5 Reasons Your New Year’s Resolutions Fail

Avoid These 5 Resolution Pitfalls

Sorry to break it to you, but New Year’s resolutions don’t work. In fact, 92% of them fail. Don’t believe us? Think back to any of the ones you’ve made. Perhaps you vowed to read more, and ended up reading more of your eyelids. And maybe you said you’d eat more healthfully, and then found yourself with a salad, topped with bacon, too much cheddar, and a mountain of croutons. We know because we’re in the same boat.

Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” By Einstein’s standards, we should all put on a straight-jacket before making this year’s resolutions. It’s time we break the cycle.

First, we must study our enemy. Why do our resolutions fail? What is so fundamentally flawed with setting goals on January 1st? Only once we have these answers can we give ourselves a fighting chance of success. 

5 reasons your resolutions fail, and how to dramatically improve your chances of success

You have too many resolutions.

Sure, we’d all like to start the year with the hope of reading a book every month, going to the gym every day, walking to work, eating salads 90% of the time, and sleeping 12 hours nightly. Pick one goal, find a small way you can bake that goal into your daily life. For example, if your goal is to read more, set the intention to read for 30 minutes three times per week. Before you know it, those three times will feel so natural you’ll be able to add a fourth and fifth reading session, no sweat.

Your resolutions are too big.

Saying you will drop four dress sizes in four months is all fun and games until you find yourself in the same pair of pants at Thanksgiving. Keep it real by setting your goal to not eat desserts, including doughnuts, pancakes, and muffins at least four times per week.

Your resolutions aren’t concrete.

Arbitrarily saying you’re going to lose weight isn’t enough. You need concrete steps to take to achieve your goal. Turn the resolution “to exercise more” into “to take one fitness class three times weekly.” Once you’ve bagged your 12 fitness classes for the month, treat yourself to something. That could be a massage, or a night at the movies–anything that will help keep you motivated.    

Your resolutions don’t fit into your routine.

If you’ve resolved to go for a lengthy hike in nature four times weekly, but you live in the city and don’t get off work until the sun has set, you’re doomed. Set a goal you can incorporate into your routine. Once it becomes a habit you’ll have accomplished your goal for life, and you’ll only keep improving upon it.

You keep it a secret.

Telling the world your goals may be scary because of fear of judgment and disappointment should you not reach them. But it’s one of the best ways to ensure staying on track. Sharing your micro-resolution with your family and friends holds you accountable, and therefore makes you more likely to succeed. Don’t be nervous–be confident.  

Set “micro-resolutions” and share them with a trusted ally.

Micro-resolutions are simple, concrete actions that compound over time to achieve a goal. Simply setting micro-resolutions versus lofty, over the top goals makes you twice as likely to succeed. Learn more about micro-resolutions.

Go one step further by writing down your micro-resolution and sharing it. Writing your micro-resolution down, instead of leaving it in your head, makes you three times as likely to accomplish your goal. Even better, sharing your goal with a trusted friend, and then sending weekly follow-ups makes you 10 times as likely to accomplish your goal! We’ve created the Mountain Trek Goal Tracker, a simple accountability tool, to help you accomplish your goals this year.

This is your year.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

5 Steps To A Merry, Healthful Holiday

family at a dinner table enjoying food and wineThe holidays are a time for family, warmth, and indulging — but we can often end up with bad sleep habits, little or no fitness regimen, and putting on a couple of unwanted pounds from holiday festivities. However, you can still enjoy the holidays without going overboard and go into the holiday season with confidence!

These are our top tips for a healthy holiday:


1. Make A Commitment To Be Kind To Yourself

Like we’ve discussed before — no major lifestyle change is successful without empathy for the self. When we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves (never having carbs again, exercising every single day), when we inevitably falter, our sense of failure and shame often results in giving up entirely. Smaller, incremental changes are the key to long-term success.

No one is perfect: creating space for your own imperfections will allow you to both enjoy the holidays to their fullest as well as stay conscientious about your health priorities.

2. Map Out Your Holiday Season Events

Holiday parties? Check. Cookie swaps? Check. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, New Years’ Eve, school parties, work parties, and more — get them all on your calendar. Then, take a step back and identify which events you really want to indulge in, and which you can approach with moderation in mind.

Make sure to prioritize indulging in the things you really love: Do you make cookies as a family every year? Do you and your spouse adore the company holiday party each year? Don’t rob yourself of your favorites.

