As the old year clicks over and the New Year begins, millions of people get swept into the land of New Year’s Resolutions.
You know that land – that fantasy world. Where motivation will magically descend upon us, and with the mere thought that it’s time to completely change our lives, we’ll suddenly be able to turn ourselves into completely different people.
Here’s what happens.
A person who’s been unhappy with their weight for years, will make the decision that this year is going to be different. She’s going to diet and stick to it this time, get fit, and feel younger, slimmer and happier. Or a person who’s sick of not being able to keep up with kids decides to turn over a new leaf, lose that gut he’s been lugging around for the past decade, and turn himself into a super dad stud.
With no thought for the efforts they’ve made in the past, the diets and health kicks they’ve started but not finished, the exercise they’ve embarked on that hasn’t gone anywhere, the decision is made.
January 1 is going to be the day I turn myself into someone else.
I’ll no longer be a sleeping-in, couch-lying, lazy slacker. The new me is motivated, excited by the possibilities, and has time and energy that wasn’t there before.
But here’s the problem: they don’t give too much thought to exactly how they’re going to achieve this miraculous transformation. Where that extra time is going to come from. How that energy will be present first thing in the morning when the alarm goes off. Because if they thought about it too hard, they wouldn’t even get started.
The first step after that New Year Resolution? Pick a diet, and sign up at the local gym.
The rest should be easy. Shouldn’t it?
How as a PT do you work with people with this mindset? They’ve made their decision, they’re gung-ho, and they’ve handed all the responsibility for getting fit and healthy to you.
That’s right. Because when it doesn’t work (because they don’t turn up, and they don’t stick to their diet), the gym’s failed them. You’ve failed them. And the more they don’t come, the more they don’t get fit or lose weight.
Feeling frustrated yet? We’re not surprised!
So what can you do to harness all that New Year energy, motivation and excitement?
(Actually, if you’ve got any thoughts on how to bottle it, let us know, we’ll make a fortune!)
Here’s an idea that will help your clients keep focused on their goal and reconnect them to their original January 1 motivation.
When these new clients sign up, get them to write down their reasons for wanting to get fit and healthy. Help them with personalized statements such as:
“I want to get fit because I’m sick of not fitting into my clothes.”
“I want to lose weight because I want to kick the ball with the kids.”
“I want to get fit because I’m sick of being tired all the time and getting fit will give me energy.”
Keep a copy of this in their file, and write the most important reason on the top of their exercise plan. And highlight it. And underline it heavily.
You want them to see it and connect with it each time they work out.
And if they drop off, use this when you phone them to see how they’re going. Remind them why it was so important to get to the gym in January. Those reasons are still valid, they’ve just lost sight of them.
But you haven’t…
By Kate Swann and Kristina Mamrot, psychologists and authors of The Ultimate Guide to Training Overweight and Obese Clients (Fitness Professionals Only Edition). www.facebook.com/YourWeightLossExperts