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new year's resolution

It takes 21-days to make a habit, so let's talk about your New Year's resolution

Post by Siya Natseva. Follow Siya on her blog, PumpUp (@cinnamonontop), and Instagram/Tumblr cinnamonontop8.

With January almost out the door, is it possible to still set some reasonable health goals for yourself? My resounding ‘Yes’ may have something to do with procrastination on my side this year! Let’s briefly run through my the pitfalls of New Year Resolutions and how to prevent failure.

I’ve never been fond of New Year Resolutions. They’re among those silly rituals people pretend to follow to give themselves a sense of purpose. The mantra whereby you actually do without vowing to do is, in this author’s view, as efficient as they can get, and my choice to start anew in January has little to do with world’s obsession with New Year Resolutions.

Why do most New Year’s Resolutions fail? 

1. Lack of commitment

In startlingly many cases, people aren’t committed to resolutions that they’ve made. The group mentality of the human race – which I’m happy to say rarely affects me - dictates that when a large number of people participate in something, it’s also expected of us to partake. And so, on an annual basis we are faced with the fateful moment of promising to quit smoking, start eating healthily and chasing after that dream job. Whether we truly believe in our goal and intend to work towards it is beside the point. Come November, this momentum wanes, creating a domino effect upon resolution-makers. 

 2.     Timing

Although the start of a new year sounds like the perfect time to rectify past wrong-doings, it’s also the worst. Having the blues in January is nothing short of customary. The anti-climax of the New Year hits hard and exercise, for example, is the least of our concerns.  When January rears its head, everyone is back in the office and companies set business objectives for the next 300-something days. It’s hardly helpful the days are short and darkness veils us at four pm. With stressful schedules ahead, it’s easy to understand why January isn’t the right moment to commence a journey of any sort.

 3.     Enthusiasm wears off

These factors soon lead to reduced levels of enthusiasm. Routine settles comfortably behind the steering wheel and self-reassuring statements, the likes of ‘It’s different now’, fly out of the window. Before we know it, it’s March and we’re yet to conquer planning meals, hitting the gym, embracing a positive attitude. Either that, or come March – after a string of gym visits and healthy eating – we’re tired of it, consider we can’t keep it up and give in.

What can you do about it?

1.     It’s about the now

As much as I say no one should rush into anything without studying it, there’s no time like now. It may be January 5th, or February 2nd. If you decide to go ahead with your fitness journey – or return to your programme after a setback - you should. Often, the longer you rationalise and analyse, the more convinced you become it’s unsustainable. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t put your trainers on and run in the park for 20 odd minutes. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do a few sets of core exercise in the comfort of your home. Right now. Not tomorrow. Not next week or next month. Now.  

 2.     Leave the stress behind

If you’re like me, once you set yourself a task, you have to see it through at any cost. This zealous outlook frequently causes me unhealthy doses of stress. Working out is no exception, yet research shows that stress is immensely counter - productive to our health journeys. Instead of beating myself over the inability to exercise due to, say, exhaustion, I should see it as a motive to do superbly tomorrow. Naturally, it’s seldom the situation. I’m not advocating for the absence of passion and discipline here; I’m saying that an overly driven approach may sometimes be disadvantageous.

3.     Think comprehensively

Think of your health as an investment. The elements that compromise it, such as exercise and wise eating habits, will enable you to lead a fulfilling life. Try assessing them as a part of the whole, not separately. This way you won’t focus on how much you dislike sports, for example. It’ll be about your overall journey to a better you; a you that is content in the knowledge that your body is cared for. Remember the mental passage, too. No physical change will materialise, if you don’t welcome the voyage of the mind. And the voyage of the mind isn’t pinned down to a single date on a calendar (January 1st). It’s a life-long pledge: one that has to be driven continually but can start at any hour, on any day, in any year. Happy Resolutions!

5 Smart Steps to take at the beginning of a new year

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This is a post published by PumpUp member @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

Happy New Year everybody!!! 

The first week of the year is already gone, so have you decided how will you set yourself for success? Have you created a list of your New Year Resolutions you would like to achieve in this brand new year? If you have taken it slowly after the Holidays, it’s OK.

