How to Keep Your Resolutions—according to Fitness and Mindfulness Pros
Cutting out plastic. More honesty. More movement. Drink more water. Try meditation. Each year we welcome January by kicking off new goals and embracing change, hoping that some of the habits we form this month will stick all year. For inspiration, we asked a handful of our favorite fitness trainers, yoga instructors, and mindfulness teachers to share the resolutions they’re committing to this year and how they plan to keep them. Then we tapped our fashion team for the right gear and tools to make it all more fun.
trainer, nutritionist, and cofounder of Sweetkick
There are five daily habits that I use throughout the year to stay relatively fit and lean. First, I make sure my Fitbit reads at least 12,000 steps a day. No need to run a marathon or join the Tour de France. Just make your life a little more active and move your feet. The second is unplugging from technology at least one hour a day. No cell phone, laptop, or tablet for one consecutive hour. Ideally, this will be the hour before you go to bed.
Third, focus on reducing the amount of processed sugar in your diet. I use a Sweetkick sugar-control mint after each meal to make sure that I’m not indulging in any high-sugar foods or snacks between meals. Fourth, sleep better and longer. This is another important way that my Fitbit gives me the feedback—I need to know whether I’m getting my REM and deep sleep.
And last but not least, challenge your muscles at least five days a week. Lift something, push something, or pull something for at least one cumulative hour a week. This could be six ten-minute sessions, five twelve-minute sessions, and so on.
yoga and meditation teacher
ASK YOURSELF WHY
As I set my intentions for the year ahead, it’s important that I have a clarity around the why for each. Understanding the compelling force or spark of inspiration behind each intention gives me something to anchor back into when I shift away from a particular goal or focus. If my intentions arise from a place of quietude and deep listening through my reflective practices—as opposed to a resolution set from a place of fear, frustration, or doubt—I trust they are aligned with my highest possibilities. That knowing helps me stay steady and committed.
founder of Torch’d
SET SMALL BUT IMPORTANT GOALS
To help me stay on track, I set small goals that align realistically with my daunting schedule. With the insanity of living in New York and traveling between the Hamptons, Los Angeles, Miami, and London, I make small daily goals, like responding to each email in my inbox by the end of the day or creating a new ab series for an advanced client or making sure I substitute an organic celery juice and green tea for the Snickers bar I’m craving in the afternoon.
WRITE IT DOWN
Writing each goal clearly on a Post-it and placing it on my vanity has helped me immeasurably. Every morning as I go through my grooming regimen, I see the goals I’ve set. Oftentimes I’ll swap a few out for new ones as they each get accomplished. This structure has helped me stay on track with my own health, my finances, and my friendships.
THE LONG TERM
I keep a picture of my grandma on my vanity. She’s only five years old in the photo, but the depth in her eyes is just the same as when I knew her and loved her. She was the most kind, hilarious, glamorous, and snarky, witty person I ever knew, but she was also deeply unhealthy. The picture reminds me to be diligent with myself and my clients and to do all the things I wish I could have done to help her stay healthy and vibrant. This is why waking up at 5 a.m., showing up fully for everyone who wants me, and remaining curious is so vital to me. These little goals create a snowball effect that will pay off in the long term.
fitness and KINRGY instructor
HAVE A GOOD MORNING
I’ve grown very fond of making my mornings into ceremonies. When I wake up, I start by saying thank you. Starting the day with gratitude can lay the foundation for increased productivity and more-positive encounters with others. Sometimes I will follow that with a meditation from Deepak Chopra, reading, or stretching. Once I feel rooted in the day, I palo santo myself and the house and drink a tall glass of water. And before touching any of my digital devices, I take a quick nature walk with my pup. Mornings have become so much more special because not only do I feel connected to myself—I feel connected to the earth.
TAKE A TRIP
When life and work get stressful, why not have getaways planned throughout the year? Whether it’s a staycation or a trip around the world, always have something to look forward to. I personally like to plan two to four big trips and several small ones in between. Life is so much bigger than us, so go out and see how beautiful our world is.
founder of Dance Church
HAVE A BIGGER VISION
When I decide I am going to do something for real, I go all in, and I go hard. It’s like flipping a switch. I decide, then I do it until it becomes my new normal. For me, it’s about being better three-dimensionally. I want to be nicer, stronger, healthier—and I want that to be forever, not just short-lived. That is a choice I make every day. Some days are harder than others, but in the end I do it for the big picture because it’s worth it.
