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Use These Tips for Resolution Success!
December 16, 2014

Before getting into this month's newsletter, I would like to take the time to thank you for reading the Straightforward Fitness Flash and wish you the happiest and healthiest of Holidays! May your Christmas be filled with love and joy and your new year bring you peace and happiness.

Making Resolutions to Keep Your Resolutions

Go ahead, admit it. You’ve probably made a New Year’s resolution at one time or another to begin working out regularly, or to start eating better, or to quit smoking or drinking, or something along those lines. Most of us have at least once, and unfortunately some of us do it yearly. Perhaps more importantly, the majority of these well-intentioned resolutions usually bite the dust hard within a month or two of being made. Why is that? Experts say there are five main reasons why they fail.

Reason #1 is not setting smart goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

Reason #2 is doing what you think you should do instead of what you will enjoy. What works for one person may not work for you. Find an activity that you enjoy and go with that and you’ll be much more likely to adhere to it.

Reason #3 is taking on too much, too fast. Ambition and motivation are wonderful but it is easy to go overboard and burn yourself out very quickly by biting off more than you can realistically chew. Develop the exercise habit first by starting out with 2-3 strength training sessions a week and 3-5 cardio sessions a week. After the first few weeks you can gradually increase the frequency, duration, and intensity safely.

Reason #4 is having an all or nothing approach versus a day by day approach. Of course, we all want to lose weight and be fit by tomorrow, but it took time to get out of shape and it will take time to get into shape as well. Fitness is a continuum, a lifestyle, not a plan you can implement and then quit one day and expect to remain fit. You might as well relax and take it one day at a time and understand that you are in this for the long haul.

While it’s good to create a workout schedule, don’t despair if life gets in the way and causes you to miss a scheduled exercise session. And remember, a little exercise is better than none at all, so try to do something everyday towards your goal even if you don’t have time for a full-blown workout. For instance three, 10-minute bouts of walking are nearly as beneficial as a 30-minute session. The cumulative effects of exercise are much better than no exercise at all.

Reason #5 is a negative attitude. I can’t stress this enough: you get out of life what you put into it, and if you go into a fitness plan with a negative attitude you are doomed to fail from the start. You must think positive and get your head in the game from the getgo!

Now, go on and make that New Year’s resolution; however, this year why not invest in your long and healthy future by keeping them? Here are a few tips to help you stay on track:

1) Be realistic. Make your goal attainable. For example, losing 50 pounds in a month is unrealistic. On the other hand, “I’d like to lose some weight,” isn’t quite specific enough. Perhaps, “I’d like to lose 15 pounds in 2 months,” is a SMART resolution.

2) Make a plan. Don’t just say you are going to be healthier; outline a plan for implementing your new fitness lifestyle.

3) Talk about it and be positive. Surround yourself with positive people. Get a workout partner if it helps.

4) Reward yourself. You might try celebrating your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution.

5) Track your progress. Keep track of small successes along the way to your bigger goals.

6) Keep a food diary. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, until you try this you just can’t believe how helpful it is with your weight loss efforts. It’s worth the trouble if it lends to your success, right? So just do it!

7) Be kind and patient with yourself. If you fall off the wagon—and you will from time to time—just pick yourself back up and get back on.

8) Stick to it one day at a time until it becomes a habit. Experts say this takes about 21 days and it takes about 6 months for it to become part of your personality. Whatever you do, don’t quit!


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Let me just say that the best advertisement possible is word of mouth and your support for the hard work I've put into my books is much needed and appreciated. That's why I would so appreciate it if you good folks would take the time after purchasing and reading my books, to submit a testimonial from the place it was purchased. It only takes a second and it will help support my work more than you could know.

For more tips and info that can help you get better results from your fitness plan, be sure and check out my latest eBook So You Joined a Gym...Now What? Part II Essential Workout Tips & Secrets for Beginners: How to Exercise & Train Smart." The information in this book will kick your workouts into overdrive, no matter what your level of fitness. Because it matters HOW YOU WORKOUT! This book will show you how. Go to Smashwords for any other format that isn't covered at Amazon.

This is the part of the newsletter where I picture an exercise and give explicit instructions on its proper execution.

This month's featured exercise is the Swiss Ball Side Raise. It's very tricky and takes lots of practice, but the payoff is awesome! You can feel this move right where it counts: the waistline! It completely targets the abdomen and oblique muscles.

Swiss Ball Side Raises
Primary Muscle Group Worked:
Oblique muscles. (Side abs)

To see a video of this exercise click here.

Preparation: Kneel sideways to the wall about a foot away from the wall with an exercise ball at your side as shown. Bend leg closest to the ball at a 90 degree angle and position your body sideways across the ball with hands just below ears. Nearly straighten the other leg and lodge it against the wall for balance.

Execution: Exhale as you bend at the torso up towards the wall as far as you can and pause and return to the straight torso position. Repeat for the desired amount of reps.

TIP: Once you find the sweet spot, stay on that side until you've done all your sets before swithing positions for the other side.

HEREIN LIES THE CHALLENGE: The hard part about this is finding the right position. It's easy to get the ball too far under the armpit or too far under the hip. Either of those makes doing the exercise feel awkward and difficult. However, find the right spot and you just know it! It really hits the waistline like no other! This is tricky, so focus and remember practice makes perfect.

Okay, peeps! You know I usually like to make you think, cry, or laugh with these vids, right? Staying in holiday theme, here is one of my favorite Christmas song videos. Enjoy and have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! :) Click here to view.

Be sure and check out my blog site! Just click here. to head on over and give it a read! I will be posting a new blog in the next few weeks.

Please sign up for my mailing list and subscribe to my blog so that you can be informed when I post a new blog. I am a believer in less is more so don't worry about being inundated with posts telling you every time I had a snack or a new thought. On the other hand, I hope you find the wait between posts worthwhile as I plan to speak directly from my "writing" soul and I look greatly forward to it.

Say! Did you know that you can follow me on Facebook? Well, you can! Jump on over to and "like" my page, please. I post a fitness tip most days. Feel free to leave comments and check in often. Thanks ever so much! If you have read any of my books you can also go to my new facebook page at and drum up a conversation with other readers or me or whomever. It's brand new so don't let the crickets scare you. Somebody has to get this party started, right?

Thanks so much for subscribing to this newsletter and for reading it and for your support. Our relationship is reciprocal as I live and learn from all that happens in my life, just as you live and learn through yours. We are truly in this together, and I empathize with your challenges as I do my own. I promise to hang in there and learn and grow along with you, and I hope that sharing through my writing maybe helps you a smidge. If it does, that is my payback. It is why I continue to do what I do.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please feel free to pay it forward to anyone you think would like it too. That is the best compliment you could ever pay me, and I appreciate it very, very much.

And don't forget to tell everybody about and Now What? Fitness Blog where they can get all the fitness info their heart desires and sign up for this newsletter while they are there.

From my heart to your health,

Linda Burke, CPT

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