It’s a new day, so let’s set you up for success with these 5 smart steps to follow.

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The first thing you need to do is to set your mindset for success. Whatever you desire to accomplish over the next year, whether it would be finding a new job, having a baby, improving your diet, sticking to your workout routine once and for all, losing weight your baby weight, changing career…You’ve got to decide and commit to achieving those things. If you haven’t changed your mindset the chances for you to achieve your goals are (let’s face it) tiny. Decide to go ALL IN today!

  • Find a quiet and peaceful place in your house where you can start to clear your mind of negative thoughts, limiting belief you may have. Then, you can start to reflect on the things you want most to accomplish this year.
  • Take a sheet of paper and a pen and start writing down how you want to feel every single day when you awake and allow your actions to support that feeling.

You’re no longer going to say ”I’ll try to…”, this sentence will no longer be a part of your vocabulary. You’re focused on your goals and you’re not going to stop until you succeed!

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When you are writing your goals, each and every single one of them need to be written positively and in the present tense. Using positive statement in a direct way to affirm your commitment to completing your goals has a major impact!

  • Break down your goals into small steps so you won’t feel overwhelmed by them. If you would like to lose 100 pounds over the year. It should look like this: 100lbs divided by 12 = 8lbs/month divided by 4 = 2. So you will write your statement like so: ”My big goal is to lose 100 pounds this year, so I am going to lose 2 pounds each week so that way I can feel beautiful and confident again!”

Always remember how YOU want to feel at the end of your achievement!

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One of the biggest mistakes people tend to do is not attaching a deadline to their goals or resolutions. You can have the best intentions to accomplish it but unless you put a plan in place with an impending deadline, how can you stay on track?

  • Once you have your list of positive goals written on a sheet of paper or in your journal, grab your calendar and start to assign each goal to the month you want to accomplish it in.
  • It’s one thing to have your goals set on your calendar, but you need your small steps (tasks) that will lead you to them in order for you to succeed. Start to brake down your goals into daily action plan. Start to think what you need to do each day, each week to achieve your goals. If you are not sure how to get there, I am always here to help!
  • Now it’s time to schedule those tasks! Ensure you’re doing this at the same time every week so it becomes a habit! Sunday evenings are my time to plan out my week which includes: workouts, meal plans, work and personal stuff.

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Journaling is a great way to keep track of both personal and professional progress. Checking in with yourself and acknowledging the progress made towards a certain goal is key to staying motivated and accountable. 

  • When losing weight, keeping a record of our progress is very important and motivating. It helps you see that your body is changing (it takes time) even though sometimes you feel like nothing is ”actually changing”. Start by taking your ”Before” picture, which I call it your ”Goodbye picture”, every 30 days take progression pictures and stick them in your journal with the previous ones. You will be SHOCKED (in a good way) to notice the progress you have made thus far. Also, keep track of your measurements of day 1 and of every 2 weeks.
  • This principle can be applied to everything, not only to health and fitness. Always record your progress.

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With busy schedules and hectic lifestyles it’s easy to put our own health and well-being on the back-burner.

BUT NOT THIS YEAR!

You’re no longer going to “try” to fit exercise and healthy eating into your schedule. It’s time to implement a workout & nutrition plan that is realistic for your lifestyle and has strong support & accountability from the very beginning (the piece you’re probably missing)! I’m here to help with that! It’s my passion & purpose to show you HOW to make this work.

“I know what I need to do, I just don’t know how to do it…consistently!”

If this is you, I invite you to join my “New Year, New You: Find Your Strength in 2015” accountability group to kick-start your goal of creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself!

It’s a chance to work with me personally in a small group of like-minded people all working towards the same goal! We’re close to filling up but if you COMMIT by this Sunday, I’ll squeeze you in and get you started!

Click HERE to learn what it’s all about and exactly how it’s designed to help you successfully transition to better health, energy & confidence!

