Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2014
Written by  Cassie Kottke, BA, ACSM

Simple steps to keep your New Year’s resolutions in 2014

New Year’s resolution time is upon us, which means that many of us have pledged to make our health and fitness a priority starting January 1st. Unfortunately, two to four weeks into the New Year, we find ourselves back where we started, leaving our goals at the wayside and pledging to start again “later.” Why does this happen year in and year out? Is it because we set unattainable goals to begin with? Sometimes taking a step back and starting with a small change is the key to success.

Step one to achieving your goals is to set a goal you know you can achieve. Many people set out with their ultimate goal in mind, making the task at hand very daunting. Start by making a short-term goal when it comes to weight loss. For example, “I want to lose one pound per week this month.” Once you make your first goal, move on to the next week or month. Repeat this process, and before you know it, your ultimate goal will be easily within reach.

If your goal is to improve your diet or lifestyle, think about adding good things in before you take the bad things out. Many people start out their diet programs severely restricting their food choices. However, when you do this, your body and brain automatically start to panic, making you crave the very foods that you are trying to restrict. Start by adding healthy habits in. This may be as simple as drinking more water, or adding a veggie to every meal. Continue to be creative with how you add the healthy habits in and, eventually, there will be little or no room for the old habits.

Writing your goals down can be a very simple way to stick with them long-term. Write them down and put them in a visible place that you see every day. A Post-It note on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator or your computer at work can be a constant reminder of what you are trying to accomplish. Some people even make their goals public via social media, or just by telling a bunch of friends. Sometimes this can make the goal more real and help to keep you on track.

Connect with people that share your goals. Sometimes this can be a group exercise class, a walking group or a dieting group such as Weight Watchers. When you know that you have people on your side that are sharing the same experience, a goal can become much more attainable. Not to mention you will have people to celebrate with when you attain it!

The most important thing you can do to accomplish your goals is to believe in yourself! Think about the things in your life that you have conquered that were difficult. Maybe these include completing an education, raising a child or starting a business. Remember that you have the power to do anything you set your mind to, and that all of the goals in your life that you accomplished before took time to reach — the road to them was not always smooth.

Happy New Year, and good luck in 2014!

Cassie Kottke, BA, ACSM, is a coach and certified ChiRunning instructor at Stride MultiSport in Appleton. Stride MultiSport offers endurance sports coaching, group classes, nutrition counseling and private personal training in your home or at the studio. New clients receive 50 percent off their first private session. For more information, call 920-428-4255, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

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