Archive for the tag - lose weight

Ready to Lose Weight? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself!

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

It’s the New Year, a time that re-ignites the desire to lose weight and get in shape. Before you dive in, evaluate your readiness to stay the course. Without a solid foundation, starting too quickly can lead to frustrating results. When you’re emotionally prepared, however, your results become permanent. Use these five questions to decide if now’s the time to fully commit to your weight loss success.

1. Will you make your well-being a priority?

To lose weight successfully, your physical and emotional health must be your number one concern. This doesn’t mean you neglect personal responsibilities. It means you respond to those responsibilities through self-loving eyes. For example, you set boundaries on the demands of family and friends to create “Me” time. It also means you address life stressors that erode your confidence, such as a strained marriage or job dissatisfaction. Even if you delay focusing on weight loss, you’ll feel more confident to begin when your life feels stable.

2. Will you change your lifestyle?

To succeed with weight loss, you must replace old habits with new ones. Your willingness to exercise regularly and eat wholesome foods increases your chance for long term success. What lifestyle changes are you willing to make? For example, will you limit television time to make room for exercise? Will you take time for self-reflection to nurture your spirit? As you adopt new behaviors that support good health and well-being, you create a lifestyle that nurtures your long-term success.

3. Will you seek out support?

Losing weight sometimes feels frustrating and discouraging. Make it easy on yourself. Connect with others for support and professional guidance. Consult with a dietitian for nutrition advice, a personal trainer for exercise suggestions or a weight loss coach for inspiration. Besides professional assistance, join a weight loss support group or connect with others on-line through forums. If groups don’t work for you, talk to a trusted friend for support when discouraged and camaraderie to celebrate progress.

4. Will you look deeper if necessary?

If you struggle to lose weight, despite your best intentions, perhaps it’s time to dig deeper. For some people, excess weight offers protection and food equals comfort. Despite a conscious desire to be thinner, losing weight sometimes triggers subconscious fears that actually prevent progress. If success always eludes you, seek professional support to discover what’s holding you back. If you can relate to this, use the therapist finder tool at Psychology Today to find a counselor in your local area to help.

5. Will you be patient and persevere?

Permanent weight loss takes time. You need this time to not only release weight responsibly, but to release limiting beliefs and negative thoughts from your mind. If you lose weight too quickly, your self-concept doesn’t have time to change. Old beliefs then draw you back to old habits. Be willing to have patience and persevere. Doing so transforms discouragement into a determined belief that nothing will stop you from reaching your goal.

What if you don’t feel ready?

If after reading these questions you don’t feel ready, that’s OK. Give yourself permission to wait. Take time to discover what you need to fully commit. Use the above questions to guide you. You actually begin the weight loss process by creating a strong foundation first. When the timing is right, you’ll feel an inner trust that guides the rest of your journey with confidence and inspiration.

Are you ready to lose weight? Let us know in the comments below.

What Are You Waiting For to Lose Weight?

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Do you postpone buying special clothes because you’re not thin yet? Are you delaying that cruise until the weight comes off? Have you missed your high school reunions because you feel self-conscious about your body? If so, what are you waiting for? It’s time to reclaim your power and live your life now!

Life on-hold

When you give your weight too much importance or negative attention, you stop living your best life. You may feel crippled by shame and not value yourself enough to feel you deserve the best. Or, you may overvalue the opinions of others and allow those opinions to govern your decisions.

By letting your weight limit your choices, you give yourself a double whammy. You’re first distressed over how much you weigh and then distressed over how your weight stops you from doing what you want to do. This removes you from the fun in life. And by staying home you become vulnerable to emotional overeating which, like addictive behavior, intensifies with loneliness and isolation.  But when you take charge of your life, you are in control of your weight; your weight isn’t controlling you.

You deserve more

Commit to no longer letting self-consciousness run your life. Make a list of all the things you would do differently if you were thinner. Start with what’s easiest. Take baby steps. Then start doing those things now!

For example, my client Ellen wanted to take exercise classes at a local health club. Even though it was affordable and conveniently located, she resisted joining because she felt self-conscious about her body.  She wanted to lose more weight first. She understood the faulty logic behind this because she knew exercise would help her release more weight. And she really wanted to take those classes! But feelings of embarrassment controlled her. She broke free by making the commitment to no longer be controlled by the opinions of others. She soon developed the confidence to take charge of her life. She improved her self-talk and used visualization to mentally practice new behaviors. Little by little she developed the courage to attend one class. Then another. And another. Those baby steps helped her take the final step to join the health club.