Raw in College: Advanced Meal Plan

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This is a post by Ashley Hampton (PumpUp: @rawincollege), a college student looking to spread the power of the raw vegan lifestyle through her positive posts and vibrant photos. Check out her blog

**This plan is best for people who want to fully embrace the Raw in College lifestyle!!!—this means you are ready to cut out animal products and processed foods—it applies to anyone who is looking to completely change their life in all aspects—enhance your overall health, lose weight, and feel your best through a whole food, plant based diet. This plan is meant to provide guidelines not rules for your eating habits. The options for this lifestyle are truly endless, so this is just a general idea of what your day could look like! YOU ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!**

WATER: Every day, you should be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces! For example, if you are a 140 pound woman, you should be drinking 70 ounces of water throughout the day. Water flushes your body of toxins and other harmful substances that have been accumulating in your body up until this point. When you wake up, you should start your day with one liter (32 ounces) of water—for some people, this may be a big change! Water does nothave to be boring! You can infuse your water with fresh fruits and herbs to really enhance your hydration and make it tastier for you— most importantly!

BREAKFAST OPTIONS:

**my secret ratio to a perfect smoothie every time: 1/3 of the blender should be frozen fruit, 1/3 fresh, ripe fruit, and 1/3 greens (such as kale, spinach, romaine)—if you like a thick smoothie, add water as you go to achieve your desired consistency—if you like more of a liquid consistency, fill your blender 1/3 of the way and it should be perfect!**

  • FRUIT PLATTER- This option can consist of a variety of fresh fruit of your choice! I also love eating mono meals– this is when you just have a large quantity of one fruit, such as an entire personal watermelon or honeydew. Eating mono meals helps your digestive system immensely and you will definitely notice a difference!
  • 32 oz FRESH PRESSED JUICE- It’s all about what YOU enjoy on this lifestyle! What are you in the mood for? The variations of juice recipes are endless! Juice is an incredible way to get nutrients into your body quickly and give you the energy you need to jump start your day!
  • ‘NICE’CREAM: MY FAVORITE! It’s so yummy you won’t believe how healthy it is for you! Simply blend frozen fruit in a high speed blender or food processor until the desired ice cream consistency! As a base, I like to blend about 2-4 frozen bananas in my food processor and top it off with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and dried mulberries for an extra crunch! 

LUNCH OPTIONS:

  • RAW SALAD (kale, spinach, romaine, spring mix, arugula, collard greens, etc) filled with unlimited raw veggies!! (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, kale, asparagus, corn, beans, celery, cucumber, eggplant, greens of any kind, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, peppers, squash, sugar snap peas)
  • I like to ‘dress’ my salad with the juice of about 1/2 of a lemon, but if you are transitioning from a diet heavy in creamy dressings, you may want to try out some of my raw salad dressing recipes coming soon on my RECIPES page!

WITH

  • 2 to 4 pieces/cups of fruit (grapes, berries, apple, peach) and unlimited veggies from your always list down below!

OR

  • fruit/veggie smoothie

OR

  • fresh pressed juice

OR

  • ‘nice’cream

DINNER OPTIONS: (very similar to lunch and can be interchangeable)

  • Start your meal with a smoothie, fruit platter, or ‘nice’ cream! (this will help eliminate cravings for processed sugars after your meal, especially if you are used to having dessert after your dinner!)
  • RAW SALAD (kale, spinach, romaine, spring mix, arugula, collard greens, etc) filled with unlimited raw veggies!! (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, kale, asparagus, corn, beans, celery, cucumber, eggplant, greens of any kind, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, peppers, squash, sugar snap peas, avocado)

OR

SNACK OPTIONS:

  • always veggies: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, kale, asparagus, corn, beans, celery, cucumber, eggplant, greens of any kind, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, peppers, squash, sugar snap peas
  • fresh fruit
  • small handful of naturally dried fruit (no added sugar, no preservatives)
  • handful of whole natural raw nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, etc)

How to Kick-start your Healthy Lifestyle

Post by PumpUp member @jennoshealth. Follow her journey on her fantastic blog!

A lot of people think that this whole “healthy thing” is too much of an effort and only for certain people. FALSE 

A healthy lifestyle is for everyone: regardless of age, weight, belief, height etc. It's never too early nor too late to start eating and living right.

