resolutions How to set yourself up for long term success

January is usually one of the busiest times of years for gyms and the fitness industry. They are full of people looking to get stuck into their resolutions and “undo” their indulgence over the festive period. Side note – you don’t, and if any fitness influencer / melt that says that you do can get fucked. But if you feel you want or need to, then read on. So, I am going to try and help you understand how you can make actionable but sustainable differences in this New Year, and all New years to come.

Anyone who has been in a gym on the first day open post new years will testify to the hunger games / royal rumble esque scenes unfolding in front of them. If it falls on a Monday (International chest day for the uninitiated) you can bet your bottom dollar chaos will ensue. Whilst I have just made a tongue in cheek joke at the situation – I am actually pro resolutions and people getting into the gym. Not just because I work within the industry and could potentially benefit me, but because I will never discredit anyone from trying to better themselves. Whether they employ my professional services or not.

Plus, training & exercise can be a gateway to so many positives in an individual’s life (which will be discussed later – although you will already be aware of some) as well as literally improving people’s quality of life.

However, statistically speaking here, most people often fail to reach their goals / new years resolutions. Falling off the wagon entirely, usually a short time after starting. Getting frustrated, and then beginning the yo-yo cycle of starting & stopping their training and nutrition over the coming months, years etc. The hard part is, it’s rarely a lack of desire, and not necessarily a lack of motivation (although motivation is a fickle bitch – more on her later) but a lack of direction & understanding of how to set themselves up for success.

So, in this article I am gonna outline how you can be setting yourself up for success in the new year and for life. Yes, for life. This article will not be a “quick fix” of how to achieve “X” results in “Y” time.  If you are looking for a quick fix, you have come to the wrong place. I am not someone who promotes this kind of weight loss challenge bullshit. It goes against my ethics and moral compass.  I don’t (personally) think it helps anything or anyone,, in the long run, and can promote unhealthy behaviours & obsession. Any idiot can starve someone, have them lose a lot of weight in a short space of time etc for pre / post clout on “ the gram”. Once the client has reached this goal, they rebound hard, back to where they started or potentially a further regression. This I just cannot support & it doesn’t sit right with me morally or ethically. Sure, they helped them lose weight. But did they help someone develop lifelong skills and build healthy habits with food, training, and themselves? No. They often didn’t. And this is change which needs to happen

Note – I am not wholly against pre & post photos, there are some coaches who use them whom I have the utmost respect for. But I know personally that these coaches approach their clients holistically. Pre & post photos 1) don’t show (if any) changes in positive behaviours & mindsets & 2) the results of things post diet. Nor do they show the difference in the person’s mental wellbeing or growth throughout the process. The coaches whom I support using them draw a big highlight to the psychological changes their client’s have made, more than the aesthetic changes

(Rambling over – wouldn’t be an article without a grumble now, would it?)

This might all sound a little familiar? Don’t worry, I have been there myself and fallen into this trap also. It’s shit, and it’s an annoyingly easy pit to fall into. However, if you are sick of this trap, and want to make long term sustainable changes, then read on. Because this article is definitely for you.

What’s your “why”?

This is the first thing you should consider when deciding what your goals or resolutions are. Your “why” is individual to you, but it is gonna be very important for the following steps. You need to decide what factors are important for you, and why these goals are important.

Your actual reasons(s) aren’t important, and they don’t have to be big, meaningful things. Some people want to get stronger, fitter & healthier to increase longevity to see their kids & grandkids growing up, and still be able to play with them. Some people want to get better physical qualities for their sport & increase performance. Some people quite simply want to look and feel better naked. All of which are fine. Yes, the latter can come with some separate negative issues – but that’s for another article.

 A good exercise for this is using the “5 Why’s” exercise. It helps to develop a greater understanding and deeper meaning of your goals and what they mean to you. Rather than explain it, I have attached a link to Precision Nutrition’s 5 why worksheet (Where I first discovered this method) So check it out!. As an exercise, it is really simple to complete and pretty self-explanatory.

How do I break the cycle?

