January is one of the biggest months for new gym memberships--a fact that doesn’t probably surprise you if you've tried sharing space in the weight room around the New Year--but by the middle of the year, those numbers have dropped quite a bit. Where did they all go come March?!
It’s easy to get caught up in New Year’s resolutions, but a Spring Check In might be a better habit to cultivate; after the excitement associated with the ambition of setting goals has worn off (not to mention the panic some of us might feel after the food and drink revelry of the holidays), you’re left with nothing but...the work.
...And those bad habits we resolved to change die hard.
We set aside time when winter (finally) ends to clean out our houses, pull out those warm weather outfits...why not start a habit of dusting off the goals we set at the start of the year, as well? January 1st is often seen as a time to set new resolutions...why not make April Fools’ Day a time to show those good intentions who’s boss?
Setting the goals in January is the “fun” part, "This is going to be the year!" --envisioning your muscular gains as you put on a bikini in the summer, or kill that marathon, etc. But there’s an enjoyment to be had in reflecting on how far you've come this year (or not come) and fine-tuning the process, as well. Thinking about how you’re going to refine your approach after the initial buzz of a new routine has worn off, adding challenges and/or rewards to maintain your focus and interest...just like it’s possible to become a person who likes cleaning, it’s totally achievable to develop your inner list when it comes to a Spring Cleaning Blitz for your habits.
Habit Spring Cleaning Checklist
Do the goals that I set have measurable timelines? (For example, “Run a marathon this summer” could be broken down into increasing mileage incrementally, month by month.)
Are there tasks that I can align with other duties or pursuits that will make them easier to accomplish regularly? (Changing your gym time to correlate with dropping a kid off at school, for instance, or running with a friend to fit in some social time.)
Can I associate natural (or material) rewards with achieving mini goals on the way to the bigger one? (It may not be feasible to buy yourself new running shoes each time you gain significant time on your pace, but if you only listen to that audiobook you’re enjoying when you run, it may push you to be consistent).
Is it necessary to get outside help? A solid plan or a personal trainer may be the encouragement you need to get over the hump, or stay focused. Professional guidance can also be valuable for making tweaks when progress stalls...and that can have a big effect on your enthusiasm and your achievements.
In short, what can you do differently accomplish your New Year Resolution this year?
Don’t let Spring mean a slump for those resolutions...let it be a catalyst for knocking goals out of the park!