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Get it…kick-start?
  1. Add, don’t take away. A lot of people think they need to cut out foods/drinks. It’s easier and realistic to add more nutritious foods than take away the bad ones. Try adding a fresh fruit to your dessert before totally cutting out the meal. It’s a lifestyle not a diet. 
  2. Ask questions. We’re human: we mess up and we don’t know everything. Therefore, we should thirst to know more about Health & Fitness. Your lifestyle change will be effective when it is informed because you know exactly what and why your doing what you do. To start, immerse yourself in YouTube videos and articles about healthy living.
  3. Set mini goals. You’re more likely to attain smaller goals than one end goal. When you accomplish a small goal you’ll feel more inspired to complete the next one and the next. This next stage in your life will more likely be a lifestyle change rather than a transient phase. Instead of telling yourself that you will “lose 15 pounds”, a more realistic goal would be Try go on each cardio machine in the gym for 15 minutes 3-4 times a week. Catch my drift? 
  4. When I lost all of my excuses I found all of my results. Motivation doesn’t last, determination does. You need to find time in that hectic schedule of yours, after all it is your health and you are responsible. No gym? No problem! You have all you need there are tons of free workouts eg. PumpUp out there. People didn’t post it for the good of their health, they did it to help you! 
I hope this comes in handy when you start that healthy lifestyle. It isn’t difficult at all, tons of people are doing it so why aren’t you? 

 Jenny

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I didn't achieve my New Year's Resolution last year, but I will this year. Here's why

In it to win it

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This is a post by Abigail B. (@shaudae on PumpUp). Follow her on Tumblr and on her Wordpress blog at Inspiration Served Daily

My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 was to get fit and be at my goal weight of 120 pounds by December 2014. As we all know by now, that didn’t work out as planned. My New Year’s Resolution for 2015 regarding being at my goal weight of 120 pounds has not changed but this time I will be at my goal weight by June 2015 and I will maintain it – watch me do it.

This is how I plan on accomplishing my New Year’s Resolution goal:

  • Working out - I will work out at least 4 times every week, listen to my personal trainer’s advice and stick to my diet regardless of how good fried chicken and rice and peas smells. (If you can’t tell, I’m Caribbean!)
  • Motivation - I will motivate myself every day to accomplish my goal. When I’m motivated I work harder and I feel more energized. I know that there will be days that I won’t feel like working out and I will want to eat a double whopper from Burger King. I have an amazing team of supporters, which includes family members, friends, my personal trainer and my 24 hour support team – my PumpUp family. Y’all are amazing!!
  • Delayed GratificationAs an extension of motivation, I will reward myself during my transformation process. I will not reward myself with food, but with a manicure or a pedicure or a complete spa day, I deserve it! 
  • I will be honest with myself – The truth is, we sometimes lie to ourselves. Ever had any of these thoughts: “Two slices of cheesecake won’t hurt”, “I should eat this ice cream – my body needs the calories”, “After my workout, I’m gonna be a couch potato and I need a small bag of potato chips to do that”? These are all lies. coaxing yourself to eat a bag of potato chips for 4 minutes, then spending 15 minutes working off the calories is not fun, I know this. I will be honest with myself regarding my limits, the fact is; I’m not advanced at this ‘gym life’ therefore my body needs time to adjust. Don’t try to do 4 sets of 20 ‘sit ups’ and you can’t do 3 sets of 16; everything in moderation!
  • I will also appreciate my transformation process – We work out and expect to see immediate results. This isn’t realistic. We gain weight over time. Therefore, the process to lose weight will not be done overnight.

I’m sure the process to keeping my New Year’s Resolution will be one filled with tears, excitement, pain, and happiness. I’m in it to win it!

- Abigail Brady

How Elizabeth overcame depression, binge eating, and learned to love herself - PumpUp 2014 Success Story

