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How to actually stick to it!

January 4, 2022

health, wellness, and fitness

As we begin a new year, most of us get a sense of starting fresh. "What will I accomplish this year?" "What does this new year hold?"

In the fitness industry we always see a surge of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed people ready to tackle those health goals they have put off for some time. Some fitness professionals roll their eyes, or laugh about how it will only last two weeks, but not this fitness professional! I get EXCITED. I LOVE seeing all the new faces and renewed energy for one's personal health. I hope and pray every year that every single one of those new faces will stick to it. However, I know the delicate tether people have to “sticking to it” is easily broken.

So, I write this to you dear reader. After a master's in Exercise Physiology, 15 years in the field, and 10 of those wonderful years owning my own fitness business, I would like to share my observations of those who DID stick to it. How did they do it?

  1. They picked a start date for a new fitness plan that was only hours or days away. Not weeks or months.
  2. They took the time to create a plan. With either the help of a personal trainer, or with personal research - they had a general plan. If you plan out details you will fail. Details will inevitably be lost in the chaos of life, and when a person experiences missed details - they feel failure. That’s when the delicate tether we have to our fitness priorities will be lost.
  3. Fitness schedules must be prioritized, but also flexible. For example, I was training a working mom of 3 who was doing her best to stick to her general plan. There were a few days where the chaos of life cut her daily time dedicated to fitness by half. On those days she would still prioritize her health - but she would find compromise - instead of jogging for 30min with the kids - she did high knees in her kitchen while making dinner. Prioritize and get creative. It doesn’t have to be perfect BUT IT DOES NEED TO HAPPEN.
  4. If you have a “bad day” or “bad week” DON’T TURN IT INTO A BAD YEAR. You haven't failed. You haven’t failed. You have only delayed a little. Delay is not a big deal. Completely quitting is.
  5. Goals are important but NOT always quantitative. Get creative with your goals. Examples include: feeling better, and having more energy, to be able to climb the stairs at work with ease, or to get through 10 pushups without breaking a sweat. If you set a quantitative goal or a qualitative goal rule number 2 still applies. It must be a general plan.
  6. Set small goals. Let’s say your goal is to lose 28lbs. That is the big goal - do not set a deadline for it. The feeling of failure every time you step on the scale, and don’t see the -28lbs will sever that delicate tether you have to “sticking to it”. In order to reach it - you need to lose a little bit at a time. Set a small goal of 2-3 lbs and set a reasonable date for it. Personal trainers are really good at helping with that.

Now protect your delicate tethers to your health and wellness with all your might! Make a plan, get started, prioritize it, allow for delays, set an obtainable goal.

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