By that same token, don’t “waste” calories on events that aren’t a priority. Creating this balance will help manage holiday indulgences.

3. Create & Stick To A Plan During The Week

In order to offset indulgences at events, be sure to stick to a nutrition, fitness, sleep, and stress plan during the week. With whirlwind events and cold/flu season, it’s the perfect time to prioritize your health. Meal plan your weekday meals, schedule/make time for fitness and create time for relaxation — whether it’s luxuriating in a bath or setting a goal for weekly meditation.

This Spiral Chicken with Mashed Cauliflower and Cranberry Recipe is a healthy holiday favorite at Mountain Trek.

4. Plan Health and Wellness Themed Activities With Loved Ones

Think about ways you can spend time with loved ones that involve treating your body, mind, and spirit. Go on a long walk or hike with a friend instead of a boozy brunch, a yoga class and a steam at a local gym instead of happy hour, snowy winter walks after dinner with your spouse instead of Netflix, and more.

5. Develop A Strategy For Eating Out

It’s hard to stay on track while eating out! Check out our secrets for navigating restaurant menus. Our favorite tip: determine your simple carbohydrate priorities. Plan to pick either bread, dessert OR alcohol — this allows you to enjoy yourself without going overboard.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning program, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress, anxiety, and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Why There’s No Caffeine At Mountain Trek

The short answer? The Mountain Trek program seeks to balance your hormones for optimal health. For most people, caffeine increases cortisol — and cortisol negatively impacts your metabolism.

Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone, and it operates inversely to DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) — the “youth” or “rejuvenating hormone.” DHEA builds muscle, burns calories, and lowers inflammation. Cortisol is released when the body perceives that it needs to be in flight-or-fight mode, which results in muscle loss, bone density loss, calorie storage, and chronic inflammation (the body uses its own muscle stores to be ready for extreme exertion and stores as many calories as possible to prepare for any possible famine or lack of readily available nutrients).

The Mountain Trek Program is designed specifically to rebalance these two crucial metabolic hormones in order to get your body into a state of growth metabolism (burning calories, building muscle) as opposed to decay metabolism (muscle loss, calorie storage). If your hormones aren’t balanced, you won’t be able to get deep sleep or achieve your ideal body composition of muscle-to-fat. Unbalanced hormones are one of the core reasons that people can’t seem to lose those last 5-10 pounds (or “muffin top”).

Most North Americans are experiencing long-term, heightened levels of cortisol: between high work stress, lack of vacation time, inadequate sleep, and many more daily stressors, our systems are entirely overloaded. That’s why we cut out caffeine at Mountain Trek — not because caffeine is evil or bad, but because it’s one quick way to immediately reduce cortisol.
Eliminating caffeine is just part of our induction, and helps rebalance and reset the body’s hormones. We certainly don’t expect people to remove caffeine from their lives altogether — but for our induction phase, it’s important for resetting hormones to their ideal balance. During the program, you’ll learn about the best and healthiest ways to incorporate caffeine into your regimen.

If you’re ready for the full experience, join us at our health, wellness and stress retreat — we’ve just announced rates and dates for 2019! Click here to plan your trip.

Struggling With Your Fitness + Nutrition Regimen? Ask Yourself These 6 Questions.

a person overlooking a rocky viewpoint to the ocean

Oftentimes conversations about health focus solely on physical needs; but in order to achieve true vitality, we must look beyond the basics of water, food, shelter, and sleep. Humans have mental needs (creativity, learning, meditation), emotional needs (relationship, sharing of feelings, feelings of belonging), and spiritual needs (need for inspiration, contemplation, beauty, and context). Checking in with the self to gauge whether your emotional, mental, and spiritual needs are being met is a crucial step in achieving total wellness.

Without a solid emotional, mental, and spiritual foundation, even the best, most well-organized nutritional and fitness regimens can become totally ineffective. If emotional, mental, and spiritual needs are not being met, you’ll feel stress and a lowering of willpower. Anyone that struggles with emotional eating can attest to that!

Related Article: Wellness Questionnaire

If you have a stressful job and like to unwind with a glass (or three) of wine each night, you might be negatively impacting healthy sleep and healthy weight. However, if the mental and emotional stress of your job doesn’t change, how can you expect this pattern to? Often, people are too hard on themselves, and understand their coping mechanisms as failures. All humans use coping mechanisms to deal with stress. Getting to the source of those stressors is the key to unlocking true vitality.

