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Before setting goals, this fitness expert thinks you should read more

Zandra Ross wants to help you change your life, in whatever way you want… but not yet
Zandra Ross with a client at her lifestyle studio in Prince George

Zandra Ross wants to help you change your life, in whatever way you want… but not yet.

The problem most people face with change, Ross says, is they think they can just dive into the becoming-better phase, and that’s why they fail. True change, she explains, comes after experiencing a contemplation phase and even a “pre-contemplation” phase.

What is the pre-contemplation phase? It’s that darkest-before-dawn place none of us ever wants to be in. The phase where we just can’t anymore. It’s exasperation, a sense of “something’s gotta give.”

When you get there, you know what you lack and what you want. By being in that moment, you start understanding the road ahead and the work it will take, then you can put a value on achieving it. For example, you don’t want to lose 50 pounds – you want life experiences, freedom, and the peace of mind that comes from good health that you want. What’s that look like for you?

Then, contemplation comes in. It’s the mental work we do, Ross says, in preparing ourselves for success. Lately, Ross has shouted from rooftops about a book that explains everything she believes about how we create success – Atomic Habits, by James Clear.

She loves how Clear espouses what she’s long preached, that anyone wanting to effect change in their lives should “start with the smallest habit they can be successful with and start from there.”

Dramatically changing your life in one fell swoop is not just impractical, it’s almost impossible to achieve. There’s a reason why diets fail so often.

Instead of dramatically changing one’s diet, a “micro habit” way of effecting change might be to cut out the “one thing” that trips someone up, like butter. Less butter means enjoying bread a little less, so then they eat less bread by choice rather than forcing themselves to cut that out. These “habit systems” of making small changes – putting vitamins in a pill organizer once a week so taking them is less of a hassle, meditating for 10 minutes a day, having one vegetable with every meal – all create ripple effects.

As the New Year draws in, Zandra Ross thinks a great way for people to change their lives is to visit a local bookshop to find a copy of Micro Habits, then read it and find your “one thing” that’ll give you that “Yay! I’m a winner!” feeling of success. When you get there, call Zandra Ross Lifestyle Studio, so she can take you further down the road to self-improvement.

For more information about Zandra Ross’ services, visit her website at

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