I resolve to cook more (4/4)

How weekly lessons fostered a sense of community

Athletes know accountability matters. Committing to a specific plan and regularly assessing progress is crucial to success. But all too often, goals go rogue in January, falling under the category of lofty (often unrealistic) New Year’s resolutions that end up unmet. That’s why we introduced the antidote: The Resolution Diaries. Each week we follow three Equinox trainers on their personal journeys through the first 30 days of resolution season. They pen both progress and pitfalls in working toward change in a meaningful way.

Get to know all the participants here.

The fit pro: Bethany Snodgrass, operations manager at the Equinox Fitness Training Institute in New York City and a holistic health coach

Week four update: "At the beginning of January, I made a resolution to attend weekly cooking classes. This week I was busy at work and didn't have time to attend the lessons. However, I have made meals at home every night this week and felt both naturally inclined to do it and more confident in my skills. I’ve also had some time to reflect on the biggest takeaways from this month. For one, I’ve found that planning is necessary at every step. Taking five to ten minutes to list out what you want to cook pays off in so many ways, including making grocery shopping easier. Another tip that I picked up from a cooking class is to map out how long it will take to cook a meal, including prep time.

I also am now a firm believer in mise en place. This means putting everything in its place before you start. For example, taking out the spices, cleaning and chopping the veggies, and marinating the protein. It helps keep the kitchen organizedand makes preparing the meal go more smoothly. Cleaning as I go is also a smart way to save time.

Ultimately, I’ve realized through this process that if you want to learn how to cook, there's always a way. For me, using online videos or cooking shows doesn't work well. I need the community and practical experience of learning. I found Course Horse very helpful for locating classes since you can search by location and read several peer reviews.

Looking forward, I know I want to learn how to utilize a whole chicken, cook fish perfectly, make homemade pasta, and advance my knife skills. Luckily, I have been able to find classes for all of these and I will be scheduling them for the months to come."

More from Snodgrass:I Resolve to Cook More (1/4),I Resolve to Cook More (2/4),I Resolve to Cook More (3/4)