At this time last year, Elizabeth’s New Year’s resolution was the same as it always was: to lose weight. With the help of PumpUp, she accomplished so much more. “Ever since I can remember, I’ve had self worth issues,” she revealed. "I began to love the way I am, inside and out. I’ve lost 20 pounds and I’ve learned that the halfway point of becoming who you want to be begins with loving who you already are." Be inspired about how Elizabeth overcame bingeing and depression, transcended a weight loss plateau, and learned to love herself by joining the PumpUp community! Prior to her journey with PumpUp, Elizabeth’s struggles with binge eating made it difficult for her to lead a holistically healthy lifestyle. Any progress that might have been made through exercise stagnated due to her divisive relationship with food. “I worked out almost every day, but it was always the same kind of workout…it would barely make me sweat,” she recounted.  “I was so confused as to how I was gaining weight when I worked out every day.” Before PumpUp, Elizabeth would be overwhelmed by cravings and treated workouts as punishments for poor dietary decisions. “I would wake up, eat an unhealthy breakfast, be anxious for lunch, eat way too much food when I did eat lunch to the point of discomfort, come home to have a sugary snack, workout half-heartedly, then head home, eat dinner, and spend the rest of my night wishing I could be anyone but me,” she lamented. “I was miserable.”

This cycle of guilt and bingeing disintegrated after Elizabeth joined the PumpUp community. She’s been a beloved member for quite some time and understands how to live a healthy lifestyle through a different lens. “I learned that weight loss isn’t just about working out; it’s about everything all together—workouts, diet, and everyday activity,” she insisted. At first, Elizabeth turned to PumpUp purely as a source of inspiration. “I would read others’ success stories and I adopted a whole new outlook on how I should go about my weight loss journey,” Elizabeth confirmed. “PumpUp is the reason I actually be came a vegetarian—I look at PumpUp daily for new recipes and workouts to further my progress.” She only truly began to share about her journey with the community once she started to lose weight. “I felt that I should have had a little bit of progress before I started to motivate and encourage others,” Elizabeth shrugged. “Looking back, I can see that I wasn’t right. You can be at the very beginning of your journey and still inspire others. It’s all about attitude and perception.”

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Elizabeth was diagnosed with depression one year ago, and this impacted her journey in ways that she could never have imagined. “When I was first diagnosed, I felt so completely lost,” she recounted. “I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore. PumpUp was kind of how I began to find myself again. I would read blogs and stories all day long and realized that I had stopped crying.” At first, Elizabeth’s coping mechanism was to ignore her depression. “I never wanted to see my psychologist because I hated talking about my weight and how much I had grown to hate myself,” she recalled. “Slowly, I began to look at life with a different perspective. I would counteract every bad thought about myself with two good ones. Whenever I had a setback (such as having too much ice cream), I wouldn’t beat myself up about it—I would accept it and move on.” Elizabeth picks herself up and keeps moving forward, even when bad tides come crashing at the shores of her life. “There’s no point in wasting your life away by feeling sorry for yourself,” she insisted. “I found a lot of strength through my faith in God as well. It’s been quite the climb, but the view’s been worth it!”

After Elizabeth learned the importance of incorporating variety into her workout schedule, she transcended her weight loss plateau. She works out at least 4 days a week, alternating between yoga, tumbling, dance, running, and weight lifting. Although her food options are limited as a vegetarian, she goes about her lifestyle in a healthy way and makes sure that she eats more than just carbs. “I wake up, have an energizing breakfast (a smoothie, for instance), and go throughout the day happy and focused. I eat a light lunch—a salad or veggie sandwich—then relax when I get home,” she explained. “I work out, and after I eat my dinner I go to bed with a smile on my face. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and of who I am now.”  The  contrast between Elizabeth’s lifestyle prior to PumpUp and her current lifestyle is stark; it illustrates the extent of her successes, both mental and physical, since she became a member of the community.

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All of this was achieved within the span of a little more than one year. Elizabeth’s advice for those looking to achieve their New Year’s resolutions with the help of PumpUp emphasizes the importance of perseverance. “First, do NOT obsess over your goals and constantly worry about them. Goals are something to be taken one step at a time. No need to stress,” she counseled. “Second, learn that setbacks will and are going to happen, and that’s perfectly okay. Failure is a part of success. Third, try something new. Most of the time, if you’re stuck in a rut, it’s because you’ve been doing the exact same things. Trying something new can be life-altering. Be it a new class at the gym, or focusing on a different part of your diet, the more you change and arrange, the better shot you have at pin-pointing what’s really holding you back along your journey to success.”

