For the past 3 years, I’ve taught group fitness classes at Uplift Studios, a premiere women’s only personal training + group fitness studio in Manhattan. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be a part of a growing start-up that focusing on empowering women to be their strongest selves, both inside + out.
One of the practices we’ve added along the way is having a monthly Fitness Focus; that is, a theme or goal that all instructors + trainers thread throughout their classes + sessions. I had suggested this idea a while back, because with such dedicated clients, I felt it was important that both the client + instructor had something specific on which to focus efforts. In the past, we’ve highlighted specific pillars of fitness: speed, agility, power, strength, flexibility, and so forth. But very aptly this month, the goal is simple yet seemingly challenging, and not at all in a physical way: we’re working on being consistent.
With the lofty resolutions that the New Year can bring, I love that Uplift decided to almost scale it back to focus on what I think it the most important aspect when it comes to fitness (as well as to nutrition + general health).
It’s estimated that only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions see them to completion. Now, that may have a lot to do with setting goals that are not SMART.
That is, goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant (and realistic), and time-based. (Setting SMART goals is a topic about which I could go on forever.)
If your goal is just not doable from the start, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. But, if the goal is not outrageous or unrealistic, then what might hinder people from seeing results?
Consistency is key. And by that, I don’t mean going to the gym every morning at 6am, or heading to the hardest class you’ve every been do multiple times a week until you feel like you literally cannot go one more time. By consistency, I just mean do something and do it often + regularly. Like, every day.
This may seem oversimplified, or even, ineffective, but the truth of the matter is, anything will work if you do it. In her book, Better than Before, author and happiness + habits expert Gretchen Rubin points out that “keeping up is easier than catching up.” She also explains that once you’ve established a habit, but then for one reason or another broken it, it’s far more difficult to pick it back up again.
So whether you are a seasoned exercise fanatic looking to up your intensity or brand-new to working out and looking to create a regimen, keep in mind that if you set your sights too high, you might fall fast + hard. Instead, make your goal to be consistent. Look at your calendar, evaluate how much time, energy + effort you can realistically dedicate to not only working out, but being just being active. Every little bit truly counts.