Now, breaking this yo-yo cycle will not come easy or quickly. It will be hard work, but the rewards for doing so are high. To make long term sustainable changes you will need to adapt your behaviours, habits and mindset.  None of which will come quickly or easily. This very thought is often enough to elicit an “oh fuck!” response in people. However, just because it won’t be easy, doesn’t mean you will be “grinding” as the fit pro’s like to call it. You don’t need to eat chicken, broccoli & rice from Tupperware and hating every minute of the process for the rest of your life just to see results.  It doesn’t have to be that way. And,nor should it be this way. Because that, quite frankly, sound fucking miserable.

You will also need to set some goals to work towards, and understand the process of goal setting.  If you haven’t got some tangible targets to work towards, you won’t ever get “there”.. as you won’t actually know where “there” is. It’s an ever-elusive moving goalpost. Which along the way is likely to bring some negative issues of its own. In a practical example the phrase “ lose weight” or “ get stronger” are examples of (at best) vague goals, but in reality they are intangible and somewhat arbitrary targets. Finally, you will need to implement an effective plan (overall, not just training & nutrition) to follow which is aligned with your goals & aims.

Goal setting

For simplicity’s sake, we will actually look at goal setting & planning first, as it is usually the first thing you do when setting your resolutions / aims. There are different ways in which you can set goals, (which have different pros and cons to them) but I am going to keep it both short and simple

Arguably, of the most commonly known and used methods in goal setting is the use of S.M.A.R.T goals, which I will discuss in this article. These are something you may be familiar (or at least vaguely aware) with, and whilst they are not perfect – they are a good starting point. They are also simple to use and implement, but it is worth remembering that setting goals is only step one. More on this later. But what exactly are S.M.A.R.T goals?.

Well. S.M.A.R.T is an acronym. For:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Agreed

R – Realistic

T – Timed

An example of a smart goal would be. “I want to lose 5kg (Specific) over a period of 3 months (Timed + realistic) tracking daily & weekly weigh in and calorie averages (Measured) with guidance from my coach (Agreed). = one S.M.A.R.T goal.

So you can already see why specific goals with some additional parameters are far superior to tangible targets. It means you have something to work toward, keeping you on track, and also adds layers of accountability. Both of which increase adherence – which you need to achieve your goals. But setting these goals is only the beginning, there is much more involved in actually achieving these goals. So what’s next?

Remember the 7 P’s

P – Prior

P – Planning

P – Prevents

P – Piss

P – Poor

P – Performance

The keyword here is planning. A goal without a plan, is just a wish. Some people find plans monotonous & dull, and there are times where they really are. But if you want to achieve a goal, you are going to have to have an action plan to achieve this. By setting out a plan (and sticking to it) you are increasing the likelihood of your actions & behaviours aligning with your goal. It helps to keep you focused, and also gives a framework for when you do “slip up” and go off piste (Because this will happen at some stage). Your plan can include

  • How many sessions you are gonna train per week
  • How many meals per day
  • When you are gonna train
  • When you are gonna factor in downtime / work around planned events

Etc. Everyone’s plan is different, which is why good coaches will not just copy & paste the same thing for everyone. I can’t tell you what your own individual plan would look like as a reader (Unless I was your coach, where I would do it for you) so if you intend to work on your own, there is an onus on you to apply the information contextually to yourself.

One thing worth remembering, plans will need to be amended at some stage. Possibly more than once depending on the situation. And you absolutely should not spend hours or days stressing over it to ensure that it is “perfect”. The average plan done consistently, will trump the perfect plan done occasionally. Which brings us on to the next point.

Trust the process – no, seriously!

