• Dr. Elaine Screaton DC

Sticking to your New Year's Exercise Goals

Well 2019 is officially here! Some of you might have set a goal to get in better shape, to lose 20lbs, to be able to deadlift 50lbs more than your current max etc. It can be easy to make those goals, but how can you actually stick to them?

The answer may be as easy as writing it down!

A 2002 study published by the British Journal of Health Psychology makes a very convincing statement that writing down when and where you plan to exercise is enough to encourage almost all of us to stick to that plan! Simply having the desire to get to the gym isn't enough, we need to PLAN how we are going to do it, otherwise we just end up too busy!

For example, completing the following statement led to 91% (!!!!!!!) of study participants to actually stick to their plan and work out on the day and time they said they would!

"During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on (day or days)____________ at (time of day)_____________ at/or in (place)______________"

For example, my completed statement would read:

"During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 7am at Trec Fit Lab."

For those that simply said they would go to the gym, but didn't provide any further detail only 35% of those participants succeeded in getting to the gym.

In other words, having a goal is an excellent stepping stone, but having a plan to actually implement it will lead to the results you are looking for.

This strategy not only applies to exercise, but can be used for any other goal you may have! Writing down HOW and WHERE you will work on these goals seems to be the key to success!

Dr. Elaine Screaton (DC, BSc) is a NW Calgary Chiropractor currently practicing at Synergea Family Health Centre in Calgary, AB.


Milne, Sarah, Sheina Orbell, and Paschal Sheeran. "Combining motivational and volitional interventions to promote exercise participation: Protection motivation theory and implementation intentions." British journal of health psychology 7.2 (2002): 163-184.


© 2019 Dr Elaine Screaton

Tel: 403-247-2947

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