How To Have A Successful Fresh Start For The New Year

There’s no better time than the new year to give yourself a fresh start with exercise and healthy nutrition. (Well, LAST new years would have been better I guess, but here we are 🙂 )

If you’re ready to launch yourself into better fitness and healthier eating, here are some tips to help you succeed:

1) Stay Away From All-Or-Nothing!

I want to help you avoid a make-or-break mindset at this time of year:

It has to do with “either/or” thinking… the dreaded ALL OR NOTHING, black-and-white mindset that looks like this:

Either you’re 100% on track with your nutrition and exercise, or you’re completely off.

If you’ve ever said, “I’ll start after New Years,” or “I’ll start on Monday,” you were probably caught in this kind of thinking.

Another sign that you may be in an “either/or” mindset:

If you eat something “off your diet”, you completely blow it the rest of the day (instead of making a better decision next time).

Sound at all familiar?

This mindset is sneaky because when you’re “ON” or “GOOD” … you are all-in and feel like you’re making amazing progress.

But the problem is…

100% “on track” is pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to maintain over the long run.

One little slip-up can make you feel like a failure and want to give up – which can mean undoing ALL of the progress you made.

But there IS good news.

There’s an antidote — a happy medium that’s built on moderation:


Each decision is a one-off and doesn’t affect the next decision.

For example, if your New Years resolution is to eat less sugar, that could mean:

Occasionally saying “yes” to a dessert you love without feeling guilty

And eating a healthy lunch every day.

You can eat dessert AND lose weight for new years? Whaaaa??

Make each choice on a case-by-case basis.

Want some wine with dinner? Hell yeah.

Want dessert? No thanks, I’ve had enough to eat for now.


If you quit the all-or-nothing thinking, and pick up the antidote of one-at-a-time thinking, you can enjoy your favorites here and there without completely train-wrecking your progress.

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2) Don’t Try To Tackle Too Much At Once

Trying to change too many things at once is unsustainable. If your goal is to totally give up sugar, clean up your eating at every meal and snack, and start exercising 5 days per week, you’ve given yourself a lifestyle checklist that very few mere mortals can manage all at once.

Pick one thing to improve. Just one. Something simple like:

  • Reducing your junk food intake to two treats per week.
  • Drinking water instead of soda or energy drinks.
  • Putting two 30-minute exercise sessions on your calendar each week.

These are all totally doable no matter how busy you are. Once you have mastered one change, you can add another improvement.

THAT is how you make long-term progress — one change at a time.

Don’t wreck your intentions with too many challenges.

3) Take Care Of The Most Important Things First

Before you dive into calorie counting or macro-tweaking — or an unsustainable, oppressive diet like keto — get the foundations in place first:

  • Real food instead of processed food
  • Basic exercise (ideally with your personal trainer)
  • Vegetables as primary carbs
  • Water as primary beverage
  • Protein + Plant every time you eat
  • Reasonable portions
  • Dealing with emotional eating triggers

Those are the things that will give you the most progress for the least effort.


Do nothing until you’ve “got it all figured out.”
Make no changes until you devise (or buy) The Perfect Plan that has the exact calories, carbs, sugar, fat, and fairy dust that you need to lose weight.

Waiting while you seek out something complicated (and unsustainable) is a recipe for NOTHING HAPPENING.

Do the simple stuff, it works.

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And if you want our help making the simple stuff happen, drop us a note to talk about fitness training and nutrition coaching. We have helped literally thousands of people succeed. You can be next!



4) Act On What You Know

Knowing what to do and not doing it gives you the same results as not knowing what to do.

It doesn’t matter what you KNOW. It matters what you DO.

Your red flag for knowing but not doing is the word SHOULD.

I should get a handle on my stress eating.

I should exercise more.

I should eat less junk food.


But until we take action on any one of them…


Hey, I get it, I’m guilty of it too!

I should get my newest book finished.

I should stretch more so my hips aren’t so stiff.

But since I haven’t DONE anything about either of those things, my book isn’t done and my hips are stiff.


One of the benefits of working with a personal trainer or a nutrition coach is that you’re sure to actually DO something!

We all get overwhelmed and paralyzed when we think about the 15 things we SHOULD do.

The key to progress is actually DOING something. That’s what we’re here for — to help motivate you and hold you accountable to all the things you know you should do…but never get around to.

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Let’s go! Just send us a message and I’ll get back to you personally so we can talk about where you are on your health and fitness journey, and what makes sense for you to move forward and become your best self.

Your friend and Coach,
Dan DeFigio
Owner and Director, Basics and Beyond fitness & nutrition
Amazon bestselling author