If you’ve been struggling with “staying on track,” ask yourself the following questions

Mental Health

Do you have a creative outlet of focus that brings joy to your daily work?
Are your ideas and talents welcome in your line of work?

Emotional Needs

Do you have people in your life with whom you feel close enough to share your dearest hopes and fears?
Human contact is incredibly important to wellbeing — are you getting touched, whether through intimacy or massage?

Spiritual Wellbeing

Do you set aside time regularly for solitude and contemplation?
Does your daily life contribute to a larger vision you have for your life?

If you want true change and balanced health and the journey towards transformation, it starts with this self-reflection. If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, take 20 minutes to journal about what you could do to create more time for yourself. Could you benefit from going to a painting or dance class? Taking more time to connect with loved ones? Thinking carefully about whether your work aligns with your personal values? If you want true change and transformation, begin this journey of introspection and self-reflection.

Much of Western culture teaches us that tending to the self shouldn’t be our priority. However, when we honor our own mental, emotional, and spiritual needs, we unlock access to our wisest, truest selves. This self-acceptance and self-love is the most solid foundation available to us for a lifetime of health and wellbeing.

Time for a more immersive return to the self? Join us for some of the best views in the world at our health, wellness, and stress retreat.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Our Secrets For Navigating Restaurant Menus

a cafe table set with lunch items

If there’s one challenge to maintaining a well-balanced, nutritious diet, it’s eating out. Whether for work, travel or convenience, restaurant food is incredibly high in calories and can derail even the best of diets. Check out our tips for navigating restaurant menus so you can stay on track.

How to Eat Healthy While Dining Out

Before You Arrive At The Restaurant, Determine Your Simple Carb Priorities

Plan to pick either bread, dessert, or alcohol. Limiting yourself to just one of these simple carb categories will allow you to enjoy yourself and indulge a bit without going overboard.

Skip The Pre-Dinner Drink — But Be Sure To Have A Full Glass Of Water

While enjoying a cocktail, beer, or glass of wine before a meal is customary, alcohol lowers your willpower, and you’ll be much more likely to overindulge after a drink or two. If you’re going to have a drink, plan to have it with your meal.

Additionally, before you even look at the menu, make sure to drink a full glass of water. This allows you to approach the menu feeling a little bit satiated, rather than with a cavernous growling stomach. This limits the “eyes are bigger than the stomach” effect!

Ask The Server Not To Bring Any Bread

Restaurant bread baskets are almost impossible to resist and full of totally empty calories. Avoid the temptation entirely and just as you sit down to the table, kindly ask your server not to bring a bread basket or any pre-meal snacks.

Order All Dressings On The Side

Ordering a salad? Ask for the dressing on the side so that you can better control the portion. Better yet, ask if your salad can be served with a side of oil and vinegar — it’ll cut out extraneous sugars that often lurk in dressings.

Split A Meal With Another Guest (Or Save Half For Lunch Tomorrow!)

Many (but not all) restaurant serving sizes are well beyond recommended portion sizes. Do your research before the meal, and if it seems like a restaurant has larger or oversized portions, consider splitting a meal with another guest — or boxing up half and saving it for the next day!

Keep Your Plate 75% Vegetables, 25% Lean Protein

Just like when you’re cooking for yourself, plan to keep your plate three-quarters veggies and one-quarter protein! At most restaurants, you’ll still be able to find some nutrient-packed options. Look for lean proteins like fish and poultry, greens and beans.

By preparing yourself with the tips above when you eat out, you’ll maintain a healthy balance and stay on track. Happy menu navigating!


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

The Real Commitment That Will Turn Your Health Around

DeathtoStock_Clementine18

As a culture, we’re obsessed with quick fixes: the newest workout class craze, the buzziest new “superfood” ingredient, the shiny new supplements — we’re incredibly seduced by the idea that health and wellness is just one consumer decision away. The truth is, there is no pill for vitality. It’s not easy — as Kirk likes to say, “this is the warrior’s path.”

However, success is not a product of perfection. For the average busy, exhausted, overworked person, the first step to a lifestyle of health and wellness is getting used to prioritizing yourself.

No one “has” time: You have to make time

Our modern lifestyles demand much of us: time and energy are at a premium as we rush from workout to event, home to work and some quick shopping. For many people, the pressure causes them to deprioritize their own wellbeing. In order to maintain a healthful lifestyle that contributes to lifelong vitality, we have to create space for ourselves to exercise and eat nutritious foods, but we can’t do that if we are overextended. That’s why you must make time for yourself — to create and nurture the energy you need to make healthful decisions.