There are a few things I love that get me through my resolutions. It starts with Dance Church. It is truly the one way that I can fully release and find complete joy. Creating and being in rehearsals with my dance company also keeps me attuned with my desires and makes me feel alive. Sun Potion Eucommia keeps my body strong and juicy for that dancing. And when I need a refresh, I enjoy soda water with bitters and lime.
founder of Naaya Wellness
I spent New Year’s soaking up the magic that was working with a group of fifty-eight teens on a mindfulness retreat with iBme. It was an honor to bear witness to their willingness to cultivate a practice of mindfulness. It reminded me that I want to reinvigorate my meditation practice. I notice a dramatic difference when I let my practice slide. One way I’m ensuring that I stay diligent with my meditation is to put it on the calendar. My friends joke about my love for calendar invites, but it’s the way that I can truly get everything done.
With this reminder to meditate daily, I can ensure that I will make the time. There always is the time, but I sometimes like to trick myself into thinking that something else takes precedence. If I’m being honest, time spent with my practice reinvigorates me to get everything else done.
yoga and meditation instructor
NURTURE YOUR INTENTIONS
Some of my past New Year’s resolutions have been to lose weight, get out of debt, travel to new places, and write a weekly blog. I’ve quickly learned that setting rigid and strict resolutions does not work for me. I have a tendency to be so hyperfocused on the end goal that if I veer off or fall off the wagon, it leaves me feeling guilty, discouraged, and ashamed.
I’ve found that connecting to my sankalpa encourages me to operate in a much more mindful, freeing, and enjoyable way. The Sanskrit word “sankalpa” translates to a heartfelt desire or intention. This intention operates under the premise that we are whole and complete and that there is nothing to fix or change—however, there is this vow or intention we can commit to in order to support our highest self. Intention setting has been a powerful tool in my life. It’s something that I practice daily, especially when it comes to manifesting or attracting what my heart needs in order to live in alignment with my purpose. By connecting to my sankalpa, I trust that my daily actions are intentional and influenced from a place of clarity and purpose and that whatever I need in my life will be revealed to me in divine timing.
My invitation to you is to set your sankalpa for 2020. What is it your intention for this New Year? What do you want to cultivate? What is something small and simple you can do daily to access the feeling of your intention? Be kind to yourself, go slow, and trust the process. Big shifts can happen when we operate from a place of intention and love. My intention for 2020 is to make more space in my life by saying no to things that don’t vibe with me and yes to opportunities that excite me. I will do this by taking three deep breaths and checking in with myself before making any decision.
founder of the ness
CREATE GOOD HABITS
You are always going to do the things you view as high priority first. Resolutions are usually high priority in your mind, but when it comes down to making them actionable, most of us pile other, immediate and attainable actions over them. I stick to my resolutions by raising the stakes against a habit already formed in my life. For example, this year I want to take more time to celebrate the small things, so I got The Five Minute Journal. In order to drop into the habit, I’m not allowed to brush my teeth until I complete my entry for the night, and if I can’t brush my teeth, I won’t go to sleep. By using my existing discipline, I can stick to my resolutions and add on a new habit.
founder of Bodylicious
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
This year my focus is on more out-of-the-box fitness experiences and on cooking more. I eat a predominantly “pegan”—something between vegan and paleo—diet. I live by my calendar and weekly prep, so Sundays are when I plan. The key to sticking to my resolution in 2020 is consistency and also just keeping it simple. If anything becomes too complex and difficult to incorporate into my routine, nine times out of ten it will not last.
USE YOUR CALENDAR
Every Sunday, I schedule my workouts the same way I schedule my meetings and calls in my calendar. I teach two BodyliciousbyDrea classes a week, so around those days I research new classes to work into my weekly routine using ClassPass and Mindbody. I love these apps because regardless of where I am around the globe, I am able to book a class in that city. This is especially important to me because it ensures I am always working different muscle groups—muscle confusion works best for my body. It is also cool and fun meeting other instructors and learning new training techniques.
STOCK YOUR FRIDGE
I have what I call food ADD, which means I’m always changing my mind about what I want to eat every day. This is one of the only things in my life that I have learned that must go with the flow. My fridge has recently been full of veggies and fruit that I can quickly pair with a meat of choice when cooking or combine in a bowl and sprinkle vinaigrette over for a salad. I shop at farmers’ markets or anything similar to them because of how fresh and local the food is.