The beginning of the New Year often brings resolutions including a new fitness routine. Clinical Psychologist and Author of “In the Therapist’s Chair”, Dr. Jacqueline Simon Gunn, explains that the “New Year becomes a concrete representation of a fresh start and therefore affords people the opportunity to feel they can begin anew and stick to certain changes.”

Fitness goals are often part of the New Year resolutions as most people feel they over indulged during the holidays and now must undo the damage. As Dr. Gunn observes, “In my clinical experience most people have some discomfort with their bodies. A new fitness program provides a sense of control and initiative surrounding discomfort in relation to body image.”

Dr. Gunn, who is also a marathon runner and avid swimmer, offers tips on how to remain
committed to your fitness routine throughout the New Year. Her most important advice is to focus on the goal of feeling better rather than a physical transformation. “Those who are able to experience feeling better as the main fitness goal are more likely to stick to a workout routine. The benefit of feeling good is more immediate and therefore more sustaining.”

Tip 1: Find a type of exercise you enjoy.

If you enjoy the outdoors find an exercise that will keep you outside. If the gym experience is more your style try different kinds of exercises until you find something you like. If you get bored easily, alternate your routine and add variety.

Tip 2: Change the way you perceive your work-outs.

Try not to place too much emphasis on weight control as this approach adds pressure and makes the routine less enjoyable. Instead, experience your workout routine as a way to make you a more complete person. Recognize the routine as a way to experience spiritual growth in your life via perseverance, challenges and self-growth.

Tip 3: Find meaning in your workouts.
Do not look at it as something you have to do. Rather, come to see it as a meaningful part of who you are becoming, a high energy, in shape, strong and powerful person.

Tip 4: Spiritual growth rather than physical appearance.
Experience the high of becoming physically stronger and more emotionally balanced. The more physical activity you accomplish the more mentally sharp and powerful you will become. Focus on the mind and the physical comes with the package.

Dr. Jacqueline Simon Gunn is a Clinical Psychologist and Author of “In the Therapist’s Chair”. In addition to her private practice in Manhattan, Dr. Gunn is the Psychology Internship Training Director and Clinical Supervisor of the Trauma Program at the nationally recognized Karen Horney Clinic.

Dr. Gunn has one M.A. in Phenomenological Psychology from Duquesne University, another M.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and her Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from Miami Institute of Psychology. She also completed a two-year certificate program to specialize in Eating Disorders, Addictions and Compulsivity at The William Alanson White Institute. Please visit for more information.

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