It’s in our nature — but not our own best interest — to put ourselves last

There’s a reason that airlines ask you to secure your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else with theirs: You can’t be useful or helpful to people if you don’t take care of yourself. Unfortunately, when prioritizing, too many people put themselves last. The effects of this can end up hurting your other priorities, however. Part of caring for others is caring for yourself.

Start small: Make plans with yourself — to relax

Get in the habit of rewarding your desire to be kind to yourself. Once per week, even just for 30 minutes, do something that relaxes you and makes you happy. Go for a walk in your favorite neighborhood, go catch a movie solo, treat yourself to a pedicure, cozy up and read a book by the fire — anything that makes you feel like your spoiling yourself.

Embrace deservedness for better health results

You deserve time, care, and energy you devote solely to yourself. Once you’ve allowed yourself this time, and gotten comfortable with the feeling of expending precious time and energy solely on yourself, making healthful decisions will come easier. At Mountain Trek, we delve into why this is, the behavioral science behind habit formation, and how to adjust your framework of time to optimize your health.

We promise that in the end, taking time for yourself will actually make you a better team member, parent, friend, and more. There’s no better way to jumpstart a resolution than commit a full week to yourself: come retrain your mind and nurture your spirit at Mountain Trek.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Thriving During The Holidays

How to stay healthy throughout the holidays.

How to stay healthy throughout the holidays.

The Key To Surviving The Holidays? Kindness.

The holidays can be a fraught time for health goals. With an influx of food, family, and oftentimes stress, many people feel overwhelmed and powerless to maintain a healthy balance.

At Mountain Trek’s fitness retreat and health spa, we spend all week detoxing from what the body, mind and spirit don’t need (caffeine, empty calories, technology, stressful environments), and instead spend all of our time feeding our souls: with hale and hearty meals, 4-5 hours of cleansing physical activity in the pristine mountain air, and deep, restful sleep.

This lifestyle isn’t realistic for many — and is especially difficult around the holiday season — and towards the end of the week at Mountain Trek’s health and wellness retreat, we discuss the journey of goal-setting and habit formation, and how to take elements of what we experience in the program and apply it to your busy daily lives. Our biggest piece of advice tends to surprise people: The only thing you must do every day to make a serious change: Practice self-kindness. Being compassionate and understanding with oneself is the cornerstone of success.

A treat now and then or missed week of exercise won’t kill you — but the quest for perfection might.

Perfect is a myth. Perfection is the enemy of progress. Aspire to live healthfully 5 days a week, and give yourself 2 days off. One thing we see time and time again: People (Americans, especially) focus on perfection: They want to exercise 7 days a week, to journal every single day, and to never have a drop of wine ever again! This is not the successful path to meaningful change — by setting yourself up for failure, you sabotage your goals.

Your ultimate obstruction isn’t calories or sedentarism: It’s negative self-talk.

Keeping your thoughts and actions self-supportive is crucial in any long-term health goal. Creating a daily practice of self-care is the cornerstone of success. Too often, one setback sets people into a tailspin of guilt and shame, and the memory of guilt and shame stops them from pursuing the initial goal. You must create space for yourself to fall off track. You must give yourself permission to be human.

Reward your intention to do your best — whether you fulfill the goals, or not.

Navigating our modern world — replete with foods bereft of nutrition, stressful city environments, at the total mercy of our devices — is the warrior’s path. It’s not easy, and there’s no button or quick solution. Kale isn’t the answer — neither is the newest workout fad or the most expensive blender money can buy. You must respect, love, and honor yourself before you can truly make everything we teach at Mountain Trek truly work.

If you’re ready to commit to change, ready to grow and deepen your relationship to yourself, your truth, and the breathtaking outdoors, click here to view rates and dates at Mountain Trek for 2018. Shepherding people back to their essential selves is our life’s work — come to our mountain lodge in Nelson, BC, and find out what the mountain has to offer.

More Than Just A Wellness Retreat: What Alumni Truly Take Away From Their Visit

Mountain Trek hikers

There’s a reason why we call guests “alumni” — Mountain Trek guests tend to want to return to our fitness retreat, and many are even 4-, 5-, or 6-time guests. While most people come to Mountain Trek for a well-deserved retreat, to refocus on a fitness journey, or to lose weight, most people take away something even deeper, sometimes even spiritual.