This is a phrase that gets bandied around a lot, & whilst it personally grates me a little, its true. The people who get their goals

  • Repeatedly show up and train, eat right etc – even when they don’t want to
  • Have a high attendance / consistency rate with training, nutrition, sleep, recovery etc. They set themselves good habits (discussed below) and stick to them
  • Any time there is a blip / deviation, they dust themselves and get back on the horse – They understand one (or a couple) of off days really aren’t the end of the world
  • Understand that to make their changes sustainable, they have to develop a sustainable life. They find balance between, training, nutrition, psychosocial, work and everything else

However, it’s usually the last part people struggle with the most. Finding balance can be tough, really tough. And how you find this balance will be individual to you, not everyone finds it the same way. For some, balance & growth could be turning down a 2nd helping of dessert, for others, it could be taking the 2nd helping knowing that it’s not the end of the world. How you find your balance is up to you, but its an important step.

It’s also worth noting, looking at all these cover models, actors, celebrities & people who do photoshoots etc.. this is a snapshot. Something they have worked hard for, to maintain over a short period of time. This is not their normal body shape, size, fat % etc. This has been done for a specific reason, and is a short term thing. This isn’t’ sustainable, and often isn’t healthy. Being super lean can come with other health issues. The middle ground, where most people tend to hang around, is usually where people find their balance.

Back to you tackling your own new year, reading this you are probably thinking “fuck this sounds dull” and it kinda is. But it works. I’ve said it repeatedly (and I will say it again) The people who make lifelong, sustainable changes in their training, performance, body composition etc do what I have outlined above. consistently. This is a quote I stole from my EXOS performance specialist certification which I recently completed:

Focus on the process to get to your goals, but focus on your goals to get through the process

Wanna know the best thing about the process?, is you are in control of it. Gonna refer back to our hypothetical S.M.A.R.T goals here. The process for these goals could be

  • Daily weigh ins
  • Calculate Basal Metabolic rate (BMR) and also your approximate maintenance calories, & then deduct a small amount of calories (250-500kcal) from this to create a calorie deficit – which you need to be in to lose weight
  • Have your targets for the day (calorie wise, can be specific macro tracking, protein & kcal targets, hand measurements etc)
  • Track changes and amend etc.
  • Monitor training / performance, mood, satiety vs hunger levels, sex drive etc

And adjust as necessary. Fairly simple in its method, just requires some consistency is all. It is worth noting however, that this is definitely not the only way to achieve weight loss, merely an example. The complexity of individual differences and approaches is well beyond the scope of this article to discuss.

Stepping away from weight loss for a minute, the same principle applies to performance goals. Say you wanted to hit a 100kg squat for a new 1 repetition maximum (1rm), & are currently around 85kg. This would mean an increase of 15kg, so unlikely to happen overnight. So the process for this may be:

  • Increase squat session frequency  from 1x to 2x per week, with one session having a heavier focus, & the second having a technical focus to address a weak link in the movement
  • Appropriately deload where necessary
  • Know where some rep targets are for some theoretical 1rm can be calculated. E.g for a 100kg squat, a 3rm of 91kg (approx.) would give you a theoretical target of 100kg for a 1rm
  • Stick with the programme until it becomes time to test – no random max outs

So you see where the difference between process & outcomes becomes important. The outcomes are what you are aiming for, but they are not totally in your control (depending on the pals, context etc). But by ensuring that you are 1) choosing the correct processes and 2) sticking to the processes as closely as you can (being accountable & consistent) you are significantly increasing the likelihood of the outcomes being successful & what you are aiming for.

So you see where the difference between process & outcomes becomes important. The outcomes are what you are aiming for, but they are not totally in your control (depending on the pals, context etc). But by ensuring that you are 1) choosing the correct processes and 2) sticking to the processes as closely as you can (being accountable & consistent) you are significantly increasing the likelihood of the outcomes being successful & what you are aiming for.

By breaking down your big goals into sub goals (e.g once you hit the 91kg x3) you are helping yourself from both a psychological & physical standpoint here. Creating little sub goals within your big goal not only shows you are trending in the right direction, but also helps to keep us focused and enjoying the process more. You are chalking up a win! and by clocking up multiple wins, your enjoyment (and motivation) will increase, which usually keeps consistency high and it starts a positive feedback loop. Win win!.

