As of today we are 19 days into the new year, which means that we are about half way to what Gold’s Gym has labeled the “Fitness Cliff”. According to an interview I listened to recently, between February 7th and 18th every year Gold’s Gym notices a significant drop in gym attendance. This drop is so dramatic that they have labeled it the “Fitness Cliff”. What this tells us is that many of those people with fitness as a New Year’s resolution have given up already.

In an effort to prevent you guys from being a part of that statistic, this week I’ll be talking about some things that can derail you from reaching those ever illusive health and fitness goals. The first, and in my opinion, the most important is…

Poor Planning  

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Ben Franklin

  • Meals: To eat healthy you MUST plan your meals. And doing it right takes time. For me the best time is Sunday afternoon. Get with your spouse and figure out what meals you both like that match up with your nutrition plan (more about that later).

There are lots of online sites designed specifically for this: emeals, Fresh20, RelishRelish, and many others. Most of the good ones have healthy eating categories like Clean Eating, Paleo, Mediterranean, etc. I personally use RelishRelish because they don’t limit you to one category like some of the others, and I have finicky-eating kids, and Relish has a good Kid Friendly section. All of these sites make it easy to choose recipes and create shopping lists to help you eat according to whichever plan you and/or your coach have selected. Some of them even have smart phone apps.

  • Movement:  Just like planning your meals for the week, you also need to plan your movement. Movement includes your planned exercise sessions as well as the opportunities that present themselves for movement. For example, you know you need to pick up your kids from school on Fridays, and there is a park right next to the school. Get there a early, park, and go for a walk. To plan for this means you wear the right clothes for the weather, and either wear or bring the correct shoes for walking. Another example is the weekly trip to the grocery store: park as far away from the store as possible, and wear the right shoes for a walk. If you are using a fitness app like RunKeeper or a wearable device like FitBit you’ll be able to count these towards your weekly movement goals if you have them. And yes, you should have them.

Check back tomorrow for the next thing that can keep you from reaching your goals.

What method do you use to plan your meals? How do you stay prepared to get in a quick workout when the opportunity presents itself?