Confessions From A Personal Trainer: You Don’t Need a Resolution, You Need A Reason

True Confession Tuesday:

Where every Tuesday: I confess.


Confession: I cringe when you tell me that your goal is to lose weight.


My heart breaks a little inside. I get sad. I get mad. I get frustrated. Why?? A goal of losing weight is very respectable and could be meaningful. But too often I see clients, friends, and family come up with these goals because we tend to think we “have to” or society tells us it’s the New Year so obviously we should care only about losing weight and the number on the scale.

Let me tell you a quick story. I have been working with a client for almost a year. We never set a weight loss goal. We had goals to be stronger, more balanced, more fit but we never spoke about pounds. We also didn’t weigh.

Here are some of the changes I have seen in this client: massive improvements in strength and movement patterns, confidence at the gym, increase in frequency of work outs, change in body shape and more.

She recently told a friend she had been working with a trainer for almost a year and the question he asked her immediately was “How much weight have you lost?” When I heard that my insides started to boil.

Why is that the first and usually only question that is ever asked?? WHY?

And why year after year, do we set resolutions and goals of weight loss?

A couple days later a woman said “I’m ready to start working with you, I need to lose 10 lbs by June.” And then she gave me a blank stare because I didn’t react. I was waiting for her to tell me why. She’s going on a trip. Eventually she kept talking and said “And get stronger.” Phew at least we ended on a good note.

I have realized that I am more and more frustrated and sad each time someone leads with a weight loss number goal. Part of it is because I have found over the last 10 years that when you lead with a number only goal, 99% of people never make it and then end up feeling like a failure.

Let me ask you a few questions that I want you to ask yourself if you have a pounds goal.


  • Why? Actually WHY? Why do you want to lose those pounds?
  • How will your life be different?
  • What will you gain from losing those pounds?
  • What will happen if you don’t lose those pounds?
  • What other goals could you have that aren’t related to pounds?

I can gain 3-5 pounds overnight while I’m sleeping. Can you do that? I bet you can. Eat some ice cream or sugar before bed and wake up bloated. The number on the scale should not dictate your goals.

Setting weight loss, pounds on the scale goals tends to set us up for failure.

So you might ask – well then what?? I really do want to lose pounds. 

Awesome- ask yourself these questions next.


  • What exercise/movement habits or behaviors do I want to build into my life?
  • What nutrition changes can I make consistently?
  • What movements do I want to get better at?
  • In what area of my life do I want to be stronger?
  • Where can I develop new habits?
  • What help and accountability do I need?
  • What mindset shifts do I need to make in order for this to happen?

You can dramatically change your perspective on the pounds by focusing on so many other things. And celebrating little victories along the way. Your odds of success are drastically improved!

I’m working on a very cool join event with a financial planner for his clients and in talking we came up with this phrase and it sums it up:


“You don’t need a resolution, you need a reason.” 


As 2017 approaches and you start to think about improvements in your life- ask yourself about the reason and be prepared to dig deeper into the questions above.

You are more than the number on the scale and you deserve goals and reasons that aren’t directly related to that number.

Let’s go get it 2017!


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