Let’s face it. Most of us need a reset. The calendar is about to change from this “historic” year to a new year with a glimmer of hope- and a fresh start. I plan on seizing this new beginning with this new years fitness challenge, how about you?
Sometimes I sneer at New Years goals and resolutions, but this year I can think of nothing I need more. I need to tell myself and the world with my actions that my health – mental, physical, emotional – matters to me.
This year has been hard on all of us. It’s been hard on my body, and my stress levels have been through the roof. I’m not pretending everything will change at midnight on Jan 1, but I know it’s a great time to start something new, to change what I can change, and to put toxic mindsets, relationships, and habits behind me. I know you feel this.
If you’re ready to start a new path forward with the help of an accountability group and some strategic habit and goal setting, then join me for The Fit Tutor’s New Years Fitness Challenge! 2021 here we come!
Let’s Change What We Can!
So much was out of our control in 2020, and that can cause so much anxiety. We know there’s a long road to recovery, but we can feel empowered each and every day by making choices to promote our health and well-being! Let’s focus more on those healthy habits as the clock strikes midnight. It’s time for the fresh start and reset we’ve been needing since…. April?
New Years Fitness Challenge Dates!
January 1st – January 31st!
1 month to kick your goals off and build healthy habits! Oh, and you can use Jan 1 as a get-your-act-together-day and start hard on Jan 2 if you need it. I don’t mind.
As your trainer and coach, I’m not about a hardcore challenge that is impossible to keep up with after it’s over. I’m about you pushing yourself and improving your routines with habit based practices. Let’s chat more about what the challenge entails.
Fitness Accountability: Work Towards Your Goals with New Friends!
Join me in our Fit Tutor Accountability group on Facebook as we’re posting weekly and daily goals and updating our progress. It’s small enough where your absence will be noticed if you’re not posting, plus it’s a great way to get encouragement, recipes, and advice along the way! The women in the group are inspiring, honest, and so welcoming.
I’ll be posting and checking up on you there, too! (The facebook group is for women only, so sorry!)
And if you were hoping to give up social media for January, so am I! I have the Kill News Feed browser extension so I can access only the Accountability group without being distracted by endless scrolling.
How to Personalize Your Goals to Make the New Years Fitness Challenge Work for You
This challenge is for all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels! To make that possible, you get to determine your own goals based on this guide.
You’ll be setting at least 3 habits for the month and tracking your success at working them into your daily life. You can set more if you’d like, but I encourage you to be mindful not to overdo it.
Since it’s a new year and people like to challenge themselves extra, I’ve included some stricter “diet” suggestions this time around!
Step One: Set Workout Goals
Set 1-2 exercise habits, considering your schedule and current fitness level. Remember: challenging but doable!
Commit to a specific number of workouts each week.
Quantity: Determine how many workouts you want to get in and what type
Time: Specify how long each should be to count towards your goals, if needed.
Ex: Three 1 hour walks each week, or Four 20 minute Strength workouts each week. Make it your own!
Step Two: Choose Nutrition Habits
2020 involved a lot of takeout and stress eating! I’m focusing on getting back to healthy eating while curbing some of my bad habits.
Think about what is doable for you right now and where you want to head in your nutrition! This might be where you quit eating dessert or where you try to eat more vegetables. You could go bigger for the new year and try to do the Whole30, eat strictly Paleo for a month, or cut out all sugar.
Figure out what’s possible and what you need to do to get there!
In this step, you’ll choose 2 nutrition habits:
One (+) Addition Nutrition Habit
For your first nutrition habit, you’ll be adding in a healthy behavior!
For example, you could
- add in meal planning
- eat 20g of protein at each meal
- start calorie counting
- eat one serving of vegetables at each meal
- drinking 8 glasses of water a day
- adhere to the Paleo diet
- etc etc
What’s one good habit you could add to your day or week to help you reach your overall healthy goals?
Maybe it’s something you’re already doing…but only sometimes. You could focus on this nutrition habit to make it stick and be held accountable for your adherence!
Now’s probably a good time to mention that each New Years Fitness Challenge participant gets access to my 21 Day Meal Plan that includes three meals, snacks, and sometimes dessert ;)
One (-) Subtraction Nutrition Habit
For your second nutrition goal, you’ll be subtracting something from your diet, whether it’s a certain food or an unhealthy quarantine habit!