As Elizabeth continues along her journey with PumpUp, she hopes to maintain all of her hard work by remaining active and eating healthily. She intends to inspire others by demonstrating how anybody can reach their goals if they try hard enough. “It’s not impossible. I’ve not only decided to become vegetarian, but I’ve followed through with that decision. I’ve finally learned how to appreciate myself the way I am,” she said firmly. “By using PumpUp I’ve come to the realization that I’ll never be a model-esque girl with a thin body frame, and that is 100% okay because who I am now is more than enough.” Even if Elizabeth hadn’t lost the weight during her journey, she asserts that the halfway point of becoming who you want to be begins with loving who you already are. “If I could pick the hardest part of this entire journey, that would be it,” she stressed.

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Biggest Motivation

“It is and has always been cheerleaders. As a cheerleader I know how rough it is to appreciate your body type. I’ve met so many cheerleaders who have beat anorexia, binge eating and depression. Professional cheerleaders have so much pressure on them to be perfectly skinny and athletic that it’s unreal. The girls who can take all that pressure and turn it into extreme focus for their dreams are so incredibly amazing to me.”

Favourite meals and drinks

“My absolute favorite drink is the newest low calorie Gatorade. It’s the type of drink that you can take with you to the gym and not worry about feeling weighed down. It gives you energy that will last throughout the day. My favorite meal is a special spaghetti with Morning-Star vegetarian meat. It has the most incredible taste without all the carbs. And my favorite snack is those plain string cheese sticks. It’s a great in-between meal snack to keep you full.”

Motivational saying

My favorite is a poem written by Erin Hanson called “You’re Not”:

"You are not your age,

Nor the size of clothes you wear,

You are not a weight,

Or the colour of your hair,

You are not your name,

Or the dimples in your cheeks,

You are all the books you read,

And all the words you speak,

You are your croaky morning voice,

And the smiles you try to hide,

You’re the sweetness in your laughter,

And every tear you’ve cried,

You’re the songs you sing so loudly,

When you know you’re all alone,

You’re the places that you’ve been to,

And the one that you call home,

You’re the things that you believe in,

And the people that you love,

You’re the photos in your bedroom,

And the future you dream of,

You’re made of so much beauty,

But it seems that you forgot,

When you decided that you’re defined,

By all the things that you’re not.”

Favourite Workout

“Tumbling. Whenever I tumble I love the feeling of adrenaline and I find it’s easier to be proud of myself after I finally hit a new skill. Tumbling is the best kind of workout to me. Half the time it doesn’t even feel like you’re working out. You get so caught up in the fun of it all. That’s what working out should always feel like. It doesn’t have to always be something you don’t want to do. Find something that’s a fun active activity for you and stick with it! The results will be rewarding, I promise!”

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More about Elizabeth

“Something interesting about me is that I play guitar and ride horses. I find so much peace in these two things. I love having “me time.” Because you’re stuck with yourself, so you mine as well learn to love you!”

Find Elizabeth on the PumpUp app making her dreams come true @elizabethgillespie5 and follow her on Instagram @lizzie_53. 

New Year's Resolutions from the PumpUp Community

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Awesome #MyResolution Posts from Day 1 of the PumpUp Photo-A-Day challenge

Several PumpUp members went above and beyond generic resolutions. Theirs were specific, personal, and inspiring. @mjmartinez86’s photo (top) describes how she’s making resolutions to better herself, try new experiences, and improve upon how she interacts with those around her. @fierce’s cute resolution photo (featuring Disney’s Stitch) describes concrete and tangible goals such as eliminating fast food and saving up more money. Not only will these goals help her to live a healthier and fuller life, she’s rewarding herself as well.

Our winner of the PumpUp swag prize of the day, @rynasaadi wrote down several resolutions for 2015. The ultimate and most important one to her, however, was to stop drinking soda this year. It’s achievable, realistic, and within the parameters of what she can actually do to make a big change. We’re proud of her!

Sticky notes that @hannahds1999 wrote (bottom left) are vibrant reminders that you can paste around your room and carry with you anywhere. She’ll be a dancing queen in 2015, full of happiness, hydration, and exercise.

