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Reaching Your Fitness Goals, or How Are Those New Year Resolutions Coming Along

Alexandra Williams, MA
dogs at the beach in Santa Barbara

Best Dog Buddies on Their Walk

We are one-sixth of the way through 2014. This is about the time when many people give up on their New Year’s resolutions to move more, eat better, lose weight – the list goes on. It’s easy to understand – the weather isn’t cooperative, you aren’t seeing improvements, there’s no time – that list goes on too!

Please don’t get discouraged. Keep at it. Being stuck or slow at achieving your goals isn’t an issue of willpower, so don’t waste time berating yourself about a perceived lack of it. It may be an issue of willingness or need for skill development, which we talk about in our 5 Steps to Create Permanent Lifestyle Change.

Ten Reasons We Don’t Achieve Our Resolution Goals

According to Psychology Today, “approximately 50% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, most having to do with weight loss, eating healthier, improving finances, or getting a new job. But less than 10% successfully achieve their goals.” Hmmm, does that mean that the other 40% unsuccessfully achieve their goals? It would appear that ten common mistakes could be getting in the way, writes psychology professor Shawn Meghan Burn, Ph.D.

pic of Polar Loop

What?! I’m Getting Insulted by my Polar Loop?

1. Forgetting Change Is a Process and Resolutions Are Only the Beginning
2. Making General Rather Than Specific Resolutions
3. Making Unrealistic Resolutions
4. Having A Half-Assed (or No) Specific Change Plan
5. Giving Up Too Quickly
6. Failing to Overcome Or Manage Ambivalence
7. Failing to Obtain Social Support & Identify Healthy Role Models
8. Failing to Address Emotional Issues That Sabotage Success
9. Failing to Address Environmental Issues That Sabotage Success
10. Adopting Simple Solutions Peddled By Unscrupulous Salespeople

Good squat form

Full-Assed Squats

How many of these have gotten in the way of your progress? I recognize several, with #4 being my particular issue. Maybe I need to get more “full-assed,” both metaphorically and literally. Maybe I need to do those 30 squats that the Moscow subway set up in exchange for a free ticket.

The Good News

Anyhoo, let’s focus on the good news. The happy statisticians at the University of Scranton (tanget – my son had that as his 2nd choice university) discovered that “people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” So be explicit!! Which should not be confused with illicit… or elicit. Look them up – they are definitely NOT interchangeable words.

Our dog has no qualms about reaching her exercise goals. Every afternoon she starts whining and giving me the “chin on lap sad eyes” trick that means it’s time for her walk. She doesn’t care if I had explicit or illicit goals – she just wants to move.

Now, two things occurred on Saturday that affected my specific plan to walk at least 10,000 steps every day. One – we had a major storm here in Santa Barbara, complete with flooding, one guy swept out into the ocean, property damage, and freezing, Arctic, Canadian, polar vortex, unheard of, lower than usual temperatures in the (eek) 50s. Not so motivating. Two – I received an email from FitFluential about a March challenge to run, walk or hike 100 miles this month. That works out to under 10,000 steps a day, so I should be able to run, hike or walk that easily. Game on!

pic of sea foam

Sea Foam from the Storm in Santa Barbara

Side Note

If you want to receive free info about challenges (with prizes), recipes, workouts, fun events, and motivational tips from some famous fit celebs, sign up for FitFluential. Put my or Kymberly’s name in the “How did you hear about FitFluential” section, as it leads to magic weight loss dust being sprinkled on us or something along those lines.

picture of Hendry's Beach at low tide after the storm

The Sand was Washed Away by the Storm

Back to the Dog

I called my sister, hoping she’d come walk the dogs at the beach with me so we could see what the storm hath wrought, but she was B.U.S.Y. which is really spelled L.O.S.E.R. According to #7 above, I failed to obtain social support. But wait, what is that whining I hear? The dog was volunteering to be my social support? Guilt won and we headed to the beach for what turned out to be a super amazing walk. Seaweed and sea foam everywhere. Sand and ocean detritus washed all the way up to the parking lot. New hidey holes created in the cliffs by the over-the-top high tide.