- giving up sweets (or limiting them to weekends only or only two times each week)
- cut your carbs after 7pm
- stop eating before you’re full
- limit alcohol to 2 drinks/week or only drink when out (socially distanced) with friends
- stop eating after 8pm
- etc etc
Pro tip: If you’re doing something more extreme like the Whole30 then keep in mind how much effort that takes when considering any other nutrition habits!
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you can easily track. We’ll make a weekly habit chart and a simple (and oh-so satisfying) checkmark is all it will take to show you were successful that day or that meal! Measurable goals and habits are the best, and I know this isn’t news to you.
Step Three: Create a Habit Chart
Friends, this is the best part! Habit charts are the key to a successful New Years fitness challenge – or any goal for that matter!
If your overall goal is to lose your Corona15 weight, you can’t just write a goal that you want to “workout more to lose 15 pounds.” That will work for very few of you.
You have to map out your path to get there. What unhealthy eating habits did you pick up this year that caused you to gain weight? What’s in your way of exercising?
Find out what your hinderances are and make a plan for success.
This is where habit charts shine!
Here are the Basics for your Habit Chart
- Write the days of the week on the top and your habits down the side.
- Make boxes so you can check them off when you crush each habit!
- Track your adherence = divide how many checks you earned by how many possible. You want a 90+ success rate to really move towards your goals!
If you have a per-meal goal, like “stop before you’re full at breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” adjust your chart accordingly. If you’re like me and can’t give something up but want to limit it (example: only 2 desserts each week) you’ll need to factor that in for your total number of checks possible.
Habit Chart Example
I can see how that might be a bit confusing if you’ve never done one! Here’s my habit chart from a Fall Challenge we did a few months ago!
On the lefthand side you see my habits, and then across are the days of the week. Most of my habits were tracked every day, but not all, like making a meal plan (only 1 possible) or working out (only 5 possible)!
I added up how many possible checks I could earn and then at the end, I divided how many I earned by how many possible. It’s actually really simple once you try it!
Click the link above for a habit chart and click “file” & “make a copy” to use it as your own!
If you want to deep dive a bit more into this, I wrote a post about habit charts. Shocking, I know.
Accountability and Prizes!
Because we need someone checking in on us so we stick to our plan, and because we should be rewarded for even considering goals after surviving a year with both an election and a pandemic. I’m here for you, friends.
I’ve already mentioned our stellar facebook accountability group. I adore these women and champion them, and I can’t wait for you to join us!
Each week I’ll have you post your goals, and then give daily(ish) updates about how things are going! At the beginning of the next week we’ll share updates on our habit chart and adherence rates!
- You’ll want 90%+ success rate each week to be eligible for prizes!
- Consider this as you set your goals: challenging but not impossible!
Not on facebook? You can check in with me via email daily about your status! I’m not able to do in-depth personal accountability during this Challenge, however I’m happy to do simple check-ins with you via email.
Did Someone Say Prize?
You’ll place a wager on your success, and if you succeed you’ll get your money back!
To start, you’ll send me (cash app, venmo, apple pay) what you choose to wager (minimum $25). At the end of the month, if you’ve met your goals with at least 90% adherence each week, you’ll get your money back!
If you earn your money back, you’ll also be entered into a drawing to win anyone’s money who didn’t quite find success in their habits for the New Years fitness challenge!
Don’t trust me? I’m a one on the enneagram. ;)
Example New Years Fitness Challenge Goals
If you’re not exactly sure what’s best for you, figure out how many goals you can handle right now. You might need to start small, and that’s OK. If you’re doing decently and want to step it up a notch, then plan your habits accordingly!
Here are my habits:
- Workout goal: 4 Strength Workouts from the Power20 Workout Program & 2 Cardio Workouts
- (+) Nutrition goal: Eat Paleo all month! I’m also adding in meal planning at the start of each week. (For the paleo goal you could do each meal or each day for your habit chart)
- ( – ) Nutrition goal: have a dry January – no alcohol!
- Commitment: 90+% Accountability, and I’m wagering $50!
How to Join the One Month New Years Fitness Challenge
Sign up for the Fit For Life Membership on The Fit Tutor. Thanks to the ‘Rona and the hard times we’re all in together, I’ve dropped the price by one hundred dollars, and so for a limited time it’s only $50!
After you’ve signed up, email me and say you want in! I’ll invite you to the facebook group and we can all chat goals and send wagers (!) until we start on January 1st!