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New Year Resolutions That Worked:
Making New Habits / Breaking Bad Habits
In the first week of January I give out my 45 Day Beginner Plan free to hundreds of readers who do not exercise regularly, so this is always a gratifying week for me. Here is one of several emails from people who stuck with the plan for the month of January AND built a habit of fitness and motivation to carry to the next level. Give yourself a few weeks and you too can feel like this gentleman:

I just completed Day 35 of the 45 Day Beginner Plan.......and all I can say is WOW........!!!! The plan has made a huge improvement in my everyday life. I feel better, stronger, have more energy, and my kids notice as well......they say, "Daddy it looks like your "bulk" is going down...".......that's what they called my rather large middle......I haven't really been watching my weight that close, but I would say I have lost somewhere between 12 and 15 lbs....I think the most important thing is to feel better and look better.....and  I know the weight is coming off as well....Thanks so much.......!!

This week is not about tooting my own horn, but I’m hoping to help readers realize that if you follow a plan (ANY PLAN) of walking more, stretching, drinking more water, and watching what you eat (limiting excess sugar/fat calories), you can be well on your way to improving your energy level and getting in shape.  Also for a next step program - check out the Beginner Fitness Club.

Make a New Habit and Break an Old Habit:  Don't Call it a Resolution

Making Good Habits:  Making a habit takes about three weeks for the body / mind to both agree it is something you can comfortably continue.  Adding more water to your day or starting a walking or resistance training program all are easy habits to start.  It is your job to figure out where you have time (20-30 minutes) in a 24 hour period to fit it into your schedule.  Don't start out too hard, too soon.  Go into fitness thinking you are just doing it to burn extra calories in your day.  Give additional activities 4-6 weeks before checking results such as weight loss, inches lost.  You will find you feel better in a few days than you have in a long time and your clothes are starting to fit differently.  These are subtle cues to know your program of adding activity to your life is working.

Breaking Bad Habits:  The key to changing your life is making new healthful habits and breaking old habits that are bad for you.  I recommend starting out easy as bad habits are hard to break cold turkey.  You will see much better success if you try to re-route a river vs. damning the river.  Same goes for bad habits.  Instead of stopping at McDonald's every time you see one and ordering a Big Mac, fries, and a large Coke, still stop but first ask yourself are you really hungry and just order the un-sweet iced tea or water.  Instead of eating candy bar, eat a Hershey Kiss.  Instead of smoking a cigarette try a new hand to mouth habit like chewing a mint sugar free gum.  These are just some ideas to breaking a bad habit over time. 

Other stories: 

Quit Drinking Soda:  My own father, not a particularly fit person, decided to quit drinking sodas and switch to water instead. Over the course of the year, he lost 25 lbs by ONLY adding water and subtracting sodas. Now, he feels better and has added a fitness component to his life – walking and stretching 20 minutes a day. I know this year will be a better year for him.

Water Retention:  A gentleman -- who weighed more than 320 pounds and could not wear his watch, rings, or shoes that he wore the year before -- loses 20 lbs of retained water in one week. He did not sweat it off in a sauna -- which is dangerous, he actually added water to his current diet (which was dehydrating him).  He started drinking water throughout the day – up to 3-4 quarts of water and basically urinated all of the retained water and toxins from his body.  In one week, he could wear his watch, ring, and shoes.  After consulting a doctor upon this weight loss, he had a clean bill of health and the reason for his water retention was high sodium / low water diet.  His body went into camel mode and stored water and quit metabolizing fat at a normal rate.  Now he is on a path of basic fitness losing about 2 lbs a week and currently at 285 in two months. Want to lose weight? Just add water!

Swim Workout Progress: On another level of fitness, a young aspiring SEAL purchased the Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD in January and dropped his effort in swimming the 500yd swim for the Navy SEAL entrance exam by 50% (went from 12 to 6 stroke per 25yds) and decreased his time from 10:30 to 8:30.  Subsequently, since he was not as tired after the swim, his scores on the remaining exercises of the BUDS PST improved as well (1.5 mile run, pull-ups, pushups, sit-ups). See CSS Article for more info.

If you have fallen off the wagon from previous resolutions, time to get back up and try again.  Click the 45 Day Plan above and get the FREE starter plan, or go to the eBook Fitness Store and find a level of fitness suitable to you and your goals – whether that goal is to ace the Army PFT or go Special Operations in the Navy.  You will find what you are looking for and you can email me anytime for answers to your workout questions along the way at

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the
Stew Smith article archive
at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at


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Published Books / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
Maximum Fitness
The Special Operations Workout
The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke Video
The Pre-Habit Workout DVD

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
- Circuit Training 101 ebook

NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook

The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout


The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

New - Army PRT and CRT
Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout

The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout
The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout

Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral

TRX Train Like the Pros


Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format