If you’re tired of making big plans to get fit in January only to meet big disappointments come March, then let me tell you one thing beauties–this is your year! Results are my forte and since I test drove this advice many times, I know this to be true: long term results come from short term commitments. So here you go, your month to month guide to make 2015 a fun and sweaty year to remember.
P.S. You may want to file this under RAD 411 because you’re going to need to refer to this at least 12 times (wink wink) this year.
1. Jump On it In January
Jump, as in jump on the bandwagon. The fitness industry awaits your arrival at the beginning of every new year so take advantage of the deals to be had and shop around. Plus since many gyms and boutique fitness studios offer RAD deals in January, don’t be afraid to stock up on those “trial memberships” and get around town for a bit. Real talk, fitness is like dating–the more dates you go on the higher your chances are of finding love.
2. Fall In Love In February
Speaking of love, whether you’re booed up or not, take advantage of the couples energy buzzing around this month and recruit a fit homie. Studies show that fitness newbies who workout either with a group or with a partner are less likely to abandon their goals when the going gets tough. So reinvent date night or girls night out during this month of love and get your sweat on with others.
3. Make Moves In March
Around this time you should be about 60 days into your (fill in your “result-oriented” resolution goal here) plan. So now is a perfect time to reward yourself for this milestone. Celebrating your success along the way serves as not only a reminder of how far you’ve come, but an inspiration for the days to come. Spring break (whether you are a student or not) is a great time to skip town for a day or two. So booking a trip somewhere fun in March sounds like a good idea to me.
4. Adjust Your Goals In April
Spring is now in full effect, so you should spring towards new goals. Take a moment and asses how you feel, what you’ve done, what you want since you started your fit journey in January. Then adjust accordingly. If you’re off track, no biggie, don’t beat yourself up–now is a great time to get back on track. The days are longer so start scheduling those morning or after work sweat sessions if you haven’t already.
5. Makeover Your Look In May
Studies show that many people who lose weight and don’t ditch their old clothes (or ways) for good have a greater chance of returning back to their old habits. I am a firm believer in, “when you look the part, it is easier to play the part.” My own version of fake it until you make it. But here’s the deal–you have made it, well over 90 days that is (which P.S. is the time it takes to make long-lasting changes). So reward yourself with either new fit gear or a wardrobe staple like a flirty new LBD in your new size. And while you are out shopping stop by Goodwill and drop off your now-oversized garments since you aren’t ever going back to a size (fill in blank) ever again.
6. Juggle Your Options In June
Summer is close beauties and just like those fitness facilities were rallying you in in January, they are begging you to stay in the summer. With travel and days at the beach occupying most of our time most people skip the gym in the summer. So break out your negotiation skills and juggle your options in June by either placing your membership on hold so you can take advantage of all the outdoor free fun to be had, or plan a fit trip (think yoga retreat) with your girls.
7. Just Head To The Beach In July
Speaking of the beach, July is a great time to wear as little clothes as possible– and no I am not suggesting you become a nudist beach bum. By baring more skin with confidence you instantly increase your chances to make both healthy and fit choices. For instance, working out in your sports bra or short shorts requires you to pay more attention to your muscles and your form since they’re out in the open. Plus, post workout you will feel so sweaty and satisfied that a healthy treat to refuel will be such a duh moment.
8. All About You In August
I am a big advocate of regularly scheduled “me time.” So in August I suggest you make your workouts, your healthy eating and your soulful sessions (meditation, yoga etc.) all about you. When I was training for my first marathon, I started a practice where before or after every positive healthy choice – whether it was a tempo run in the rain or a salad for dinner instead of calling my Papa named John, I would have a self-pep talk. Don’t worry, it wasn’t an out loud talking to myself moment. I actually would just sit and think of one positive thought over and over until I believed it. Here’s one I used often: Today is proof that you have, can and will overcome. You’re stronger than you think.
9. Shake Things Up In September
This is the final month of summer and fall is a perfect time to fall into new patterns. One mistake many newbie healthy fit folks make is eating and doing the same thing over and over again. And while this proves you are committed and disciplined, this practice can also backfire when boredom makes it’s way to town. So make September all about shaking things up. Follow a healthy food blogger and make a point to try a new recipe every week. Your tastebuds and waistline will thank you. And if you always do Zumba on Monday, Wednesday and Friday maybe check out that Friday night pole class in your neighborhood this month too.
10. Overdrive Your Gym Time In October
You made it to the final quarter beauties, so now it’s time to push–and not in a miserable, painful way. You have more positive choices behind you to rely on, so now that we are entering the most food-heavy, holiday crazy final months stay connected in a satisfying way. I am the trainer that will tell you to indulge, that is under one condition–sweat more. Therefore in October, if you are working out three times or less a week, then add a day. Or you can just add time to the workouts you are already doing weekly – think 15 minutes or so. I call this time the after party! HIIT training and our metabolisms are besties so to finish off your four mile run with 15 minutes of sprint intervals is a great option to kick things up a notch.
11. Never Give Up In November
You’re way too close now. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, spend this month being grateful for all that your body has done this year–as in at least 30 things. Write these things down and place them in a jar by your gym bag. Then before every tempting moment between now and the end of the year read one (or you can read one daily since there are 30 of them wink wink). Gratitude is always the best attitude, and in your case sis these little praise sessions will be a fantastic way to remind you not to give up.
12. Dig In, In December
Make this December one to remember by devoting yourself to stress less. The holidays can be frantic so starting and ending your day with a meditation or yoga session can and will help ground you. But here’s the twist–make each soulful moment not about you. This is powerful ladies! I did this last year and was blown away with how centered I was in December. For example, I would dedicate a yoga session to a friend that recently loss a loved one by thinking positive thoughts on every inhale and believing/releasing them on every exhale. Talk about mindful. Turns out it’s really hard to think about yourself when you’re thinking of others first. P.S. This approach works well off the mat too.
Let’s get it this year beauties!
Robbie Ann Darby (RAD Experience) is a professional FitGirl, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC. Follow her sweaty life on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more fun health and fitness tips!