Alexandra’s Set Up For Success Tips

I have pondered what made me successful at getting my half-ass out the door, and came up with a few.

1. I have a dog. Yup, go get yourself a dog. You will walk a lot more.
2. Guilt. I knew the dog would be bummed. Yes, guilt is a success tip.
3. I really, really want to hit 10K steps every day. I’m competitive with myself.
4. I recognize that I already have good eating habits, and don’t want to eat less, so moving more is the key to shedding my last bit of holiday belly bobble. I like to move.
5. I wanted to see the beach after the storm. I cared more about that than walking.

picture of a rock exposed at low tide in Santa Barbara

Follow Your Path To Your Dreams

Find whatever success triggers work for you and incorporate them. While we’re at it, make your resolutions behavior-based, not goal-based. And you don’t need to wait for January 2015 to change your behaviors. Now is good. Want to join me in doing 100 Miles in March? That way we can all be Awesome in April!

Want great info with a touch of humor to help you reach your goals? Join us every Wednesday live at 11 EST/ 8 PST beginning March 19 on our radio show on VoiceAmericaHealth. What?! You’re all ears? Perfect.

logo for VoiceAmerica Health channel

Starting Wed. March 19. So Listen Up, Y’all!






Resolve to follow us on Google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

Pick up the phone or email us to book us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email


About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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9 Responses to Reaching Your Fitness Goals, or How Are Those New Year Resolutions Coming Along

  1. Lora @ Crazy Running Girl March 3, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    I think a lot of people forget that change is hard work… but it’s so worth it when you see that progress! Keeping that in mind can make those New Year’s Resolutions a little easier to attain :)
    Lora @ Crazy Running Girl recently posted..Motivation Monday: Reset and restartMy Profile

  2. Wendy Bottrell March 3, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    Agreed that change can be challenging. My desire is to continue to make small changes daily. So much easier that way! March is the 30 day 100 Burpee challenge for me. Enjoy! Thanks for the reminders why it is important to have resolutions
    Wendy Bottrell recently posted..Rocking Body Raw Food Review – The 14 Day Raw Food Diet and CleanseMy Profile

  3. Lois Alter Mark March 3, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    I’m so relieved to know I’m not the only one finding my fitness goals challenging. Thanks for a great post.
    Lois Alter Mark recently have questions, i have answers (though not necessarily the right ones)My Profile

  4. Jody - Fit at 56 March 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    AWESOME READ!!!! This is perfect to get people thinking & moving – LOVE!!! And BTW, loved the IG pics of your walk – so cool!!!!

    Me – #8 BIG TIME!!!!!! Not in the being fit realm either as you most likely guessed! ;)
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & Family Fun in the RainMy Profile

  5. Linz @ Itz Linz March 4, 2014 at 4:25 am #

    great post and tips!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..31 Weeks Pregnant | Today’s Mom Cozy Comfort Pregnancy PillowMy Profile

  6. Carla March 4, 2014 at 5:30 am #

    ooh see?
    I AM A MISFIT :-)
    1/6 makes me feel as though IVE GOTS THIS.
    Still time to rock this….
    Carla recently posted..Which of these friends do you have?My Profile

  7. GiGi Eats Celebrities March 4, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Is it weird that you just got me really excited for Thanksgiving!! 1 sixth of the way through the year…….WOO WOO – 1 step closer to my Thanksgiving feast ;)
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..Saint Patrick’s Day: Rolling Up a SpecialtyMy Profile

  8. Choy March 8, 2014 at 1:37 am #

    Great post :-) I believe Change is one of the hardest things for people to accept. I know it is for me. I guess I love routine to much. Great image of the sea foam to, love it :-)
    Choy recently posted..What Are Some Common Fat Loss Factor Questions?My Profile

  9. Adam March 31, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    I’ve thought about getting a dog recently, but haven’t made the commitment yet. I’m still working on making some of those year end changes and again, I need more work and commitment.
    Adam recently posted..Quotes on Strength to Build You UpMy Profile

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