As soon as you commit to taking charge of your life, trust that you will discover within yourself the resources to succeed.  Here’s a strategy to help:

Practice this:

  1. Think of one thing you stop yourself from doing because you feel self-conscious about your body.
  2. Now ask yourself, “If I were at my preferred weight, what would I do?” Or, another powerful question is: “If I felt totally confident, and loved myself unconditionally, what would I do?” From that place of confidence, then:
  3. Use visualization to picture yourself doing what you want to do while feeling confident and self-loving. Rehearse that scene in your mind. If this is difficult at first, that’s okay. Visualization takes repeated practice and commitment. Take your time and set the intention to reduce the power your weight has over your decisions.
  4. To support your efforts repeat the following affirmation: “Every day in every way I am more confident and in control of my life.”
    Positive affirmations plant in your mind the inner seeds of success. Repeat daily and frequently.

What would you do if you felt totally confident and self-loving? What are you waiting for?

5 Tips: How to Get Rid of a Muffin Top.

Hi Davey,

First off, I just want to say you’re such an inspiration. I read your blog and watch your videos as if they were the bible.

I have been working out and eating as healthy as I can, and I’ve been noticing good results. But how do I get rid of that horrible muffin top? Any tips would be appreciated.

Chris

Dear Chris,

Thanks for the kind words – and for following my blog posts and videos so religiously!

For those of you who don’t know what a “muffin top” is, Wikipedia defines it as:

A generally pejorative slang term used to describe the phenomenon of overhanging fat when it spills over the waistline of pants or skirts in a manner that resembles the top of a muffin spilling over its paper casing.

With the majority of Americans overweight, muffin topping is not an uncommon phenomenon – but there’s plenty that we can do to reduce excess body fat. The general prescription is pretty straightforward: A healthy lifestyle that combines a balanced diet with cardiovascular exercise and strength training. It’s not a gimmick or a quick fix, but – if you put in the time and energy – you will have real and lasting results.

But what are some more specific tips?

  1. Don’t skip breakfast – or any other meals. Many people try to lose fat by cutting meals. Unfortunately, this method backfires. The body will respond by releasing a nasty stress hormone called cortisol. A big and undesirable side effect of cortisol is the retention of fat in the body’s midsection. Cortisol also makes you crave fatty and sugary foods – which, once eaten, can lead to fat gain. Moreover, skipping meals slows down your metabolism, thus resulting in fewer calories burned each day.
  2. Get regular sleep. Cortisol can also be released as a result of insufficient sleep. Ensure that you’re getting 6 – 8 hours of sleep per day, and that your sleep schedule follows a regular pattern.
  3. Cut back on booze. They call it a “beer belly” for a reason. In addition to flooding your body with empty calories, lowering testosterone and causing blood sugar swings, alcohol hinders the process of protein synthesis (i.e., the production of muscle proteins needed to grow your muscles). By preventing muscle growth, you’re not going to make gains at the gym. It also prevents proper muscle function.
  4. Engage in high intensity interval training. Longer cardio sessions aren’t necessarily better. After about 45 minutes, your body will release cortisol as a result of the stress it’s experiencing – undoing all your hard work. Stick to short, effective and efficient cardio sessions. High intensity interval training, as featured in my new workout program, is the best bet.
  5. Clean up your diet. Avoid simple carbs like those found in sugary drinks and processed foods. Complex carbs, like those found in fruits and vegetables, are a much better bet. Eat lean meats, cut back on saturated fats and consume lots and lots of fiber.

Again, I’d caution against trying quick fixes or fad diets to get rid of your muffin top. Such gimmicks often yield no results or are entirely unsustainable. Be in it for the long haul!

Love,
Davey

P.S. In case you missed the big news, this week marked the launch of my brand-new fitness program: Davey Wavey’s Get Ripped Workout! Thank you for making it my most successful launch ever! If you don’t yet have a copy, use discount code “blog” to save 25% before June 7!

What Can I Do to Lose Weight Faster?

