Why wait until the 1st to start work on your goals?! Its seems that so many people need to wait until the 1st before they start working on their goals like there is a magical transformation that starts at the beginning of the year and everything will be different. They will put down pop rocks and gummy bears, start working out 10+ hours a week, and will become the newer, smaller, fitter, version of themselves.
There is nothing inherently wrong with New Years Resolutions, goals are one of the keys to success, but whywait for some magical new start at the beginning of the year? Waiting till the 1st is just a reason for procrastination. A lot of people have this week off from work so take advantage of these days to get a jump start and start establishing healthy habits now. If it is worth doing after the first then its worth doing now. Besides, you can get a head start on everyone else who is waiting till the first.
Most of my athletes started 2011 a few months ago with some structured base training. Here in California our race season can be 10+months long with races starting the first weekend in January through October. If you include cyclocross you can race year around if you wanted (not that I would recommend this) so many athletes want to be at 90% of their peak by late February to start the bulk of the competitive season. That requires several weeks of focused training before transitioning to more race specific work. If you waited until January 1st to begin that work you would be off the back in late February. These successful athletes don’t adhere to the New Year metamorphosis to begin their training and they know the importance of following a progressive build into season. Whether you are trying to add another 20 watts on your threshold power or lose an extra 20lbs, it doesn’t happen overnight and following a plan of progressive overload is key. An extra week now can make a big difference down the road.
What if your not planning on racing, don’t need to lose a lot of weight, but want to set a goal to keep you motivated? It can be hard to set tangible goals that are easy to measure in that situation but it is still important. A great solution is to set a goal of achieving 200 workouts through out the year. That is roughly 4 workouts a week (with a two week buffer). Too easy? Shoot for 250 workouts this year which is roughly 5 workouts per week. That is easy to measure and track your progress, and as long as you keep your workout quality high it will result in a big increase in fitness. If you start that goal now you also get a few bonus days to help you hit your number.
You can still reach your goals if you haven’t started yet but take advantage of this week, make a plan, and get off your butt! Seriously, what are you waiting for?