The sub goals also don’t have to be quantitative metrics however. Whilst these are good, they don’t always show the whole picture. If you have made progress in other areas (e.g your relationship with food has improved and you now have balance without a restrictive feeling, or your movement competency has improved in your squat) then these wins should also be celebrated! These kinds of goals & wins are every bit as important as quantitative metrics, and are more within your control.

Also, as an end point here (and returning to motivation briefly..) it is common for motivation to increase after you have gained some traction & momentum with working toward your goals and gotten started. Especially if you start ticking off little sub goals. Once you have started seeing changes through your chosen processes, habits on routine (discussed below), momentum & motivation increases vs using motivation to get started. Something worth considering..

You are the sum product of your habits & routines – whether you realise it or not

Habits and routines are something I’ve mentioned already in this article, but they deserve their own sub section as their importance cannot be stressed enough. Everyone has habits & routines whether they are consciously aware of it or not. Some are helpful, positive habits & some are not. But addressing the habits you do have & changing the negative ones for more favourable ones, will help you on the path to reaching your goals. If you haven’t already, I would recommend you read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. It is an excellent book that helps develop understanding of human psychology regarding habits & routines. It does a far better job of explaining habits & their impact than I ever will, so definitely check it out. It’s also not related to training, health & fitness, and can be extrapolated to general life. So it’s unlikely to bore you, and should benefit you.

By setting up habits & routines which compliment your goals, you are again increasing your likelihood of success. Referring back to the example of motivation – imagine you only exercised or ate well whenever you felt motivated to do so?. Chances are, You’d be not training and eating well, a lot more than you are. This is blunt – but it’s a reality we are all faced with. Being slap bang in the depths of winter, with dark nights, cold weather, rain, snow, or little sunshine.. most readers will probably relate to this. None of which are motivating conditions to leave the house, let alone train. So how do you combat this?

By setting a regular routine. And sticking to it consistently, for a long time. Again, not sexy (There is a theme here) but it works. The people who make significant changes and achieve their goals do this. So, how do you set your routine? 

Firstly, you need to decide what you need in your routine. This will vary for people, but may include things like training, work, meal prep, school runs, studying etc. This will vary between individuals. When planning your routine, you also need to take a hard, objective look at what you have done prior to the new year. Using training as an example, If you were already (regularly) training between 3-5x per week, then slipping back into that routine post festive shouldn’t be too tricky.

If you were only training 1-2x per week, then this is where your starting point should be. Going straight from sedentary /  little training to a higher frequency training without any proper lead up is a sure fire way to burnout very quickly. You are also less likely to stick to it. As you will be severely deconditioned. Work with where you are currently at, build up from there and then once you are consistently ( i.e 3-4 weeks of consistently 2x per week) you can start adding. Also, when you are adding, start slow, rinse & repeat. You need to give yourself a fighting chance – and by doing the above, you are doing so. This also applies to other areas too, nutrition, recovery etc. You can only work with what you’ve got, and you need to start slow, sensible and build up.

One of the easiest ways to do this, is set a regular times and days for things as far as practically possible (But still within reason) Using my training schedule as an example here, for the past 2-3 years I have trained pretty much religiously between 0800-1000, on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday.  And kept the structure more or less the same (Lower 1, Upper 2, Lower 2, Upper 2) and repeat. Before that (Pre pandemic), it was the same days but between 0600-0800. Now I haven’t done this because it’s “the best training programme ever”, but this structure has struck a balance between progression, recovery and work life balance. Morning training also allows me to do my training before work, which gives me my evenings to myself to do whatever. The gym’s usually a bit quieter then as well. Win win!

Am I always motivated to train at that time? Fuck no. But it became a habit & routine, and it stuck. I knew that I had made a commitment to myself that for those 2 hours, that’s my time.  At first it can become a little uncomfortable, with bleary eyed starts. But you adapt and it becomes part of your habit & routine without you even realising. Just as easily as it is to sit on the sofa every night between 1900-2100 without you realising that’s also a habit / routine.