Dear Davey,

I’m 44 years old and weigh 327 pounds. In the last 20 months I have lost 214 pounds. Yes, I used to weigh 541 pounds… and I’ve been overweight since I was 3 years old.

I came out in July of 2010 and started losing weight after I fell in love with a man that broke my heart. It threw me into a deep depression and I lost my appetite for several months. After not eating for 4 months, I had lost a considerable amount of weight and, when my appetite returned, I limited my meals to just one per day and that is how I have continued to lose weight.

Even though I go to the gym, my weight has slowed down in the last couple of months and now I am struggling to lose weight. Is there anything more I can do activity wise to speed up my weight loss?

Regards,
Al

Dear Al,

I’m really touched by your story.

Congratulations, first and foremost, on coming out of the closet. I think you’ll agree that life is too short to spend it hiding who you are.

Though your weight loss journey didn’t start under the best circumstances, perhaps your situation is an opportunity-in-disguise to create a new, healthier lifestyle for yourself. But because of the underlying issues and depression, I would encourage you to reach out to a trained professional.

I’m not surprised that your weight loss has plateaued.

Our bodies are very smart. When you starve your body, your metabolism comes to a crawl; your body tries to burn as little calories as humanly possible to stay alive. Your body goes into survival mode.

When you do eventually start eating again, you’re stuck with this slower metabolism. Because you are consuming calories and burning very few, it’s very hard to lose weight. And continuing to starve your body with only 1 meal a day isn’t helping.

There are two things you need to do: Eat and exercise.

Your body needs food – and you need to feed it. Instead of eating one meal a day (and wrecking havoc on your body’s metabolism), opt for three well-balanced and nutritionally-sound meals. This government website provides guidance for building a healthy plate of food with appropriate portions. In short, it’s about selecting lots of veggies, some fruits, whole grains, protein and dairy.

Beyond three meals, give your body healthy snacks in between. A handful of unsalted nuts or an apple or carrot sticks and hummus will help curb hunger throughout the day. And be sure to drink lots of water; it nourishes your body and boosts your metabolism. Speaking of boosting your metabolism, here are 9 effective ways to do just that!

When it comes to exercise, it’s great that you’re hitting the gym. Exercise will get your heart pumping and it will incinerate calories – even after your workout is complete. Make sure your combining both cardiovascular exercise and strength training as both are needed to maximize your results. And if you’re feeling unsure or uncomfortable at the gym, it’s always a wise idea to hire a personal trainer (even if it’s just for a few sessions).

Again, I’m very touched by your story – and I wish you the best of luck as you transform your body and your life.

Love,
Davey

If you have a fitness question for Davey Wavey, ask him!

What the Fat-Burning Zone Really Means?

Hey Davey!

I have a cardio conundrum. I’m 32 at 174 pounds, and I have a goal of losing weight. Because I can no longer run, it’s been suggested that I walk briskly on the treadmill at a high incline. I tried this today on the fat-burn setting, but the machine kept re-setting the incline and pace to get my heart rate in the “fat-burning zone” for my age and weight class. I continued the workout for 30 minutes, but I barely broke a sweat and didn’t feel like I worked out at all. I desperately wanted to return to the high incline and brisk pace, but I figured the machine knew what it was doing.

Should I stick with what the machine dictates?

Thanks,
Will

Hey Will,

Machines often target two different zones: Fat-burning and cardio.

The cardio zone programs are higher in intensity while the fat-burning zone programs are lower in intensity. When in the fat-burning zone, you burn fewer calories – but the idea is that a higher percent of those calories come from fat. Hence the name. When in the cardio zone, you burn a greater total number of calories.

Sounds like you should continue to work in the fat-burning zone? No. Consider the chart below which represents a 130 pound woman:

Even with a smaller percentage of calories coming from fat, you still burn more fat in the cardio zone.

But really, there’s a fundamental issue with relying on the treadmill to determine your “zone.” Fitness machines use a very simple formula to calculate your target heart rate involving only your age and weight. It doesn’t take into consideration your individuality – and the host of other relevant variables. The result is an overly generalized heart rate which usually isn’t accurate.

If you’re comfortable working out, I’d encourage you to think outside the treadmill’s zones and develop your own cardio routine that leaves you hot and sweaty. And, if you have issues running, it need not involve the treadmill.

