Healthe-Matters Logo

Essential health information from local experts

Strengthen Your Resolve

Strengthen Your Resolve

7 Tips for New Year’s Resolution Success

Like confetti after a ticker-tape parade, discarded New Years Resolutions litter the calendar in the weeks following January 1. Two of the most common? Losing weight and getting in shape. As a Certified Personal Trainer at HealthFit, Sarasota Memorial’s award-winning medically integrated fitness center, Blanton Rowan has seen her share of both successes and surrenders.

Healthe-Matters talked to Rowan about the little things that make a big difference when making a New Years Resolution you can keep.


Believe it or not, it is possible to get overeager when it comes to self-improvement. And like a kid whose eyes are bigger than their stomach, we take on more than we can handle. But when it comes to making resolutions for the new year, it’s important to stay realistic and set achievable goals.

“Many times, we set resolutions that are unattainable and they don't really serve us,” Rowan says. As a result, it’s easy to become discouraged and defeated, which leads many to give up on their goals entirely. Better to set smaller, more modest goals that are achievable and give you the motivation to keep going than lofty goals that feel impossible and bring you down. “Start with those attainable goals,” says Rowan. “Start checking them off.”

And there’s no rule saying you can’t set new goals once you hit the old ones.


Oftentimes, people have trouble following their new years resolutions because they haven’t actually planned them out. They have a destination in mind, but no notion of the path to get there. And when they run into obstacles, they find themselves lost. “Start planning,” says Rowan. “Make a plan and make it attainable.”

Whether the goal is hitting the gym more regularly, eating better or calling old friends more often, identify the obstacles that have stopped you in the past and then make a plan to overcome them. This can be building routines that reinforce your goal, identifying triggers and weaknesses that need to be avoided, or maybe even modifying your goal to something more attainable.


For the longest time, one’s weight seemed almost like a shorthand for their health, an objective number that could generally tell us all how we’re doing as long as we follow certain rules., i.e. try to keep the number above this but below this and, whatever you do, don’t gain weight after college. But to Rowan, the number on the scale means very little.

“If you are exercising, eating well, and hydrating—which is one of the most important things you can do—and you feel good, that is way more important than a scale,” she says. “So for people that get hung up on a scale, I encourage them to ditch it and just see where their weight loss journey, their health journey, their exercise journey goes.”


It seems that every year some new fad diet or exercise has cracked the code to weight-loss/muscle-gain success. And as a professional trainer, Rowan has seen more than her fair share of false promises. “Take everything with a grain of salt,” she says. “I’ve seen a lot of fads come and go. If they worked, they’d all still be around and we’d all be doing them.”

While many fad diets can lead to short-term success, they’re often not designed for long-term results. “Someone will lose 50 pounds and, literally three months later, they've gained back 75,” Rowan says. “That's the problem with fad diets and why I’m very wary of anything that’s not tried and true.” So instead of looking for the hot new thing that promises easy or extravagant results, keep conventional wisdom in mind and pick a sustainable diet that actually works for you long-term.

“And any diet works if you stick to it,” Rowan says.


The sky’s the limit but slow and steady wins the race. You don’t need to be running five miles a day or lifting in the gym every morning in order to see results. And you definitely don’t need to be starving yourself.

“The people who have been the most successful are the people who are moderate,” says Rowan. They’re not necessarily in the gym every day or on some intense diet, but they are consistent in their moderate efforts, which add up over time. Moderate goals are easier to attain and make routine, becoming the building blocks of an all-around healthier lifestyle, even if you still have “cheat days” or days off. So go ahead and have family pizza night on Fridays, just don’t make every night pizza night.

“Being moderate is the tried and true path for good health,” Rowan says. “Our bodies were not meant to live in extremes, so moderate behavior will lead to success. You just have to figure out what that looks like for you.”


Whatever the goal, building a routine that helps you meet that goal can be essential to staying on track and consistent in your efforts. And given enough time, healthy routines can even become healthy habits that you don’t even have to think about anymore.

“Routines create consistency, and consistency is where we are successful with our health,” says Rowan. “Because consistent behavior leads to moderate behavior and that leads to healthy choices.” So when planning how to achieve your goals, find a way to build a routine around them or include them in an existing routine. You’ll often find that just having a routine helps push you to carve out the time needed and creates a feeling of accountability.


Throughout the course of building better habits and making changes to your lifestyle, there will be stumbles. There will be mistakes and slip-ups. That’s life. Don’t beat yourself up over it and don’t give up.

“Just know that you’re human and that life happens,” Rowan says. “It’s going to be ok, if you just get back on that proverbial horse and try again.”SMH Copywriter, Phil Lederer

Written by Sarasota Memorial copywriter Philip Lederer, MA, who crafts a variety of external communications for the healthcare system. SMH’s in-house wordsmith, Lederer earned his Master’s degree in Public Administration and Political Philosophy from Morehead State University, KY, and needs to hit the gym.

Posted: Jan 2, 2024,
Comments: 0,