It’s almost that time of year! You know the one.

No, I am not talking about the holidays, winter break, and time with the family. I am talking about that time right after, the dreaded “resolutions” time. And all too often, resolutions include a “fitness goal” or some such, which more often than not, fail.

I train year round for triathlons, so I see these people every January as they suddenly start packing the gym. And by mid February, they are all gone leaving lots of available exercise equipment once again.

So, what is the key to success with a new fitness program? If you are one of those people hoping to start the new year with a more fit life (good choice!), what if there was a way to guarantee that you remain committed to your new fitness goal?

I have three ideas for you: get a buddy, work out early, and choose a workout that is fun and interesting. Time for a little workout psychology.

First up, the buddy system. There are three activities in a classic triathlon: swimming, biking, and running. I use the buddy system for all three, and it has been very effective at keeping me honest to my workout program.

I can’t sleep in on running days knowing that my running buddy is standing in the rain waiting for me! But also running with a buddy is great because you can chat about things which helps keep the exercise interesting, it becomes something you can look forward to doing.

Swimming is a bit more of a solo event, but again I use the buddy system. My wife is an avid swimmer and going together helps supply the necessary activation energy to get all the swim gear in the bag and go to the pool.

For the bicycle, I joined a class at the gym. It’s a good class full of interesting people, good music and a high energy level. And, being indoors, it is easier to attend year round when the weather is less conducive to biking outside.

So that’s the first idea, get a buddy! What about working out early? 

I have written about this before, but I find that early morning workouts are easier to stay committed to. You get up and before anything else, get that workout done. No excuses, no “busy day” getting in the way. Get up, get it done.

And now the third element: choose a workout that is fun and interesting. It is much harder to change your behavior if the new behavior is BORING. It requires too much will power, which is often in short supply as life throws new hurdles at you.

And yet people make this mistake every year! They start off strong with something like the treadmill, but pretty soon the treadmill sounds like a droll horrible boring waste of time. And the problem is, it is!

Now the buddy system can help here, but if you can find a workout program you actually enjoy, then it is more likely to be something that you make part of your life. 

And that is the key: this workout program needs to become who you are, part of your identity. 

I AM a triathlete, it is part of who I am, and you have to train to do that, so I do. 

It’s much harder to be internally motivated by “I am a treadmill walker.” 

Now, I am not saying that you should take up triathlons! Honestly unless you have iron will power, I don’t recommend that you start with that.

Instead what if there was an activity that could satisfy all three components in one goal? Allow me to humbly suggest Fulcrum Tae Kwon Do!

Although Tae Kwon Do is a bit of a “solo” sport, we work out together and keep each other motivated, so the buddy system is in play.

And Fulcrum Tae Kwon Do is early morning Monday, Wednesday, and Friday now so we have that piece as well. Get up, get it done.

Finally it is very interesting, engaging, good for gaining and maintaining flexibility, and practical for self-defense. It is something that can become part of your identity. I AM a black belt, and you can be as well. 

So, don’t choose the treadmill this year, choose Fulcrum Tae Kwon Do and start a journey that will forever change your life for the better.

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