The holiday season is known for decadent sweets, huge feasts, and generous gifts. It’s also one of the hardest times of the year to focus on health and fitness. Unhealthy distractions are everywhere and holiday stress can become overwhelming during the “most joyous time of the year.” That’s why when thinking about what gifts to give, the best idea may just be the gift of a healthier you. New Year’s resolution season is right around the corner and there couldn’t be a better time to start focusing on yourself and building a healthier, more fit you. Here are some suggestions that will get the ball rolling when planning your fitness inspired New Year’s resolution.

Set specific and attainable goals – Weight loss goals are very typical when it comes to New Year Resolutions, but weight loss isn’t the only fitness goal you can set for yourself. Sign-up and start preparing for a race you’ve always wanted to participate in, train for and run your fastest 5k time, climb the rope in the Ridge-X room, perform a bodyweight pull-up. These are just a few examples of specific and attainable goals that are personalized for you. When you decide what your goal will be, WRITE IT DOWN and place it in locations you’ll see throughout the day. These constant reminders will keep your goal in the back of your mind and keep you focused on achieving the fitness results you want.

If weight loss is your goal, it’s important to remember that everyone is different and that people will lose weight at different rates. As a general rule though, a healthy and sustainable rate for weight loss is about 1-2lbs per week. For example, if your resolution is to lose 20lbs, give yourself 10-20 weeks instead of 2-4 weeks to achieve the results. This will ensure that you can safely reach your weight loss goal without putting your body, mind, and spirit through the grinder. This principle goes for whatever goal you set for yourself. Just make sure you give yourself a realistic period of time to reach your fitness goal.

Set a realistic dietary plan – Use websites like,, or to learn more about healthy eating habits and to track your daily diet. These resources can be invaluable in determining how many calories, carbs, fats, and proteins your body needs while you’re improving your fitness. Each individual will have different dietary requirements, but as a general rule these resources will provide all the information you need to get your fitness goal started.

Some tricks for sticking to your new healthy eating habits are to make all of your meals for the week on Sunday or prepare your meals and healthy snacks the night before a busy day so you aren’t rushed in the morning. Running low on time? Grab a Shakeology meal replacement shake on your way out of the Ridge. They not only provide all the protein you’ll need to help post-workout recovery, they’re packed full of nutrients that boost mood and energy to keep your body running at maximum capacity. These simple tricks make it easier for you to stay on track with your dietary plan and to find fitness success.

Start a personalized training program – Whether you’re a seasoned vet in the gym or completely new to the health club scene, a great starting point for any fitness resolution is to schedule a consultation or appointment with a certified personal trainer. This could be a one-time thing or the start of a long term commitment that you’ll continue for weeks, months, or years to come. The Ridge personal trainers are knowledgeable about all facets of the fitness world and provide accountability, motivation, support, and new perspectives on health, nutrition, and fitness that you may not have considered before. Along with this, personal trainers can provide personalized workout routines that focus on proper technique, injury prevention, and workout efficiency to maximize your results and keep you healthy.

Whatever your fitness inspired New Year resolution, following these tips will give you a head-start and provide a solid foundation for building a healthier you. Remember that reaching your resolution goal isn’t the end, but is just the beginning of a new you and a fit lifestyle that you will benefit from the rest of your life.

jake  About the Author
Jake Bushnell has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and
is an ACSM Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.