The point of this is not to say “you must train in the morning” – more, to show you that choosing a consistent time of day to get it done will likely benefit you. You can manipulate this around your life commitments (family, work etc) however suits. If you are a shift worker, this will be a little trickier and require a bit more thought / effort, but it can be done. Remember the 7 P’s – Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance! Even simple things like packing your bag and laying clothes out the night before can help.

The same principle applies for things like meal prepping (if you do this) or however you organise the nutritional side of things. However, these guidelines can be extrapolated & applied to all general organisation such as food shopping, housework, bed change day etc.  These aren’t just guidelines for training and nutrition (although these will be my primary focus in this article, as it’s kinda my job…).

There are also some simple habits you can implement which are small, but have a large impact. Given most will be reading in the new year & likely wanting to improve their fitness, strength & body composition, some potential (small, feasible) changes are outlined below. Feel free to disregard or use as necessary

  • A serving of protein (20-40g) with every meal or snack
  • A portion of fruit & / or veg with every meal or snack
  • ½ a pint – 1 pint of water with every meal or snack
  • Don’t do your food shop when hungry
  • Don’t buy foods (such as biscuits & crisps) which are easy to overeat and don’t align with your goals -Try and offset issues before they arise
  • Pack your bag & training it the night before – irrespective of training time
  • Consistent alarm time – also leave your phone / alarm clock away from bed so you have to get up to get it. Once you have, straight up. No back to bed & scrolling
  • If doing weigh ins, first thing in the am after toilet before food / fluids. Frequency of weigh ins should be considered. If doing 1x per week (not recommended) go for midweek & away from weekends where over eating more likely to occur
  • Increase your step count – One of the lowest hanging fruit there is. Promotes recovery and some (very) low level aerobic exercise. Plus encourages fresh air & vit D. Good for mental health

And of course there are a million more you can add – but these are some good starting points.

When choosing habits, it’s good to select a variety of activities that aren’t just related to health & fitness. When starting out, I tend to begin with 3 new habits. 1) Which is to help with education 2) to help with my physical wellbeing & 3) to help with psychological wellbeing. So for myself, moving into the new year I will begin with

  1. Reading 10 pages+ per day of an educational book. Could be related to business, training etc. Something that will improve my work
  2. Aiming for 10,000 steps a day minimum. Regardless of weather etc. This should also help with my weight loss goals
  3. Journaling every night before bed. I get a lot from this, so I aim to keep it going

Now these are just examples. You can choose whichever ones are best fitted to suit you. After a few weeks consistently hitting these daily, I will add to it. When starting new habits, you should keep an accountability / consistency checklist for these habits – i.e how good you are at sticking to them. By doing so & ticking them off as you go, you can quantitatively track your progress. If you are nailing high (80%+) or perfect consistency, then you can think about adding to these habits. If you aren’t, you can begin to look at why, and revaluate them. When starting out, go easy. Give yourself some low hanging fruit and build from there. If your

If your consistency is low ( <80%) for several weeks, then your habit or aim is currently beyond your reach / ability. You will need to regress it to something which is achievable. Remember, the whole purpose in building sustainability is to make what you are doing sustainable. And for something to be sustainable, it needs to be realistic and achievable.

Habit’s Checklist WC 10/01/2022.            Y= Yes, N= No

10k stepsYYNYYYN
10 mins mindfulnessNYYYNNY
Protein with every mealYYYYYYN
Journaling dailyNYNYYNN
10 mins DualingoNYYYNNY

Now what? – Rubber, meet road

This is where the hard work properly begins. You have to do the thing. You have to do the thing.  Repeatedly, both daily & weekly (depending on said things) and do them for an extended period. This isn’t sexy, this sounds dull as fuck – but its the reality you face if you want to achieve your goals. The people who do achieve their goals (whatever they are) do exactly this. Goals take time & repeated effort to achieve, and the bigger or more complex the goal is, the longer it will take.

“But I’m feeling really motivated to smash my goals this year! won’t this help?”

