3 Steps for a Reasonable New Year’s Reset

Are New Year’s resolutions on the “out” list? It seems the extreme efforts and deprivations burn out quickly and are soon replaced by old habits. Maybe that’s the problem. We are too restrictive with trendy and complicated diets, expensive juice cleanses, and overly exhaustive exercise plans. Going to the extreme is not sustainable.

However, the new year does present opportunity to reset. Especially after a month of, if you’re like me, debauchery. Let’s take a reasonable stand on revamping our health in 2018 and maybe, hopefully, it will become a consistent lifestyle change. You can do it! Here are three steps, with the “whats” and the “hows” explained…


Healthy Exercise Addiction

Making exercise a daily habit will truly change your life. You may be thinking, “I  don’t have time.” I understand. Right now, you likely don’t. But it takes a little time to make time.

How: Look at your calendar and schedule daily workouts. Carve out some time every day. If you only have 20 minutes, great, carve that out and schedule it. Then move/work out/exercise. Do it. No exceptions. Remember, we are starting a habit here. You may find 8:30pm is your only window. Great. Do it then. To save time, have your workout gear ready for you at all times. Once you create this pattern, you will begin to crave exercise much like you crave chocolate cake.  I know you don’t believe me, I LOVE CHOCOLATE CAKE. But, I love exercise more.

What: No idea what to do? Variety is key. Start by getting outside for a run or walk during those short blips. Or, stream an exercise program like Mind the Mat’s on demand page:

Pilates Boot Camp from Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga on Vimeo.


Or, sign up for our totally reasonable $99 Deluxe Membership while it lasts (rates usually go up in the new year). Our variety is over the top! We offer everything from Boot Camps, Hot Yoga & HAWT Pilates, to Deep Stretch and Gentle classes. Mind the Mat has more than 130 classes scheduled anywhere from 6am to 8pm.


Failure. Sound on: “I’m so out of shape.” “No, this is just hard.” ⬆️ I hear that all the time. People are leaving class thinking they’ve failed…but they’re actually getting stronger. We have to fail in order to succeed. No, really, I’m not just making a Hallmark quote here, our muscles have to work to failure in order to physiologically strengthen. We “fail” by TRULY connecting with the movement, the form and the speed (i.e. not half-assing it) P. S. We don’t need to use heavy weight to get to failure. We just have to “get to failure”. But that’s a post for a later date. #cometoclass #connection #motorcontrol #physicaltherapy #corework #glutedayeveryday #workyourglutes #rom #extraordinaryalx #physicaltherapist #pilatesmat #pilatesteacher #naturalmovement #transistion #balance #bodyweight #bodyweighttrainning #musclefailure #animalmovement #mindthemat #mtmtribe #tribvibe #musclefailure #ndt #neurodevelopment @visitdelray #visitdelray @wellraydelray @wellandgoodforyou #lululemonlegacyambassador @lululemon #hawtpilates #pilatesbootcamp

A post shared by Megan Bellamy Brown (@meganbrown_mindthemat) on

For a peek inside Megan’s classes follow her on Instagram @meganbrown_mindthemat

In the beginning, this new schedule will be frustrating. But, if you follow this for a week, it will be hard to quit this healthy addiction. Instead of this habit being “extreme,” exercise is now a part of your daily routine, much like getting dressed, running errands, or brushing your teeth.


Reasonable Eating

Eat well during the week. One of my friends, Ingrid Allen, turned me on to her favorite quote by Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

What does that mean?

Don’t eat processed stuff. Eat real, whole food.

Don’t drink sodas or any drinks with calories. Drink water.

Don’t eat refined carbs like bread, crackers, pasta, etc.

Do eat salads, veggies and lean protein.


How: During the week, be super reasonable with eating whole foods. Instead of a sandwich at lunch, have a salad with a lean protein on top (hard boiled eggs, salmon, grilled chicken, etc.) or a homemade vegetable soup. If you’re trying to lose weight, carry this habit through the weekend until two weeks after you hit your goal weight. After that, you can treat yourself to what you truly love on the weekends. Do not deprive yourself, but please be reasonable. By that time though, those old cravings will be gone. This will take a little thought and planning at first, but the good news is you won’t have to strictly follow a complicated plan.


Intermittent Fasting

This changed my life. I used to always be hungry — my appetite was consistently ravenous.  My “hangry-ness” was overwhelming and I’d find myself overeating at every meal in between my constant snacking. If this is you, dabble in this little known method of mini-fasting.

What: Now, I am NOT talking about restricting your calories, let’s be clear. Intermittent Fasting, in simplest of terms, is a pattern of eating. There are many ways to fast.

How: I use this method to curb my voracious appetite and avoid over-eating by delaying my breakfast a few hours. I end up with a total fasting period of 14-16 hours (including sleep). Otherwise, if I eat breakfast immediately, I soar through an eating tailspin just one hour later.

Though I use IF to curb my hangry-ness, recent studies show that intermittent fasting may even increase lifespan!


Join us!

Put these three steps into action at Mind the Mat on New Year’s Day during our Sweat & Reset Workshop, where we will focus on vision-setting through a guided meditation and discussion about how to distill your vision into meaningful, measurable goals moving forward.

Happy Reasonable New Year everyone!


  • The latest from Megan
Megan Brown, physical therapist, Pilates instructor, mother and co-founder of Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga in Alexandria, VA, likes to goof around. Yet her commitment to her students and her skill set in the field is no joke. After graduating from University of Virginia with a degree in Sports Medicine, Megan went on to receive her Masters in Physical Therapy and eventually her Doctorate in the profession. Although Pilates was never part of the plan, the method changed the way she treated patients, positively re-directed her career path and enhanced her own active lifestyle. Customized Pilates instruction is her specialty–she designs classes based on clients needs: athletes, new moms, rehabilitation or just for fun (why be serious all the time?). Pilates + Yoga is the best of both worlds, hence the creation of Mind the Mat studios providing classes for all—in every walk of life.

Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation and Sara VanderGoot, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (e-RYT 200, RYT 500). In their private practices as physical therapist and massage therapist respectively Megan and Sara observed that many of their clients were coming in with similar needs: relief for neck and shoulder tension and low back pain as well as a desire for more flexibility in hips and legs, stability in joints, and core strength.

Together Megan and Sara carefully crafted a curriculum of Pilates and yoga classes to address needs for clients who are pregnant, postpartum, have injuries or limitations, who are new to Pilates and yoga, and for those who are advanced students and are looking for an extra challenge.


2214 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301


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