Intervals are a great way to burn fat and they can be performed on many different types of cardio machines. I’d recommend trying intervals on a rowing machine. Row at a moderate pace for 90 seconds – and then switch to a sprint pace for 60 seconds. Do this for 15 minutes and you’ll be soaked in sweat. And, you’ll have boosted your metabolism.

You can also incorporate gut-busting intervals into strength training by moving between various exercises at differing speeds.

The bottom line: The zones on cardio machines are misleading and often inaccurate. Don’t give them more credit than they deserve – and certainly don’t base your weight loss program on their calculations.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you have a fitness question for Davey Wavey, send it on over!

New Study: Don’t Measure Health by Pounds.

Scales are overrated.

When it comes to creating a healthier lifestyle, many people turn to the almighty scale as a way of measuring their progress.

A new study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association found that people who improve or maintain their fitness levels reduce their risk of mortality, regardless of changes in their weight. In other words, the scale isn’t a good indicator of improvements in the body’s health.

The study involved 14,345 adult men and concluded that improved fitness levels are associated with longevity – even after controlling Body Mass Index (BMI) changes. BMI is an index used to classify individuals as underweight, overweight, etc.

Indeed, thin isn’t a necessarily good indicator of health. You’ve probably heard the term skinny-fat used to describe individuals who are thin – but totally unhealthy. These individuals, despite being skinny, often have poor diets and sedentary lifestyles. According to this new study, it’s healthier to be overweight and fit than skinny and unfit.

All of this considered, scales are one of the poorest measures of health progress. For a lot of people, getting healthier means building muscle and shedding fat; this can result in a net gain of body weight due to the density of muscle mass. In these instances, a tape measure is a better indicator (i.e., shrinking waistline and expanding muscles). I also encourage clients to think outside the scale and pay attention to the more subtle indicators – like no longer being winded when climbing the stairs. Or clothes fitting differently. These clues are more accurate than the scale alone.

The bottom line: While losing weight is an important goal, know that weight isn’t necessarily the best indicator of your body’s improved health. And even if you struggle to drop the pounds, know that your body is still reaping the benefits of a more active lifestyle.

Also, there are only a few days left to use discount code “youtube” and save 25% off The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. It’s been my most successful product launch ever – and I’ve been getting tons of great feedback. Snag your copy today before the discount ends!

5 Ways to Connect with Your Body.

Scheduling some quiet alone time is one of the best ways to connect with your brilliant body.

Diane Petrella, spiritual weight release coach, is a great friend of mine who holds a refreshingly powerful and enlightened perspective when it comes to losing extra weight. She recognizes the importance of internal change to produce the external results that so many of us desire.

According to Diane, “Many dieters feel detached from their bodies, making weight release an anxiety-ridden, burdensome struggle. When you make the decision to actually create a relationship with your body, however, a respectful partnership develops. Your weight release efforts become more peaceful.”

To that end, Diane has developed 5 way to connect with your body on a deeper level. Diane’s philosophy resonates deeply with me, and so (with permission) I’ve reproduced her advice and action steps as follows:

  1. Acknowledge Your Body’s Brilliance: We are spiritual beings having a physical experience through the divine gift of our bodies. Our bodies allow us to see nature’s beauty, to hear a loved one’s voice, to experience luscious taste sensations, to smell a flower’s fragrance, to feel a warm breeze.When you expand your thinking in this way, your relationship with your body expands as well. Even if your don’t like how your body looks today, you’ll feel more connected with it as you begin to appreciate all it does for you.
    Action Step:
    Write an appreciation list of all the ways your body allows you to experience joy in your life.
  2. Commit to Physical Activity: Physical activity is one of the best ways to feel connected with your body. Cardiovascular activity conditions your heart and lungs. It’s also a great stress reliever.  Strength training is crucial to maintain good bone health.  It also helps you develop your inner power. Kinesthetic activities, like yoga, dance or tai chi help you move more intuitively and gracefully. When you commit to some form of physical activity on a consistent basis, you naturally will develop a stronger connection with your body.
    Action Step:
    Do one form of physical activity daily.
  3. Plan Quiet Time: A simple way to feel more connected with your body is to take some quiet time every day. This could be through formal meditation practice or simply sitting quietly with your eyes closed and gently focusing on your breath for several moments. When you take the time to be quiet and still, you experience the power of the present moment.  Your inner and outer selves begin to merge, helping you to feel one with your body.
    Action Step: Enjoy a five minute break today to just relax your body and breathe.
  4. Communicate With Your Body Daily: Because our minds and bodies are connected, our bodies actually respond physiologically to every thought we think.  In this way, you’re already communicating with your body all the time.  When you intentionally talk to your body with love and kindness, you use this mind/body connection in positive ways.  Simply telling your body you want to feel more connected with it begins to soften your alienation from it.
    Action Step:
    Every morning say to your body, “I want to take good care of you.  What do you need from me today?” Just ask the question and let it go.
  5. Practice Forgiveness: Body disconnection often results from underlying feelings of shame and self-loathing. Sometimes this is due to earlier childhood abuse. Forgiveness in all its forms helps you release these toxic feelings and become more connected with your body. Taking responsibility for ways you may have neglected and abused your body is empowering.  It’s also an important first step towards forgiving yourself.
    Action Step: Take some quiet, reflective time to say to your body, “I’m sorry.  Please forgive me for not always taking good care of you.  I want to treat you with kindness. Thank you for all you do for me.”

