Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a great christmas and is prepared for a brand new year in a few days. This is one of favorite times of the year, as we are soon going to see the gym flooded with brand new individuals that looking to cash in on those new year’s resolutions they just made. Sadly most of these individuals will not make it 2-3 months into the new year with their training or will completely drop off the planet leaving us trainers asking, where did they all go? So how can you find that right balance to keep yourself coming for the next year? Here are a few steps I think are important to maintaining an active lifestyle.

Have a SMART goal:

Goals are great. They keep you honest, push you to do better, cause you to increase your workout intensity, and overall can change your entire lifestyle. But goals are also often very very very vague. I hear too often ” I want to lose weight, I want to tone up, I want to get stronger.” These are all great starts! But they also are just that, starts. What we want is a SMART goal. A SMART goal is Specific, Measureable, Action oriented, Realistic, and Time frame specific. If your goal doesn’t match all of these requirements, then you may want to revamp it a bit.  So for example, a good SMART goal may be :” I would like to lose 15 lbs of fat by May 31st by exercising 3 times a week and using proper nutrition. ” SO lets run it through the check list: Specific? yep Measureable? yes Action oriented? yes (we are going to workout and use proper nutrition) Realistic? yes ( we’d like to see 1-2 lbs of weight loss per week, so this is healthy and attainable)  and lastly time frame specific: yes we have a date on paper. Now the most important aspect of setting your SMART goal is to write it down!!!!! In my opinion, if a goal isn’t on paper, it doesn’t really exist. Write it down and share it with at least one other person as it will help bring us to the next bullet point…..

Be accountable (or get help):

One of the best things about training with a personal trainer or a strenght coach is that you have someone that is going to hold you accountable, some one that is going to be a little hard on you when you say you spent your weekend eating bon bons and binging on netflix. It’s amazing what a little bit of guilt, used properly I might add, can do to someone’s woirk ethic and lifestyle changes. NOW I do know that not everyone can afford a personal trainer, or may not prefer having a trainer, so a friend, relative, coworker, or spouse may be your next best option to keep you heading to the gym. I always love training people in pairs, or even bigger groups (4-6) as some healthy competition always brews up and pushes you to a different level of training. It’s actually one thing I miss, as when I was in college I had a great training partner who pushed me immensely adn of course I saw great gains in strength and worked extremely hard every session. But you don’t even need someone necessarily to train with, just someone who make ask hey, did you hit the gym today? Did you eat like junk today? etc. That’ all some of us need, but if you aren’t programmed to keep yourself accountable, its a must in order to see progress and keep yourself in the gym.

Always have a plan of attack:

I’ll admit right off the bat, I may not always have something wrtitten comletely out on paper in front of me when I workout, but I darn sure have an unbelievably good plan, not only for myself, but for my clients as well. If you are going to the gym, and you don’t have a plan of attack for what you are gonig to do, you may as well stop and go home as you are not going to do half as well as you’d like and you are just going to be wasting your hour. Don’t be that person that is looking around the gym and saying “Oh that looks cool, maybe I’ll try that.” You’ll never get anything good accomplished, and in most cases you’ll probably see and do that exercise wrong. Instead, talk to a trainer, get a comp session, find a work out in a magazine (it iss better than wandering around the gym), or try and lay out a bit of a plan for yourself before you go! Also have a plan as to when you are going to go to the gym.  The individuals that gain the most out of their training are the ones we see that have exercise built in as a habit. They go at the same time everytime, are dedicated to what they do, they are focussed on what they are doing, and they get the job done and then head out (ie don’t dilly dally around, you can talk after you’re done, focus on what you are doing and grind it out if need be).

Start easy:

Yup, take it easy that first day. Take it easy that first week. Don’t expect to go into the gym and do a Rocky training montage on your first day as it’s the best way to burn yourself out and or scare yourself out of your new lifestyle. Now if you love pain and muscle soreness, go for it! But most individuals have stayed away from training because of soreness, so take it easy, practice good form, and find what you like and dislike. DO alot of the stuff you dislike in the coming weeks, and do alot of the stuff you like too. But remember its always a progression. Start light and work your way up.

Make it enjoyable:

Lastly, find a way to make you workout enjoyable. Going to the gym isn’t gloom and doom and being scared. Everyone else there is at the gym for the same reasons as you, to become a better person. SO come in, talk to those around you, talk to the trainers, the gym staff, and buy into the culture of the gym, the culture of training, and the culture of working out. Because it may just be something you never realized you were missing in your life.