It’s in the air, the cold is coming and that means that the holidays aren’t far behind. November and December always seem to speed by in a blur of unhealthy holiday food and sedentary traditions and then we’re stuck on New Year’s Eve making promises that we’ll do better this year. We say we’ll start that diet and we’ll join a gym (and actually go)—but the thing is, these are the resolutions we should be making right now—not two months from now.
That’s what professional Ironman triathlete Travis Hawkins suggests—setting fitness goals on Halloween instead of waiting until New Year’s Eve.
Hawkins has worked in the fitness industry for the past 6 years as a nutrition, fitness and triathlon coach and he says he notices patterns. The most consistent pattern is the “massive influx of ‘resolutioners’ attacking the gym floors with purpose in January, only to quickly fade.” Avoiding the crowds for two months is only one of the reasons to start now. Take a look at the four reasons Halloween is the best time to set fitness goals and then start making progress two months before everyone else.
#1 The after taste of summer is still lingering on your tongue. Though you may be looking forward to cuddling up with a pumpkin spice late, covered in corduroy, tweed and wool, the occasional 70 degree day keeps the vitamin D flowing. Before what's left of your tan lines fade into an unrecognizable shade of pale, use the remainder of that energy to get started on a plan that will carry you through the holidays and frigid temps that follow. Why wait till you're already in hibernation to try to get motivated?
#2 You have an extra hour in the morning—use it to go to the gym. The end of Daylight Savings Time means we set our clocks back one hour. A typical class at the gym or session with as personal trainer is…one hour. I know, this is just a technicality and the effects of daylight savings may only last a few days, but it's a better excuse than waiting till your hung over and in a food coma on January 1!
#3 If you set your New Year’s Resolution now, you’ll see major progress it by January 1. The cold weather & holidays are coming—we know this. We also know denying these facts won’t help. Accept that life will get hectic and include that craziness in your plan. If you plan on being healthy through the holidays, set that as your resolution. With a two month head start; think how great it will be on January 1 when you've already seen yourself succeed.
#4 Start a trend and make some friends. If you start now and think of November & December as pre-season, you’ll be ahead of the trend curve. You can use that time to learn a thing or two about the gym, like where the water fountains are and why it's not cool to swing kettlebells where people like to do yoga. When the masses attack the new and unfamiliar equipment at the gym, you can point your nose at them—or point them in the right direction and make a friend.