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Every year, some of us set the same New Years Resolution to be in better shape, take better care of our health, or (gulp) lose 20 pounds. I have been one of those people for many years. I start off the year strong and very ambitious, only to give up after a month (if I am lucky.)

Over the years, I have found many reasons (or excuses) why I couldn’t stick to my health resolutions:

  • the expense for classes started to add up;
  • I wasn’t seeing results;
  • things came up and I couldn’t make it to class;
  • I was so sore all the time;
  • I wasn’t feeling well enough to exercise;
  • I lost my motivation; and
  • It just got too hard.

Few more years later, I found out that I have been approaching my health resolutions with an all or nothing approach. I would work out like crazy, burn out, and quit. I didn’t take small steps to reach a bigger or ultimate goal. Rather than doing an easier workout the day I am sore, I just skipped it altogether. I didn’t realize that working out for 30 minutes is better than zero minutes. Here are some changes I made and found to work for me:


Like I said before, a little bit is better than nothing. Every little bit matters and counts. As a working mom, I count the following as “bonus” exercise for me: Walking up the stairs from the parkade; doing squats in my office every couple of hours, power walking to the mall because I only have one hour to shop, eat, and get back to work.


When I enrolled my daughter in gymnastics, I had no idea that I would have to participate too. I was so sore days after the class from showing her how to use the equipment and spotting her in weird positions. Some days, I would be running after her to get her clothes on, put on her coat and boots. Rather than being upset with her, I would count this as exercise too. Of course, playing with my daughter at the park or playing soccer counts too. (Especially since we are both not very good at soccer.)


You can find a ton of exercise videos on youtube. My favorite is Cassey Ho of Blogilates. She is super motivating and her workouts are efficient because they target several areas at a time. If you sign up for emails, she sends you even more workout routines. Of course, you can also check out your local library for workout DVDs too.


I used to read my Groupon emails only for spa stuff but when you look closer, there are a lot of promotions for health and fitness too. If you can (or willing) to go to a gym to workout, consider looking for discounts before you really shell out the cash to get a membership. If you have a favorite gym or studio you want to try, keep your eye out for their own promotions too. They might have promotions around the new year or their anniversary.


Being held accountable is really the key. If you can workout with someone that can motivate you, consider yourself lucky. If you are able to find someone to workout with, encourage each other. If you can’t find a dedicated workout buddy, try to meet up with friends over a game of badminton rather than over drinks. Then you can still catch up and get closer to your health goals!

Monica Hui is a working mom in Calgary, Alberta, constantly looking for ways to do things faster and faster so that she can slow down to have pretend picnics with her daughter. Her website,, shares her own personal experiences, mom tips, and DIY projects in hopes of helping other moms create an easier, prettier, and efficient mom life. You can follow her on facebook or Instagram, @wishahmon.