@Mariasouele’s resolutions all work towards a specific goal. Her first is to organize her life by working towards a degree in computer science, finding a job, and waking up early in the morning. Her second goal is to lose weight, but for specific reasons and goals: to be fit (and have defined abdominals), to be confident (for an improved demeanour to those around her) and to be healthy (for her family). Finally, her ultimate goal this year is to be happy, intensely and immensely, for herself. 

Check out more #MyResolution posts from the pumpupapp by opening up the app!

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Make 2015 the best year of your life! To help you start January off on a healthy foot we’re excited to introduce the #MyResolution photo-a-day challenge!

Each day this month, share a photo for the daily theme (see photo) and make sure to use the hashtag #MyResolution to have your photo entered in the challenge.

You can win #PumpUpSwag every day this month for participating - with a grand prize for those who complete the whole challenge!

Side bonus - include your personal resolution as a hashtag to connect with other like-minded members who are striving to achieve the same goal as you. We’re all in this together! 

Reblog this photo if you’re doing the challenge. Check out full descriptions of our January 2014 photo-a-day challenge down below.

Day 1: Set resolution - Create a post about your resolution or ultimate goal list for 2015. How will you achieve it? Are your goals specific and measurable? 

Day 2: In my fridge- Is your fridge neatly organized and full of wholesome food, or is it a jungle overflowing hidden science projects? We want to know what you’ll be eating this year to stay healthy!

Day 3: Plank- Plank it out anywhere and everywhere. Bonus points for taking a photo of a creative plank! Have you been tracking your plank progress? How long can  you hold it for?

Day 4: Workout buddy- Do you have a person who’s keeping you pumped up and accountable for the rest of the year? Tag and post a photo of you and your workout buddy doing your favourite exercise move together!

Day 5: Favourite quality- Who said that the new year always has to be about giving something up? Think about a quality you never want to change about yourself— what’s already working for you, what makes you happiest. Write it down on a piece of paper and share a photo of it!

Day 6: Transformation- Whether you’re at the very beginning, in the middle, or nearing the end of one of your goals, share a transformation photo! We love all ‘before’, ‘after’, and ‘during’ photos! Use this photo as a marker of your progress at the end of the month.

Day 7: Lunge- Lunge it out! Add a little jump when you switch between legs to make this a killer plyometric move! greatistteam has an awesome article about lunge variations that you can try for this photo challenge.

Day 8: Realistic goal - We’ve already set our ultimate resolutions, so what’s a realistic, short term goal that you want to accomplish this week? Whether it’s reaching new personal record, working up to a new yoga pose, or maxing out your mileage during a run, let us know if you have a very specific goal that you’d love to accomplish this week!

Day 9: Try a new ingredient- Cooking may be scary, but hey: Gordon Ramsay will (hopefully, never) be standing over your shoulder, critiquing about your culinary expertise. We dare you to incorporate a new ingredient in one of your meals today, and snap a photo about how you did it & felt about it. You may just surprise yourself!

Day 10: Tuck jump- The tuck jump is a fun and tricky plyometric move to capture in a photo. We’d love to see you try! Start in a standing position, knees slightly bent. Hold your hands in front of you at chest height, dip down into a quarter squat, and immediately explode upward as high as you can. Drive your knees toward your chest, attempting to touch them to the palms of your hands. Land softly!

Day 11: Obliques- Work those obliques! They’re stabilizing muscles that run along the sides of your abdomen! What’s your favourite move for your obliques?

Day 12: Inspiring quote- Write out or post a photo of a quote that motivates you all day, every day. Let it all out, PumpUp is a judgement-free, inspiration-friendly zone! How did you apply this to your day?

Day 13: Fave transformation- Repost a photo of your favourite transformation from somebody else, be they a PumpUp member or a friend/family member! Keep them pumped!

Day 14: Wall sit- Brace yourselves. Wall-sits are coming. Here’s how to do them. See how long you can do it for and share a photo of yourself performing the exercise! Bonus? Challenge somebody else to do a wall-sit with you and see who can hold it for longer!

Day 15: RewardWe’re almost halfway through the photo-challenge! Give yourself a pat on the back and treat yo’ self to a smart reward. Why are rewards important? They shape behaviour: your goals will become habits and they’ll help you to maintain a positive attitude. Share a photo of a tangible and meaningful way that you’re rewarding yourself today!

