It’s the start of a new year. New beginnings. We start to think about leaving old habits behind and starting new ones.

For many, physical fitness is top of mind. If you are like me, you started eating Halloween candy around Oct 20th and haven’t stopped snacking on sweets since. Parties, baking, there are so many temptations over the Christmas season.

And now that winter vacation is coming up in a few weeks. Scramble time!

My gym is packed with “resolutioners” this time of year, but unfortunately for them (but fortunately for the gym “regulars”), the resolution fad will fade away in a few short weeks. Most people will be back to their old habits.

Why is that?

I won’t mince words. It is because they are there for the WRONG reasons. It is not because they want, and I mean REALLY want, to get in better shape. If they did want that, then they would stick around past the early part of February. It is most likely because they are living a life of guilt. Feeling bad for punishing their bodies with goodies and drinks over the previous weeks, their clothes not fitting the way they used to.

And I am not judging. I’m in the same boat. I started back at the gym in early December after having run my first half marathon in September. The training for that run burned me out both physically and mentally. I lost my desire and let bad habits creep back in.

What does it take to really take control of our lives and see our goals met? There are 7 areas to focus:


There is nothing more important than your health. Without your health, you have NOTHING. If you are laid out in the hospital, you can’t take care of your kids, you likely can’t earn a living, and you certainly can’t go to the gym.


Most people think that education ends when you leave school and that you know (almost) everything you need to know to have a successful career. The truth is, the end of formal schooling is just the beginning of your learning journey. On average, most millionaires read 1 non-fiction book per month? How many non-fiction books do you read per year? Is it time to set a goal and start?


If you are like most people, you spend more of your waking hours at work, getting ready for work, or commuting to work, than you do the rest of your hours combined. Yet there are so many people that see their job as a means to an end (work 5, off 2, 4 weeks paid vacation), and they fail to set career goals that keep them inspired each and every day. Maybe your career goals are not in alignment with your current employer. What do you want out of your career? It is in your hands to decide.


How are your relationships with your friends? Your co-workers? Jim Rohn said “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Who are the five people you spend the most time with? Do they have the same goals and ambitions as you?


Yes, financial goals – you didn’t think I was going to miss this, did you? Who doesn’t think about money several times per day? What do you tell yourself about money? Do you wish you had more? Do you wish you were debt free? Do you wonder how you manage to spend all of the money you make? If you are not achieving at your financial goals, why is that? What can you do to start to change?


How are the relationships that you have with your family, your spouse, your kids, your parents, siblings, and your extended family? Are you close? Do you scrap and nit-pick at each other? If there was one person in your family that you could have a better relationship with, start there. Start to communicate with them. Be vulnerable, even if they aren’t ready to. Hard work and persistence to improve this single relationship will pay dividends later with the relationship you have with other family members.


This doesn’t have to mean spiritual in the religious sense. It is really about your state of mind. Do you find yourself to be overly negative? Are you stressed? Have you tried praying, meditating, or talking to a spiritual leader? You might be surprised how quickly your state of mind can change.

Why seven? Why are all of these important? Zig Ziglar called these the wheel of life. These are like the seven spokes of a wheel. If a spoke breaks, you are going to start to limp along. Break another spoke, and soon the tire starts to go flat.

Start by finding your weak spot, your broken spoke, and start to work on that. Set SMART goals and go after them. Once you are on your way, go to your second weakest spoke. Rinse and repeat.

Soon, you are going to be creating new habits. The only way to create new habits is to work on your broken spokes every day. EVERY DAY. Don’t take a day off, even if it hurts. If physical fitness is at the top of your list and you can’t make it to the gym, spend five minutes doing jumping jacks and push-ups. Do something.

You will be challenged, but stick with it and you will change your life. Success in your life doesn’t happen by accident. There is no such thing as an “overnight success”.