Let me know what you think of these 5 ways to connect with your body in the comments below! And for more information about Diane, or to use her additional resources, visit www.DianePetrella.com.

How to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau.

Hi Davey,

I’ve been working out regularly for the about two months now (an hour of cardio and about half an hour of strength training 5 days a week), and at first I lost weight. The goal I set for myself was to get down to 195lbs by the end of June. But recently I’ve noticed that I’ve hit a weight plateau at around 206lbs.

Do you have any idea what might be happening?

From,
Ian

Congratulations on releasing weight and coming so close to your goal!

First, it’s important to ask yourself: Why 195lbs? It’s always important to reassess our fitness goals. Maybe 206 lbs is a good and healthy weight for you. If it’s not – and if you have the will and motivation to break through the plateau – it comes down to two things: Modifying your diet and/or modifying your fitness plan.

Modifying Diet

Obviously, proper diet is essential to a comprehensive fitness plan. Hitting the gym isn’t everything. Take a critical look at your diet – and compare it to your recommended caloric intake. It’s possible that you may need to further reduce the number of calories you are eating, or even shift the types of foods that you are eating. You may find it advantageous to move away from high-carbohydrate or processed foods and more toward fresh foods and high-protein options.

Modifying Workout

There are a few ways to increase the effectiveness of your workout:

  1. Increase workout duration and frequency. For people exercising for 30 or 45 minutes, it may be advisable to hit the gym for an extra 15 minutes. Since you’re already exercising for 90 minutes, working out longer won’t help. In fact, long workouts tend to backfire. 90 minutes is enough and, for weight loss, I’d recommend splitting your time evenly between cardio and strength training. In addition, exercisers may see enhanced results from adding another workout day into their schedule if such a commitment is sustainable. Remember to take off at least one day per week.
  2. Increase intensity. Just being at the gym isn’t enough. Workouts aren’t just about quantity – they’re really about quality. How you use your time is critically important. If you want to break through a plateau, you may need to add some gusto to your workout. Instead of doing conventional cardio workouts, for example, try some gut-busting interval training. For strength training, adjust your rest times so that you are taking shorter breaks. Increase the amount of resistance that you are using. In short, put your workout in high gear.
  3. Try new exercises. Sometimes introducing new exercises can help move your workout forward. Our bodies grow accustomed to the same old routine, so don’t be afraid to change things up. You can find a number of great, effective and challenging exercises online. Or, you could even join a class or hire a personal trainer. Even as a certified personal trainer, I still occasionally hire another trainer to help introduce new workouts into my vernacular.

If your weight loss goal seems necessary and achievable, these tips should help you break through your plateau and take your results to the next level.

Love,
Davey

Loose Skin After Weight Loss.

When it comes to loose skin after weight loss, it's important to focus on those factors that are within your control.

Dear Davey,

I have had loose skin for about 2 years now and I don’t know how to make it go away. I got it when I lost a lot of weight from working out. Could you please give me and the other people out there suffering with loose skin some advice? Thanks!

From,
James

Dear James,

Congratulations on your weight loss! And a special congratulations for keeping the weight off for two years! That’s fantastic.