Yup… and every dead body on Mt Everest was once a highly motivated person. Motivation isn’t enough, and should not be relied on to get you where you wanna go

Ok, that is a very extreme example, but it illustrates my point. Motivation is a fickle, fleeting bitch that can vanish in an instant. A change in the weather, a bad conversation with a co-worker, a poor night’s sleep, a pesky global pandemic… and a million other shitty experiences can reduce our motivation to do anything. Especially something physically & mentally strenuous. if you rely purely on motivation to get your results – you won’t get them. Yes, this sounds blunt. But it’s fact. We cannot rely on motivation, even just to get started. So how do those who achieve their goals, do so? clearly not just motivation at play here.. so what?

Whatever your goals are, you should have at least a few key metrics that you can track over time. I have highlighted some examples of metrics for a variety of goals. Some of these may be useful (so feel free to steal) but you may also need to add individual goals. The key point is to make sure the metrics you are tracking are related to your goals. Tracking this data, will also give you some actual data for when things slow down & your body begins to adapt. When this happens, you can start making changes.

Now, this is the hard part – and where people definitely struggle the most (and why having a coach > doing it yourself in 99% of cases). Humans are emotional creatures. We are rash, impulsive & irrational. Especially when it comes to ourselves. And there is no one to hold ourselves accountable to, or for our decisions. We struggle to look at ourselves objectively, and have a tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater. What do I mean by this? A practical example or two coming up..

  1. You are training, and you are having a bad session. You cannot get any of your lifts to go right. Positioning is all wrong and you conclude “these lifts / variations don’t work / aren’t for me”. You overhaul your programme, change the lot and start over, frustrated.
  2. Your weight loss has apparently stalled. Your Monday morning weigh in has been the same for 3 weeks, sometimes even up a little bit. You conclude that you need to lower your calories and train even harder. So add 4, 45 minute cardio sessions on to your training.

Both might seem like extreme examples, but as a coach I have lost count of the amount of times I have seen this happen. And it’s frustrating, but I can empathise of why you arrive at this conclusion. However, this is a prime example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. When in reality, it could be

  1. I have had a really stressful week and it’s catching up. You are overthinking everything because you’re running on 5 hours sleep, and its interfering with the session. However, it is a one off. One bad session doesn’t make break the programme, same as one good session doesn’t make it. Do what you can, or come back another day
  2. . I have had a meal out with family the last 3 Sundays which has been high in salt and carbohydrates. Despite reducing calories earlier in the week to account for this, the scales haven’t budged on a Monday. However I only weigh myself once a week on a Monday. I can either move my weigh in day to Wednesday or Thursday (negating the excess water – which in reality is all it is) or start doing daily weigh ins to track fluctuations & weekly averages.

A coach (a good one anyway) is likely to reiterate this or help you understand this. Appling this reframe to ourselves when handling our selves can become tricky. But if you want to do it yourself, you need to be tracking data. Data gives us information, and this information can be used to make an informed decision. If you are tracking data regularly, then you can establish patterns. These patterns can give much more credence to any informed decisions you make within your plan – all of which are positives. E.g, if you notice that over a few weeks there is a stagnation somewhere (as in multiple episodes of stagnation and not a one off / bad session etc) then you can think about making a change.

A key point here, is change one variable!. If you change several, and there’s an improvement, you cannot tell with any real certainty what actually caused the change. Yes, the more experienced you get, the more educated your guesstimates can be. However, even the most experienced coaches will not change multiple variables at once without a damn good reason. For the same reason. Experienced coaches & people are far better at sifting through the noise of the programme & are much better at extrapolating what’s relevant, and what’s noise -Because it is their job.

An example of changing multiple variables would be “my Bench press has stalled so I am going to 1) Increase bench press frequency from 2 to 3 sessions per week 2) add in an extra variation in each session and 3) Stop dieting and start increasing calories”

Now, this person’s bench is likely to increase. Yes, some guesstimates can be made to what is the biggest causality, but to truly determine changes, you need to change one variable at a time and track trends.

When changing a variable, you also need to give it time to work. A block to a couple of blocks (depending on what’s changed) should be sufficient. If you change one thing, and ditch it after a week you haven’t given it a true shot. Big changes should only happen after a short space of time if there is a very good reason to. E.g, an injury preventing things been done & amendments are required.

