“I want to get in shape, so I got a gym membership. What should I do?”
I thought about what she was asking for a second. Many questions started popping into my head. Though I’m not a fitness instructor, I’ve helped a handful of friends run their first races and get in better shape. Being someone who works out 5-6 days a week, I’ve gotten some great tips from trainers that I work with regularly.
“Well, what is your goal? Do you want to run a race, bike a certain distance, lose weight, muscle tone, or something else?”
She gave me a look. “So, are you saying I’m fat!?!?!”
Shit. “NO! But if exercising is on your 2020 resolution list, you probably want a goal. Then, we can create a plan to meet it. Otherwise, you’ll go to the gym for a month, may or may not see results, and give up. You need something to shoot for.”
Somewhere around 40-45% of the US population puts weight loss or fitness on their new years resolution list. My neighbor was one such person. However, I don’t want her to be among the 80% that fail.
After a lengthy conversation, we agreed on two primary goals; running a 5k in May and a 10k in October. Then, we started plotting tasks (workouts) and milestones to get there. She argued she could do more. Though I appreciate a lofty goal, I also pointed out the reality of a full time job, 3 kids and a husband that travels. We also looked at healthy food options as she adopted this new lifestyle.
Training started this weekend with a very short run and some cardio and strength-training. She’ll note what was done each workout to see if she’s on track. Also, she’s got the mindset to get after it, so I anticipate success!
If you have getting fit or losing weight on your 2020 new year’s resolution list, I strongly urge you to have a goal and make a plan. Look at it like a project! Have tasks/workouts and milestones along the way. Celebrate when you make them. Have someone who’s supporting you also hold you accountable for doing your workouts.
This year my goal is to do a triathlon. I found a 20 week plan online (if someone else has done it, they’ve probably posted how they did) and modified it a little so it works for me. It’s printed out and hanging on the fridge so I, and others, can visibly see it. This helps hold me accountable so I stay on track. Because you can’t outrun bad habits, I am also committed to more fruits & veggies, and less chocolate & soda.
If “Project: Get Fit” is on your 2020 road map, treat it like a project. Have a goal. Make a plan. Have accountability. Get after it! Good luck and I wish you success!