Loose skin is a common problem after weight loss, especially if a lot of weight is lost in a short period of time. The “elasticity” of skin depends on a number of factors. Some of these factors are beyond your control:

  1. Age. No surprise here. Younger individuals have more elasticity in their skin, and they tend to see a better recovery from loose skin following weight loss.
  2. Genetics. To a large extent, the firmness of your skin while aging is determined by genetic factors. So you can blame it on mom and/or dad, though such blame may prove unproductive. :-P

But many factors are within your control:

  1. Smoking. The skin of smokers ages faster than non-smokers.
  2. Weight loss rate. Losing weight faster than 2 pounds a week puts the dieter at a higher risk of loose skin.
  3. Weight gain time line. Individuals that gained weight quickly (and then drop it) are less likely to experience loose skin. Moreover, someone that has carried the extra weight for 10 years is at a higher risk for loose skin than someone who has been carrying the extra weight for 10 months.
  4. Sun exposure. Past and present sun exposure damages the skin and decreases elasticity.
  5. Water and proper nutrition. Staying properly hydrated with a healthy, high-vitamin diet (Vitamins C and E are especially recommended) keeps skins healthy.
  6. Build muscle. This is a big one. Adding muscle to your frame can help rebuild your shape and minimize loose skin. Hit the weight room often and hard.

So, it makes sense to focus on those factors that are within your control. Don’t smoke. If you have more weight to lose, release it slowly, and do it as soon as possible. Wear sunscreen. Stay hydrated and maintain a nutritional, vitamin-rich diet. And, last but not least, maintain a vigorous exercise program that includes strength training to build your muscles.

For some individuals, this won’t be enough. As a last resort, some individuals require surgery to remove the excess skin. The procedure is not for everyone; it is expensive and involves certain risks. As a general recommendation, it’s advised that individuals should wait 1 year (once their weight has stabilized) to consider this option and speak with a professional. But it’s truly a last resort.

I hope this helps, James. And again, congratulations on your weight loss!

9 Tips: Plan for Your New Year’s Resolution TODAY!

With Dec. 31 just around the corner, it’s certainly not too early to start thinking about your New Year’s resolution. In fact, planning ahead is one of the best ways to ensure that you keep your resolution.

Here are a few tips for doing just that:

  1. Decide on your resolution. There are probably a number of things that you’d like to change in the New Year. Maybe you’d like to lose some weight, build muscle mass or run a marathon. Start by writing out or thinking up a list of resolution contenders – and then narrow things down to just one resolution; don’t overload yourself – achieving just one resolution is challenging enough!
  2. Ensure that your resolution is SMART. Smart stands for specific, measurable, attainable (but not too attainable!), relevant and timely. Instead of saying that you’d like to lose weight, a SMART resolution is that you want to lose 15 lbs by April 1.
  3. Write your resolution down. Put it to paper. Write it in the comments to this post. Jot it on a post-it note. Writing your resolution makes it real.
  4. Visualize yourself achieving your resolution. Close your eyes and see yourself accomplishing your resolution. Feel it with every cell of your body.
  5. Articulate why your resolution is so important. Why do you want this? How will it change or improve the quality of your life? All of these things can fuel your motivation.
  6. Take the first steps TODAY. January 1 is right around the corner – what steps can you take today to pave the road for the new year? If your goal requires joining a gym, then get the membership today. If you want to lose weight, educate yourself about the best ways and healthiest ways to do that. Set yourself up for success by doing the groundwork now.
  7. Focus on the change. a New Year’s resolution is about the result – but it makes a lot more sense to focus on the change. The result may be losing 15 lbs by April 1, but the change that is required is paramount. Know and anticipate which changes you’ll need to make (and how you’ll introduce them) to get the results you want.
  8. Build a network of support. You can do it alone – or you can lean on a network of support. Enlist the help of friends, support groups or virtual communities.
  9. Plan for the hiccups. If your New Year’s resolution necessitates you exercising regularly, anticipate your backup plan for if and when you fall off the horse. Maybe you catch the flu and miss a week of exercise, or go off on a long business trip. These obstacles can be resolution killers – so plan for them. Know that getting back on track is always an option.

By planning ahead today, you can position yourself well for January 1. And by positioning yourself well for January 1, you’re more likely to achieve your resolution.

Start today by writing your SMART resolution in the comments below.