Day 16: Eat the rainbow- No, this isn’t an excuse to eat Skittles. “Eating the rainbow” is a simple and visual way of reminding us that a variety of fruits, vegetables, and colour in our diet will help us to attain our necessary vitamin and mineral intake.  It’s a good indicator (but not a be all and end all rule) for eating healthily in general, as certain colours of food indicate an abundance of specific nutrients. Make a healthy and colourful meal today and share a photo about it!

Day 17: Squat- When in doubt, squat it out! Share a photo of you performing an awesome squat variation, and see how many you can do with proper form in one go! Here’s a post with inspiration for different types of squats that you can do! 

Day 18: In my gym bag- It’s our most trusted companion on our busiest days, and essential for morning gym-goers. Packing a well-stocked gym bag is, well, an art. We wanna know what your essentials are!

Day 19: Keeps me on track- What are you using to track your progress and to measure what you’ve accomplished so far? Whether it’s a personal journal, sticky notes, or a mantra that repeat to yourself every morning, share a photo of something that’s keeping you on track to achieve your resolutions and goals!

Day 20: Workout gear- When we wear new workout gear or exercise in our favourite workout clothes, we kinda feel like Power Rangers (RIGHT? right). Post a photo of you in clothes that make you feel invincible, almost as if you have the eye of a tiger.   

Day 21: Triceps- Get jiggy with it by being arm jiggle-free! Show us a photo of your tricep progress, or of you doing a move that sculpts the muscle group in the back of your arms. 

Day 22: Food journal- Keep a journal to track whatever you ate or drank today, and either post a photo of your journal or share your reflections about it. This one simple act instantly increases your awareness about the quality and quantity of what you eat. It’ll also help to identify why you are eating, and whether you can cut down on triggers that lead to mindless munching. 

Day 23: Protein- On this Foodie Friday, share a photo of healthy protein that you incorporated into your meals! Nuts, legumes, lean meat that is low in saturated fat: anything! The world is your oyster.

Day 24: Yoga pose- Namaste, PumpUp! Share a photo of you doing your favourite pose, or of one that you’re excited to build up to. Which muscle groups did you work during your pose? 

Day 25: Smoothie- We’re smooth sailing today with wonderful smoothies that pack a healthy, nutrient-filled punch! What kind of smoothie did you drink or make today? Include the recipe! 

Day 26: Give advice- What’s the best piece of advice that you can give about leading a healthy and active lifestyle? Help your PumpUp fam out by sharing a photo with a tidbit of advice in the caption, and comment on any post from somebody asking for help! As Oscar Wilde was quoted saying, “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.” 

Day 27: Progress- Progress is progress, no matter how small! Share a photo about any kind of progress you made between now and the first #TransformationTuesday photo we encouraged you to post this month. Congratulations on anything and everything that you’ve achieved so far!

Day 28: Stretch- Lest we forget to stretch! You’re almost at the finish line of the photo challenge, so stretch it out. Minimize the risk of injury by stretching often! Active warm-ups and consistent, stretch-abundant cool downs can help to increase your flexibility and range of motion. Do a killer workout, and stop, drop, and stretch after! 

Day 29: #TBT- Share a throwback photo of where you were one year ago, or a photo that captures a point in your life that reflects the very beginning of your health and wellness journey. What great changes have you made since then? 

Day 30: Flex- It’s time to flex those muscles and be proud of what you’ve accomplished! Show us a flex friday photo of you getting pumped in the place that you love the most. Why does it keep you motivated? 

Day 31: What’s next- You’re FINISHED the photo challenge! Let’s do the Y.M.C.A., the Macarena, the harlem shake. Let’s get pumped for the rest of the year and the rest of your life. What’s in store for you? 

Motivation Monday: Pre-New Year's Resolutions

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Write some pre-new year’s resolutions! PumpUp member canmeanswill explains that when we write resolutions for the present, the only resolution we’ll have for the new year will be to maintain our good work! “Don’t make a resolution for a future that is far away. It will only legitimize ‘cheating’ in the present.” We encourage you to tag your resolutions with #MyResolution!