As a full time private Pilates teacher, it's not a surprise I need to stay in shape. Not only for the reasons you might think, like looking the part. Feeling strong and healthy is crucial for me and my professional life and it requires consistent exercise.

The start of a new year prioritizes getting in shape for many of us. You might have heard the stats, or personally experienced that a high percentage of new years resolutions fade to the background by February. This was certainly happening to my goals year after year until I learned something.

I learned how to properly motivate myself. I knew well how not to go to the gym. I feel like I'm getting sick, my knee is acting up, or (my favorite) my bed is very very warm were reason enough to ditch the Pilates, HIIT and Yoga classes I'd planned to go to the day before.I want to stay in shape was not strong enough to defend against these contrary thoughts. I hate my stomach (I do sometimes), a shaming attempt to motivate did not work for me either. I respond best with positive rather than negative reinforcement.

Fact: I always felt physically and mentally better after going when I went.

Did a temporary amnesia descend over me making me oblivious to the time after time proven after glow?

Turns out, no. 

Specifics seem to be the key for me. Specific on what classes I actually like and specific on the goals I want to achieve. Lastly, specific on the time and day I go.

Specific reasons got me to more classes last year than I've ever been to since grad school in dance in '08 and the momentum remains. I don't make as many lists anymore (see below) and I still attend at least 3 classes a week.

I am sure there is a study out there that suggests the more specific you get about your goals, the better you will accomplish them, but I write from personal experience.

I made a list of 3.

If I can motivate myself, only then can I help teach my clients to.

Maybe you will think about a list too.

1. Pilates (of course)

Group mat class

Tuesdays 5:30 pm

Goal: Be able to do 8 double straight leg lowers while in teaser

2. HIIT class

Equinox's Tabata and MetCon

Thursdays 9am

Goal: Be able to do a full Burpie including: jump upon standing, jump back to plank, a push up, and jump to squat every time

3. Yoga

Hot Ashtanga Yoga

Goal: One full breath for every move the entire class

Saturdays at 11am