Sam Wood’s 5 secrets to success Sam Wood’s 5 secrets to success

Get into good habits and achieve your 2021 fitness goals.

There’s a lot I like about New Year’s resolutions. It’s a time of year when motivation is at its peak and it’s smart to capitalise on this. But year in, year out I see people make the same mistakes, only to come unstuck with their goals and be derailed by early February. So let’s look at the biggest slip-ups people make when it comes to their resolutions, and how you can avoid them and stay on track.

Sam Wood holding kettle bell
Sam Wood and family
Free weights

1. What is your why?

When you know why you’re setting out to make a change, it’s much easier to identify what to do. Your ‘why’ should be specific and important to you, and if you stick to this simple rule, you really can’t go wrong. Everybody’s ‘why’ is different. For some, it’s to lose weight for an event. For others, it’s to improve self-confidence and self-esteem. For me, it’s to lead a healthy life and be a good role model for my kids. It doesn’t matter what your why is as long as it’s important enough to you that you can draw motivation and strength from it.


2. Set short-term goals

It may be a resolution for the year and it’s fine to know where you want to be by the next December, but you need to focus your energy on the first month instead of looking too far ahead. My personal preference is to set a 28-day goal. It’s long enough to get results but a short enough period of time to keep your eyes on the prize. Once you achieve this 28-day goal, set a new one and go again.

Sam Wood
Person using foam roller
Sam Wood
Pink yoga mat

3. Be progressive

I can’t believe how many times I see people lace up their shoes and try to head out on a 10km run in the scorching heat on the first of January, only to come very unstuck. Please, please, please don’t let this be you. Don’t go overboard on day one. This is especially important if you’ve had a big break from fitness or gotten a little too merry over the festive season. You’ll be sore, you’ll increase your likelihood of getting injured and it won’t be very enjoyable. Build up day after day and week after week, and remember that it’s not a race. It’s all about progress.


4. Follow a proper plan

Goals are great! But unless they’re accompanied by a plan to match, you often don’t get very far. This plan should cover exercise as well as nutrition, and my best advice is to keep it simple. Don’t try to change everything overnight. When it comes to your exercise regimen, you don’t need to do a workout every day, but you should aim to move your body every day. Make at least three of these workouts per week challenging and get out of your comfort zone. For best results, mix it up. Whether that’s strength training, HIIT, yoga, a walk or a run, variety is the key to well-rounded results and it definitely assists with enjoying the process. From a nutrition perspective, you should always aim for three quality meals per day and you can’t go past ‘JERF’ – just eat real food.


5. Don’t give up

A bad day, a bad weekend, a bad meal or a missed workout should not be the end. You’ll never see your new year’s resolution through if you throw in the towel when faced with your first obstacle or challenge. If getting in shape and staying in shape was easy, 60 per cent of Australia wouldn’t be overweight or obese. Stay strong, stick it out but most importantly be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you hit a little speed bump because it is totally normal. It’s what you do next that is most important.


Healthy from home

Do 45 seconds of each exercise and take a 15-second break between. Complete four rounds for a great 28-minute workout.

Gym towel, dumbell and water bottle

1. Squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down, pushing your butt back and keeping your weight through your heels while maintaining good posture through your upper body.

2. Couch push-ups

With your hands shoulder-width apart, grip the edge of the couch and lower your chest slowly down and slowly up while maintaining good posture through your core. Don’t let your head drop.


3. Mountain climbers

Start in a high plank or push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Bring your knees in and out like you are running on the spot while remaining in good push-up posture.

4. Leg-lowers

Lying on your back on the floor, bend your knees slightly and lower them slowly towards the floor and then back up to the sky. Brace your abs throughout and ensure your lower back stays on the ground.

5. Alternating jump lunges

Start in a standing position and step forward into a lunge, springing back into your starting position and then continue alternating legs. Your front knee should never go further forward than your toes.

6. Plank

Keep your body in a straight line from your head to your toes as you do a forearm plank. Don’t drop your hips or push your bum up, maintain a neutral spine. Don’t hold your breath.

7. Star jumps

Jump your arms and legs out by your side (at the same time) to form a star shape before jumping back in. Repeat continuously with speed to do a succession of star jumps.


Originally published in The Costco Connection, Jan/Feb 2021. Pick up the latest copy at your local warehouse or read it online.