I’m looking through the drivel of advertising as I chuck out my junk mail, and I come across a “New Year New You” headline. New me? I don’t think so.
Sounds a little too easy, and I find that when things sound too good to be true that they usually are. Anything that really means something, will always take work. And if it means a lot, then it usually will take a lot of work.
The tick of the clock over to 12:01am tonight Sunday 31st December 2017, isn’t a magical wand.
The reality is, is that most catchy taglines like the one I saw today are trying to cash in on the New Year’s Resolution (NYR) motivation that most people feel at this time of year. Which, in itself isn’t a bad thing. For the few of you who take them up on it and actually stick with the exercise program or health kick you’ve signed up to it might be the catalyst for something amazing in your life.
For the most part, NYR fail. Stats are that 75% to 95% of New Year’s resolutions fail. That’s a crazy failure rate.
When it comes to exercise I’ve observed people’s actions over the last twelve years.
I’ve seen success with many new clients, and here are the main factors I’ve realised make a difference when they start out.
#1 – Accountability to someone else
The reason Pilates works for so many people is that in attending sessions twice weekly, the job gets done. It doesn’t rely on you feeling motivated, or setting an alarm each day to remind you to do something. You schedule it in, and show up. You do that regularly and it becomes habit. Then it’s just a normal part of your life.
Having someone to help you when you’re feeling like crap and don’t want to move a muscle is another time when having someone who wants you to win is helpful. Let’s face it, we all have days where we feel less inspired and less motivated. On those days, we never regret going to Pilates, we only ever regret it when we’ve missed it.
#2 – Long Term vs Short Term
Thinking short term is a mindset problem, which instantly sets people up for failure. No way around it.
Short term thinking brings short term results.
Most people think of goals in a year long capacity. What if I told you that I think of my goals in a lifelong capacity? Does that freak you out? It should. If you don’t ask yourself what you want in life, it has a way of being filled with a myriad of tasks that keep us busy. Your life is your creation. You can either create it, or have it created for you by others. Only one of those options allows you to determine the direction you want to head.
For every new client that walks through the studio doors I tell them the same thing. We’re not the overnight option. If you’re looking for a quick fix where you do and change very little, we’re not for you. Twelve months is what I ask people to give Pilates when they start. I ask them to celebrate their wins along the way, but ask that they give it twelve months. To change habit, muscle memory, feel improvement and really celebrate improvements it takes time.
Every Pilates session in a micro way, is contributing to your macro. If I ask you in one session what you’ve achieved, of course it is hard to see a major change. Although you will feel a massive change walking in to walking out each time. If I ask you in one month what you’ve achieved you might say sticking with it for this long – great. If I ask you in three, six and nine months you’ll have more to report on. If we look back in twelve months time you’ll wonder how you ever lived without Pilates. I know this, as every time I ask a client if they would like to go back to where they started when they came to us – they say an emphatic NO. Progress takes time. Time and effort.
#3 – Taking Action vs Procrastination
If you see what you want and never take a step towards it, it will always be out of reach. If you want to be more flexible, have more strength and feel better in your body you have to take steps towards what you want. The first step is one of the hardest, but the most important. Just start. Start anywhere, start somewhere. Just start. Take action.
It’s as simple as picking up the phone.
What will you do to set your body up for success in 2018?
New Year’s Love to you,