It’s no secret that January is one of the busiest times of year for anyone working in the fitness industry. After a month of excessive eating and drinking (with the opposite in physical activity), it is only predictable that people return to gym feeling sluggish, unfit, and many times mentally low after the high/excitement of the holidays.
This is definitely normal, but it is does not have to be inevitable as I believe the key for December fitness is simply to maintain. You don’t need to set big gain goals this month, just continue with the basics so you don’t go backwards in your fitness.
The first step in any physical goal is ensuring that you are mentally committed. The power of your mind is unlike anything and so you must truly decide both consciously and subconsciously to take on the challenge. Once you decide to commit, affirm it. Close your eyes and repeat 30x twice a day: ‘Every day in every way I am staying fit’
A crucial element for success, you must roll into December with a clear plan that is easy to follow. For best results use the following key strategies:
1. Be specific- “I will complete 30-60 minutes of physical activity 4-5x/week”
2. Put a rule in place: “I will commit to one weekend workout (Saturday, Sunday or both!)”
3. Plan your work before your play: Use your calendar and social events as a guideline for how you plan your workouts- no use scheduling a 5pm spin class on a Friday night- chances are the drinks your office has planned will take priority- get it done earlier that day, or earlier in the week.
The meat and potatoes of it all… in other words, get it done. You may have to get creative this month in order to balance work and play- here are some tips:
1. Sign up for an early morning class and sweat it out before sunrise.
2. Know you might be hung over on Saturday morning? Plan you session for later that night.
3. You’ve been invited for post-work drinks with the office- come in at lunch and get it done!
4. Be accountable to someone- Pre-book your PT sessions with a trainer, pre-pay for group classes, sign up for yoga, or commit to a friend for a run.
5. Do something different and plan a family workout on Christmas morning- even something as simple as a brisk walk, living room YouTube yoga session, or a 10 minute HIIT circuit will give you full reign to enjoy that second piece of pumpkin pie at dinner.
No matter what you do to prepare there are always excuses as to why we can’t make the time to take care of ourselves, but this year I urge you to walk into 2015 without the pressure to ‘get back on track’… just don’t let yourself fall off in the first place.