I hope your holiday season was full of good memories, family, friends and at least a little bit of time to relax and take a break from your every day routine.
On this evening of Jan. 1, 2019, your Instagram and Facebook pages, blogs and emails have been packed with motivational and inspirational posts and pictures. Companies and people doling out advice on how to set goals and reach them, tips and tricks to make this year your best yet.
I’m late to the game in this regard, somewhat on purpose and somewhat because I’ve had a hard time finding my voice in the new year noise. There are so many good ideas out there and fantastic resources available and I won’t pretend to share space with all of them.
As I thought about this new year that we’re embarking upon, what I kept thinking about is you. Each one of you that has at some point over these years, crossed our doors. Maybe we see you daily, maybe we haven’t seen you in months or even years. Regardless, you, at some point either this past year or years ago, decided that your health was important to you. You made changes in your schedule, in your budget, in your priorities. You set aside some things to invest in yourself. The kind of stuff resolutions are made of, am I right?!
We as coaches are constantly learning, but we know something that none of those other companies handing out advice, know.
We know you.
We have seen you daily or weekly or sometimes just monthly, but we have spent time getting to know you. We’ve watched you work and get frustrated and work again. We’ve seen you navigate relationships and life changes and challenges inside and outside the gym. We get a front row seat to some of your greatest moments in the gym and make a point to stay connected to what’s happening outside the gym.
Making changes are possible for each of us. How we go about making them is as individual as the people who decide those changes are worth it. Resolutions don’t work often because we focus on something big and grand and forget that changes happen in the small, daily habits we create. I’ll be completely honest here. I can’t stand resolutions. Mostly because it’s assumed no one keeps them and what’s the good in that, but I do love that we get to reflect and evaluate and have the opportunity to redirect our efforts!
Every year I try to find some way to reframe this cultural phenomenon. Being in the fitness industry, it’s even more important I think to tread lightly and wisely here. This industry thrives on January sign-ups and gimmicks and deals. We have no interest in having someone start their journey in January only to stop in February or March. We have just as little interest in someone paying their gym membership and not utilizing it to the fullest. So how do we harness the clear turning of the calendar and opportunity to reflect and reevaluate without sending us all down the tunnel of broken “resolutions?” How do we come alongside you and give you the support and resources and environment to reach those goals?
The first thing, I think, is to make sure you’re asking the right questions. If your goals sound lofty and generic and inspirational, but don’t have some specifics behind them with a “why” attached, you might want to rethink those. Your why needs to align with your priorities and the specifics give us a starting point.
Here’s an example: So you want to make it to the gym 3 times each week. Why? You know that’s how you feel your best. That’s great! But how does that happen? What’s preventing that from happening? There in lies the how to get to your goal. Maybe your day just gets crazy and although 5:15pm would be your preference, 6:15am is what needs to happen so your day doesn’t get in your way. If 6:15am seems too painfully early, why? Is it sleep? Do you need to get to bed 15-20 minutes earlier each night? Are you having one too many glasses of wine in the evening (I might be projecting on this one ;-). What’s leading up to these things that we can alter just a bit? The answer to that question may be the specific goal that will lead you to your broader goal of getting to the gym 3 times a week!
Or how about “I want to eat better.” Too generic! Be specific. What about your diet needs adjusting? Why is this particularly difficult for you? What small changes can you make that daily put you in a position to say that you are in fact eating better?
In case, you’re wondering, these are the things we talk about in our one-on-one time!
The second thing that is profoundly valuable is your mindset. If you miss the mark one day, is the goal no longer worth pursuing? Do you find your inner voice saying, “you’re a failure”, “you’re fat”, “you’re gross”, “you can’t do it”, “you’re not good enough,” “this isn’t worth it.”? How we speak to ourselves has more power then we realize. Do you look at activities as “get to” or “have to”? Does one of your goals need to be reigning that voice in? When we have to do something, it’s a chore, when we get to, everything changes! Changing that takes just as much work as getting to bed earlier or cooking up your meat and chopping your veggies after you go grocery shopping. It takes practice and routine. Be kind to yourself. If I could chose the one thing to put on all our lists, this would be the first.
Laying the foundation of small, incremental changes lead us to big, life changing improvements to our overall health. Everyone wants to feel better, live longer, avoid preventable health scares and stay mobile and agile long into their years. That’s universal. More then anything in that pursuit, we want you to know you’re not alone.
So on this first evening of the new year, we commit ourselves to you. Each one of you that cross our paths or grace our doors. We’re in this for and with you. Your resolutions, goals, focus, whatever you want to call them, are ours, as well. So, if you haven’t already, write some things down. Be specific. And then give us call or shoot us a message.
2019 will be full of good things and disappointments, successes and opportunities to try again so let’s get to work.