New Year, Better Me

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         Ahhhhhh here we are. A new year, which means a new start right? Right! How will you make 2016 better than 2015? Here’s a tip for you. If your thoughts at this very moment are: “It’s a new year and I’m ready to get my health in check” or “New year, new me”, then you are already behind on reaching your goals. There is something about the beginning of a new year that increases the motivation to make self-changes. Just in case you didn’t know, January 1st comes around every year and should be treated as any other day. It shouldn’t take a new year to start making your health a priority, but unfortunately it does for many individuals.

This time last year, I was a Master Trainer at LA Fitness in Royal Oak, MI. One thing I noticed during my time there is many people need a reason to want to or continue a workout regimen, whether it is preparing for competition, a vacation, wedding, or a birthday. I can’t tell you how many times people have given me the new year’s resolution excuse to want to start living a healthier lifestyle. Hardly anyone wants to be active for the simple fact that it adds years to your life and has a plethora of benefits towards your wellbeing. Part of the problem is, in modern day society, we put ourselves on the backburner, not realizing our focus is on things that are replaceable such as cars, clothes, gadgets, and the new Jordan’s that just released at Foot Locker. We purchase material items to boost our image and self esteem, but guess what? Being active is a part of your image! It is one of the most (or should be) important elements of your appearance because your body is a living machine and must be handled with care. Think about it this way: when you are having issues with your car or it breaks down, you have to take it to the shop to get it fixed. You have to pay for the service to get it repaired so you can drive smoothly again. With your body, it’s a little different. The method is the same as when your car breaks down, however, depending on who you are, it is not 100% guaranteed you will be in tip-top shape again. Not to mention the hospital/medical bills that goes along with repairing your health. So why even take that chance and put yourself through the hassle? You only have one body. Choose wisely what you do with it!

lena push up

Here are some strategies that will set you up for long-term success to jumpstart 2016:

  • Get in tune with your subconscious self. The subconscious brain is where many undesired behaviors and bad habits reside without you even knowing. Pay attention to what you do on a regular basis that is hindering you from progressing into a polished version of yourself. If you are finding it difficult to point out exactly what the hold up is, ask your peers or family members to analyze you. This is an effective way to self-reflect and determine the pros and cons so you can move forward.


  • Figure out a method that works for YOU. Whether you work better in groups, one-on-one training, or prefer to train at a lower intensity than others, configure a plan that you will stick to. Many individuals fail at sticking with a plan by trying to do too much too soon. Work your way into a routine and test the waters first before diving head first into a workout program. If you are just getting started on a fitness journey, do not follow someone else’s regimen. Everyone is designed differently so what may work for Arnold Schwarzenegger, might not work for you.


  • Take note of what motivates you and use that to your advantage. There is an abundance of motivational factors that can increase your drive to be the best. It can be intrinsic (internal, i.e.: self esteem) or extrinsic (external, i.e.: beach body) motivation that can push you in the right direction. Either way, once you can decipher what amplifies your personal desire to be successful, use that to keep you inspired toward reaching your goals. For me extrinsic and intrinsic motivation compliments one another in relation to fitness. If you look good, you feel good (and vice versa)!


  • Consider seeking assistance from a health professional. Everyone in the health industry has a specific role. From nutritionists to cardiologists to personal trainers (such as myself), there are many men and women out there that are trained to help shape the community into a healthier state within their scope of practice. Through proper guidance, a health professional can design a program that will best suit you based on your needs. Making the right investment in your health can correlate with how successful you will be in staying on top of your regimen in the future.

lena lifting weights


Lena Thomas

Personal Trainer (Pulse Fitness Royal Oak and Detroit)

Business Owner (Lean Machine Training LLC)

High School Girl’s Basketball Coach (Birmingham Groves High School)

BA Kinesiology concentration in Sport and Exercise Science (Wayne State



Instagram: @lmtraining #leanmachinetraining #pulsefitnesstraining

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