Take Back Your New Year Resolution!

We all begin the year with the best of intentions. But usually, by the 3rd week of the year, most gyms nationwide become less and less crowded. March is nearly approaching, and ask yourself, where are you now with your fitness goals? If you’re like the majority of the people out there, chances are, you need some help to get you to start with this new healthy habit. Steering towards your goals is all about doing small things daily, which compounded tenfold at the end; it is all about consistency.

How to stay consistent with your new health regimen?

I.  Accountability is EVERYTHING
Not only we are our own worst critic, but we tend to be very lousy in keeping promises to ourselves. But when there is someone, or few people out there, relying on us to complete a task, we tend to see it through. That’s the power of a team.

Old crew of Santa Monica Muscle Beach workout with P90X Tony Horton. Many muscle-ups are represented in this picture

For the longest time, I was trying to break my PR in deadlift and was stuck in the mid 300’s lbs. One day, we had a small friendly Field Day at a local private gym. Somehow with 5 guys cheering and shouting out my name, I was able to hit 1RM at 400 lbs!

Meanwhile, Beachbody did a survey and found that close to 3/4 of people who bought P90X DVD, never completed the program, but the number changed to as low as 1/10 or so when those people work closely with their coach or in any type of online group setting. (Apologies for not able to find the true data; just typing based on my memory).

It is obvious that you’re more likely to succeed when you’re not working alone. Find a friend to go to the gym with you. Or have someone to join you in your garage gym, basement, living room, etc to do your aerobic video. Better yet, you can work with me and join my next Fit Challenge!

II.  Make it A Routine
It’s been said that it takes about 21 days to create a habit.  That is why it becomes our 2nd nature to brush our teeth before bedtime – we could do this half asleep. We don’t think about it – we just do it. Same can be done with your workout regimen.

Set aside a time each day for you to work on your health goals, preferably same time. When I was a scrawny 105 lbs soaking wet newbie, I made an effort to hit the gym at 6 am daily, right when the campus gym opened up. Not to mention that it was less intimidating since there were usually ONLY 3-4 guys working out at that time. Now, over a decade later, I still hit the gym first thing when I wake up. It has become a 2nd nature to me as well, and I’m less likely to make an excuse later on since I don’t have to cancel gym for a business meeting or helping friend moving, date night, etc.

III.  Meal prepping is THE way

My meals for the next 5 days. And the cookie dough is part of it 😉

What usually happen when you go grocery shopping while hungry? I don’t know about you, but that usually ended up with my having tons of sugary desserts in my cart!


When there’s no proper food available, it is easier to succumb to your cravings and go for the bad goodies. And if you’re anything like me, you rather skip meals and keep on working on your project than ‘wasting’ 20-30 min to make your lunch. Meal prepping not only ensure that you’re eating well in the right portions but also will make sure that you eat!

All you need is to spend 2-3 hours on the weekend to prep your meals. Get everything ready as each meal has to be in its own container (ie Monday’s lunch is 1 container). Don’t make the rookie mistake of making a big pot of food, say beef stew, and expecting yourself to scoop the food when it’s time to eat each day; because you won’t. You have to make it simple stupid!

Does this mean that all you eat daily is plain chicken breast with asparagus? Not at all. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland and boring. With the right healthy recipes, you can make it work, with the help of The Portion Fix Eating Plan. Heck, you can even have spaghetti with meat sauce in your diet (I know I do!)

IV.  Know your Point A and Point B

 The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

Consider a group of soldiers that were dropped off via helicopter in the middle of the desert. Their mission is to reach their base camp before the end of the day – that would be their Point B. They have a map with the location of the camp, and a compass (old school, no fancy GPS here). Sounds easy enough right?

Not really.

First, they need to know where they are, which is Point A. Else, they will not know which direction to take. Even so, they will need to constantly check their position on the map, because a degree off, could lead to few miles or hundreds of miles off!

Everyone who set a health resolution, usually know where they want to be. Success is a math problem. They want to go to Point B ASAP! The issue is, sure, they knew about Point B. Point A, where they are right now, was sometimes a deep mystery. Just like in the soldiers’ mission, you need to know where you are right now with your fitness level and to see if your Point B is attainable.

Most of the time, people tend to over aim and have unrealistic Point B goal. What usually happen is, they do not see results fast enough, and give up.

What you need to do – figure out where you are right now. Take your body measurements, bf%, and your ‘before’ photo. Then, have a clear idea of Point B. Consult others for their feedback (or heck, you can ask me!) to see if your goal is even realistic and attainable. If you’re a guy in your mid 20’s with minimal experience in lifting weights, it is not realistic to compete and win in a men’s physique show within 3 months, if you’re starting at 20% bodyfat. But to drop down 7-10% body fat while gaining muscle mass, in that time frame, is do-able.

Just like the soldiers who have to constantly check their position with a compass, you should do the same as well with your progress. Keep track of your weekly or bi-weekly measurements, and compare worksheets so that you know you’re on the right path to Point B. Adjust your goal if necessary.

V.  Love Thyself
It is easy for us to get over excited when we first set our goals. We tend to overdo almost everything, thinking that by doing more, everything will come in place much faster. It could be that we cut out sugar completely and be on an extremely low carb diet, or that we workout 2x in a day, etc. All those actions are not sustainable and 2 things usually happen: you either get injuries OR/AND you lost motivation because you’re not getting the results like those on TV.

Be gentle to yourself. That’s why it’s important to know your Point A, so you know where to start. Do not compare yourself to others because everyone has different body types and metabolic rate. Be grateful for whatever the outcome is; even the fact that you manage to workout consistently that week despite not seeing any physical changes, is already a major accomplishment! When you’re hopeful and positive, then good things will come to you.

Here’s to the vest version of yourself this year!


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