Every year around this time, I start to mentally prepare myself for January. While the fall season and holidays are notoriously slow in the Fitness world, January and February bring an explosion of new clients and gym goers who are determined that this will be the year that they finally make healthy changes in their life. For the trainers and instructors that genuinely care about the success of their clients, it’s hard to watch new clients start with such high hopes and then quickly get defeated when the going gets tough.
So let’s change that. Let’s use the two remaining months of 2014 to get a jumpstart on making 2015 even more rewarding. Think of how better prepared emotionally, mentally, and physically you will be, if instead of putting off today what you could do on January 1st, you start to tackle what it is you really want. It means you might mess up and make mistakes, but it also means that you have time to learn what works for you now, instead of holding yourself up to this new ideal self in January, and then get completely discouraged and head back to your old habits when you (inevitably) realize that it’s hard work. If you have goals you’re looking to accomplish in 2015 (and really, who doesn’t), see if any of these suggestions might help you make use of the next 2 months to set yourself up for success!
1) Be Realistic. First off, figure out what your goal is, and figure out why you want it so bad. Is it something that you can accomplish in the coming year, or do you need to break it down into smaller goals to make it something you can actually tackle. If your goal is to lose weight, like so many others around this time of year, make a list of things you can do now to encourage that, such as planning your meals at a certain time every week. Maybe you want to go to the gym every day but currently don’t go at all. Plan to realistically make it to the gym 3 times a week, and if you don’t go more than that, stop beating yourself up about it.
2) Make a plan, and outline that plan. Every week is going to bring new obstacles that will try to throw you off your path. There will be doctor appointments, unexpected costs, wedding parties, business dinners, and days when you’re so tired or stressed, you simply can’t handle one more thing. What are the small things you are absolutely capable of making happen every week that are flexible enough for the times that life gets in the way? Packing snacks, ordering off menu, finding out where gyms are close to your hotel while traveling; all of this advance planning will lead to your success.
3) Announce your Plan to the World. The more people you tell about your plan, the more accountable you’re going to feel about actually following through. It’s always embarrassing for me to have to admit I didn’t actually do something I said I would do. Sign up for classes in advance, schedule a weekly meeting with a trainer who will charge you if you don’t show up, make a workout date with a friend who won’t flake on you, and feel free to post on social media that you’re working out when you say you are!
4) Surround yourself with a Support System. If you want to make morning workouts your new goal, stop hanging out with friends who will encourage you to stay out late drinking at bars. Make workout dates with people who are inspirations to you and then keep them. Keep in touch with friends and family that don’t allow you to make excuses when you mess up, but help you see how to react differently next time. If you really want something, stop surrounding yourself with people who are unhappy seeing you successful.