Once you have done this, it’s pretty much a case of rinse & repeat over time. Once you have reached your goals, you can re-evaluate what you want to do / achieve and repeat the process. The specifics will obviously change dependant on your goals, as will the methods, habits and routines to achieve them. But generally speaking, the process is the same. By following the outlined information and methods, you are setting yourself up in a far better place to ensure that you reach your goals, but continue to excel in what you do. You will also stand a better chance of breaking the routine of starting, stopping and failing over time.

Enjoy what you are doing

This might seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many people choose a type of training or exercises that they don’t enjoy doing. Now, there are some nuances here. If you are a strength sport athlete, at some stage you will have to be doing specific lifts for your sport at some stage. And, the areas you need to address may involve doing some exercises that aren’t your favourite. There might be some alternatives, but they may be inferior choices. In that instance, it’s better to crack on & address the mindset toward the exercise. Finding a way to make peace and enjoy doing what you don’t enjoy can be tough, but working on that psychological reframe can help.

However, if you are in the general population or an athlete, you have more wiggle room. Many roads lead to Rome, and there is nothing saying that you have to do specific exercises. Don’t like back squats? Don’t do them. Can do something else e.g front squat. Don’t like HIIT training? Don’t need to. Do some low level aerobic work instead. There are *some* coaches who are incredibly dogmatic in their approach. They become married to one concept, exercise or training and modality & throw it at everyone & everything. But this is something that grates me. When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail..

I would however recommend that everyone does some form of resistance training & cardiovascular training, simply because the benefits of both are huge. However, this can be in whichever form you prefer. But if one modality / type is less favourable, there can be a lesser emphasis. E.g if you prefer running & not keen on lifting, keep your lifting to 2x per week, bread and butter exercises and keep it short, sharp sessions. Likewise, if you love lifting but not keen on cardio, add some short, sharp cardio work to the end of 2 of your lifting sessions. You don’t have to suffer or train for hours to get results.. If you know how.

By doing something you enjoy, you are far more likely to stick to your training. The same applies with nutrition. Eat things you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to mix it u and try new things. But forcing yourself to eat what you don’t like, and train in a way you hate because “some body builder told me to” is a sure-fire way to fall off the wagon

In conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you 1) enjoyed it, and 2) took something from it. If you did, please share it among friends, family etc. If you have any questions or queries, then shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to help.

I wish you good luck with your endeavours in the new year and beyond. However, If you want some professional guidance and are interested in coaching to help you kickstart your new year, but without having to do all the prep work, then I can help you. I have a few kick start programmes on offer to help people on their way. These are:

  1. An 1-1 in person package (Based in Edinburgh, Scotland) lasting 6 or 8 weeks, with up to 3 sessions per week
  2.  A 1-1 blended package. This is a combination of 1-1 in person coaching (based in Edinburgh for the in person work) and 1-1 online coaching, for you to train in your own time. This will last for 10 weeks
  3. Finally, I have a 12 week online training kickstart available to anyone, anywhere. This is particularly suitable for those leading busy lives and have had a bit of training experience.

Coaching packages

Type of coachingDuration of coachingCost of packageJanuary savingSuitable for
In person – 1x per week6 weeks£170£40Anyone 18+
In person – 2x per week6 Weeks£340£80Anyone 18+
In person – 3x per week 6 weeks£500 – can be split over 2 payments£220Anyone 18+
Blended (online & in person1x per week )9 weeks£520 – can be split over 2 payments) Anyone 18+ – but some gym experience is better
Blended (online & in person 2x per week )9 weeks£600 – Can be split over 3 payments Anyone 18+ – but some gym experience is better
Online12 weeks£180£60Anyone 18+ – but some gym experience is better

If any of these packages would interest you, shoot me a message and we can discuss them & your goals., As a reader, you will have an early preview before I advertise publicly on social media on (11/01/2022). They will run until the end of January OR until they are all sold.

Until the next time,

Stay strong


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