Immersion in the pristine, invigorating forests, breathtaking mountains, and idyllic alpine meadows is indescribably therapeutic. However, there’s no need to rely on our word for it — Read on for excerpts from Mountain Trek’s (glowing) reviews of their stay at our award-winning health spa.

The Gift of Lifelong Vitality

“Doing something can change your life. Mountain Trek does change your life.” – Jack

The people behind Mountain Trek are amazing and truly inspirational, the lectures by Kirkland, Cathy and Jen will stay with me for a long time. Things we forgot about nature, nutrition, society, life. I had an amazing time and feel so much better after attending the retreat, I am also really inspired and have learnt so many new things I want to incorporate in my life to make myself healthier and better.” – Inia

Making Real Changes For The Better

“Body, mind and spirit leave functioning at a higher capacity than you might ever expect possible. I returned home strong, healthy and ‘alive’ again. Something is missing and you don’t know what it is…. Go find out on the most beautiful trails, in the most capable hands.” – Mollie

“Mountain Trek is a journey that teaches you a lot about who you are as a person. It is not an easy trek but nothing in life worth doing is easy. The staff’s insights, knowledge, and passion is second to none. The real-time community that you build with other trekkers makes the daily challenge fun and achievable.” – Aman

“They helped me changed my state of mind, which is where it all starts. Practical and sustainable. I am thrilled I invested the time and money in myself — I feel a shift in myself and it feels good.” – Kimberosie

Restoring Confidence + Reclaiming Your Life

“Thank you, Mountain Trek. You have given me back 3 years of my life, restored my confidence, and helped me find my way again. This is debt that can never be repaid, so I will just have to come back again next summer to show you how much the experience has enhanced my life.” – Christine

“Mountain Trek is amazing in so many ways: the staff, the facilities, the views! The most amazing thing MT did for me was to show me that I am strong and there’s nothing I can’t tackle with a little sweat, support and one tiny step at a time.” – Jen

“Our last hike was nearly five hours long and I really thought it would break me. But as I realized we were near the trail end where we started, I powered through the fatigue, walking tall and strong. I have NEVER been more proud of myself. And that, my friend, is something everyone needs to experience. We are capable of so much more than we realize.” – Lee-Ann

Learning How To Healthfully Navigate The World

“Kirk and his team are knowledgeable, well trained, and fun to be with. Mountain Trek does a great job of teaching you simple steps to a healthier way of life. I’ve integrated several changes to my life and have seen the results last.” – Janice

“What you learn stays with you; simple tips you can take home and easily add to your routine. Eight months on and I still use lessons learned from the amazing cast of characters at Mountain Trek just about every day. And just so you know, I’m a naysayer by nature.” – Amy

Mountain Trek isn’t just a place, or a retreat, or a distinct group of people: It’s a philosophy, a set of tools for reclaiming vitality in a world full of difficult choices, a retreat, a return to nature, and a return to the self. Eager to experience your own “aha” moment, and take a well-earned break? Ready to commit to lifelong vitality? Read more about the daily schedule at Mountain Trek, and book your trip today.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Back pain? Read This Before Getting A Back Brace

woman holding her lower back pain

If you suffer from lower back pain, you may be considering using a back brace for your workout. It’s common to see braces being used in the gym; however, a back brace may be doing more harm than good. 

Nearly 80% of North Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. For many, the injury is triggered by a strenuous activity, like gardening or weight lifting. Others simply bend down to pick up a pencil and their back gives out.

Build Your Core Muscles

Although the pain may have started after gardening or a long workout, it’s likely the cause has been building for years. Most people have weak core stability which leads to poor posture. When going about day-to-day activities with poor posture, over time this puts incredible strain on the back. By simply leaning over incorrectly, pressure can increase on your back by 50%. 

Building strong core muscles helps maintain good posture, takes the pressure off nerves, and reduces back pain. 

At Mountain Trek, we are constantly encouraging guests to engage their core to protect their backs, maintain balance, and increase power. Learn how to strengthen your core muscles to stabilize your body and keep your back pain-free for life.

Should I Use a Back Brace for Workouts?

Unless your doctor or healthcare professional has prescribed a back brace for a back injury, we do not recommend using one for your workout. The brace hinders the muscles that should be providing stability, and over time they can weaken. Prescribed back braces are typically meant to be used sparingly during healing so your body doesn’t become dependant. If you are thinking about using a brace, seek advice from a professional to help build a plan for your long-term health. 


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below: