New Years Resolutions and the Best Workouts of 2013


It’s another year, and you know what that means: it’s time to set your New Year’s resolutions for 2014.

Yet for the most part, New Years resolutions suck. That’s why last year, I wrote a post about why not to make New Year’s resolutions.

And since most people don’t take their resolutions seriously enough, they end up being nothing more than empty promises to themselves. In fact, if this is your approach, you’re better off skipping the resolutions altogether since all they’re going to do is make you feel depressed when you inevitably fail to meet your goals.

But if you do them right, New Years resolutions can be useful—just like well thought out goals are. Here’s how to actually make New Year’s resolutions that work:

Key elements of good New Year’s resolutions

Here are a few key points to keep in mind when making your New Year’s resolutions this year:

They’re measurable. Making a resolution measurable ensures you’ll know when you’ve been successful.

For example, making it a goal to do your first pull up, reach a certain body fat percentage or hold a freestanding handstand for 10 seconds are all very measurable goals.

They’re realistic. I’m not saying you shouldn’t aim for the sky, but you should at least know what you’re getting into when you decide to make something a resolution.

For instance, last year I made a resolution to be able to do a freestanding handstand push up by the end of the year. This was not a realistic goal (and as a result, I didn’t meet it) for a few main reasons:

A. At the time, I couldn’t even hold a freestanding handstand for more than a second. I should have started with the goal to master these first.
B. When I made the resolution, I didn’t fully realize that a freestanding handstand push up is usually something that takes years of practice to work up to—not less than a year with less-than-stellar shoulders and no previous gymnast experience.
C. I didn’t properly plan out the time I would need to dedicate to handstand training, so I essentially set myself up for failure.

So learn from my mistakes, and make your resolutions realistic this time around.

The resolutions come from you (not someone else). Unsurprisingly, the New Years resolutions most likely to succeed are the ones that mean something to you personally and that you’re passionate about—not ones someone else says you should do.

I.e., making a resolution to do a stand to stand bridge because it’s something you’ve always thought was really cool and wanted to be able to do is going to be a lot more motivating than deciding to lose 10 pounds because your spouse/doctor/parent told you to. It’s much better if it comes from within.

They’re used sparingly. The less resolutions you make, the better. Building new habits is hard, and the more things you set out to accomplish, the less likely you’ll actually do any of them. Stick to a few, meaningful things and you’ll be much more likely to meet your goals.

My personal 2014 resolutions

Like you, I have my own goals I’d like to accomplish this year. In the past, my goals have often been too unrealistic or immeasurable, so this year I’m going to do my best to follow my own advice and make resolutions that allow me to maximize my full potential—but are still realistic enough that I actually have a shot at accomplishing them.

Here are my personal resolutions for 2014:

To be able to do a freestanding half handstand push up. My shoulders are a real sticking point for me, and since I have yet to be able to do a full handstand push up against a wall, I don’t think it’s realistic at this point to do a full one freestanding. But I do think that after a year of training handstands pretty extensively, a freestanding half handstand push up is within my reach in 2014.

To do a (strict) muscle up. I’ve been really working on getting stronger in my pull ups and dips, so I’m pretty sure by the year’s end a strict muscle up will be within my reach. I’ll make sure and film my failures and successes in case you want to follow along and try and do one too.

To do 10 pistols in a row per leg. I can do maybe one on my left leg right now, and 2-4 on my right. I think this is definitely doable as long as I keep working at it.

To write a book. This is a scary one to commit to, but it’s pretty exciting. I’ll let you know more about the details once I can.

Let’s keep each other in check!

How about you? What are your biggest goals for 2014?

I’d love to hear them and help support you in your journey, whether it’s fitness-related or not.

If you’re up for it, leave your own resolutions in the comments below or send me a personal email at [email protected] with the subject 2014 resolutions if you’d prefer to keep them private.

I’m going to make a point of checking in quarterly with you guys to see how you’re doing and to let you know how my own resolutions are going. Let’s do this, guys!

The best workouts of 2013

Here are 10 of my favorite workouts that we did in 2013. Keep this list handy if you ever need an ass kicking workout to do, and don’t forget to write down your reps/time/number of rounds so you can see how much progress you’re making!

200 Rep Reckless Challenge Workout
Burpee Blaster Workout
100 Burpees Challenge Workout
Insane Tabata Challenge Workout
Legs on Fire Workout
Get Buff in a Hurry Challenge Workout
Conquer Your Fears Challenge Workout
Extreme No Equipment HIIT Workout
Box Jumps From Hell Workout
Kettlebell Power AMRAP Challenge Workout

Happy working out and have a very happy New Year, athletes!

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7 thoughts on “New Years Resolutions and the Best Workouts of 2013”

  1. Goal #1 2014 is to loose this last 10 pounds in my belly. I’ve been trying and trying but it just does not want to go away. I will be incorporating more HiiT routines into my daily work outs so I feel it is a reasonable possibility.

    Goal #2 is to work harder on my chest. For some reason it seems like I had to go down with weights and/or reps when working on my chest the last few weeks. I’m not happy about that!

    Being able to do a muscle up would be awesome, but I have to get my pull-ups better first. I do three sets of five on my shoulder and back day but the last few reps are pretty weak. So for Goal #3, I would like to do three sets of five pull-ups with perfect form. (of course it will be easier when I accomplish Goal #1 above)

    That’s a good start, as I accomplish goals and the year goes on, I will add new ones…

    Happy New Year!!!!!

    • Those are awesome goals, Bill. I do think HIIT will help you lose those last 10 pounds, as long as you’re focusing on eating healthy as well. As for your chest and pull ups, those are very, very doable. Work hard and you’ll get there before you know it!

  2. 1. 10 second handstand in middle of the room.
    2. 10 pull ups from a dead hang.
    3. Double unders-ugh- I need some kind of tutorial on those.
    4. bridge walk down and walk up *ouch*

    PS A few workouts you missed that I love: Puke-worthy, Strong and Sexy Challenge, and Be Awesome.

    A couple goals I met with your help: 2 pullups from a dead hang, I now love tuck jumps, and handstands using parellettes. Yey!

  3. Here’s my New Years resolutions:

    Improve my heart- and artery health.
    There for I will start eating lean and clean.
    And I will do a minimum of 3 12 minute work outs every day.
    Hopefully I will get so motivated that I want to do more.
    Is there any place on this website where I can go and record my progress?
    Thanks and Happy New Year!!

  4. I’ve just started getting back into working out consistently after having our first child in September. Instead of the usually, “lose 15 pounds” I figure these will help get me there with something more concrete to focus on!

    1. 1 strict pull up
    2. Deadlift 150. I’m at 105 right now
    3. 5 handstand push ups against a wall

  5. Hi..your letter made me rethink of the’s a real motivater . these are my new year goals
    1. One muscle up
    2.2BW squat
    3.2.5 deadlift
    4. 60 lg snatch
    5. Free handstand and a free HSPU

    Once again i m really greatful i found a like minded site.


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