So it's that time of year when we have ONE chance to make a change in our lives - that's right, New Year's Resolution time!  Actually - WRONG!  There is not a statistic to back me up, but I think you'd all agree with me that by sometime around the first week of February, life gets back to normal and we fall into our old patterns.  It used to happen to me too, and why? Because I've got commitment issues!  Remember, Beachbody's slogan is "Decide. Commit. Succeed."  Deciding is hard enough, but commitment is about what you do afterward - that's where the money really is!

Do you have commitment issues too?  And I don't mean in your personal life - you can take that up with your significant other or therapist, that's not my department.  But do you struggle to keep your promises to YOURSELF, and then do you lose the way on the path to a better you?  If I were ever to write this email, it would seem logical to coincide with the New Year.  While I encourage you to make your "Day 1 for a New You" anytime during the year not just on January 1st, for those of you making hardcore resolutions this year, follow these tips to stay on track!

 Pick a Schedule Ahead of Time

This should be easy for most of you, since almost all of you use Beachbody programs.  They make it easy with 60-120 day schedules depending on the program.  How cool is it to have somebody tell you what to do every day?  All you have to do is show up!  But I know that is easier said than done.  First of all, many of us fall into the "pick a random DVD every day" pattern.  This isn't necessarily bad, but where you might run into to trouble is 1) Working the same muscle group two days in a row or 2) Losing track of where you are and then falling off the wagon completely.

Because of this, I HIGHLY suggest when you purchase a new program to follow the schedule in the guidebook for an entire round the first time doing it.  All of these programs are expertly designed and are meant to give you total body results if you follow the schedule.  At the very least, follow the schedule for the first 30-60 days to make sure you've done each DVD in the schedule at least once in the correct order, than you can be educated to make decisions down the road.

So - SET the schedule.  That is the first step.  Are you doing 90 days of P90X? 120 days of TurboFire? 6 weeks of Slim in 6?  Or even are doing 60 days of P90X, then the P90X/Turbofire hybrid - no matter what: have a plan!!

Once you set the schedule, there are several tools to help you.  First of all, all the programs come with a wall calendar with the schedule.  I have mine in my office, and there is a Sharpie right next to it where I check off each day, and even right notes (felt great today! pick heavier weights next time!, etc.).  Also - log your workouts in WOWY, the online supergym.  Go to teambeachbody.com, click Get Fit > WOWY Supergym.  You can do an auto schedule, or even better, log your workouts in LIVE!  If you workout live in WOWY you can qualify for winning prizes like $500 just for working out, plus it adds that extra level of accountability!

Tip: How to Make a Hybrid

It is in Beachbody Heads' blood to want to make hybrids of the programs.  When making a hybrid schedule, first of all, check teambeachbody.com under Get Fit > Workout Sheets to find some great schedules already made for you!  Also, check here for my two Insanity/P90X hybrids that I have done: http://www.fitasylum.com/index.php/blog/5-blog/11-2-p90xinsanity-hybrids.

In general, you have to be careful when making a hybrid that you don't overtrain, or overwork one muscle group.  For example, Insanity Max Plyo Circuit has TONS of push-ups, shoulders, and triceps work.  You would never want to do this workout on the same day or the day after P90X Chest, Shoulder, and Triceps. If you are doing a "doubles" hybrid (some days with TWO workouts a day), you have to worry about the same thing.  Just be smart and remember that sometimes the quantity of workouts you do per week isn't necessarily as important as the quality.  Doing a doubles Insanity/P90X might overwork your body! You'd at the very least have to up your calories to keep up.

Plan Diet a Week in Advance

People have been telling you this for your whole life - if you don't already do it, when are you going to get hint that it is ESSENTIAL to your results?!  We are all too busy to just "wing it" and hope it all works out when it comes to diet.  This means make Sunday your "food prep" day on top of being a day of relaxation.  In fact, they usually leave out the bible verse "On the 7th Day, God rested...and went to Whole Foods to plan his meals for the next week."  Make a shopping list with all your meals in mind, and plenty of healthy snack food.  I always have the following easy-prep foods in my house so I can make healthy choices when I'm on the go:

-Mixed Greens and cans of tuna

-Greek Yogurt and Go Lean cereal

-Oatmeal

-Eggs

-Raw Almonds

-Natural Peanut Butter

-Fresh Fruit (apples, pears, bananas)

-Baby Carrots and hummus

-Shakeology

If I get stuck, I know for any given meal I can use one of the above options!  All of the Beachbody meal plans have recipes in them, have you ever tried these?  There is a balance between keeping all the food you "normally" have in your house and making it work with a diet plan, and then also figuring out how to incorporate new foods into your diet.  If you find that balance, you won't break your budget with new foods, but at the same time will be making healthier decisions!

If You Have a Smart Phone - Use it!

My Droid yells at me everytime I have to work out!  I put "workout" on my calendar on repeat for 8:30 a.m. (that is my current workout time).  If I know it's going to be a crazy week, I put it in when I know I can.  So Monday it might say 6:00 p.m., on Tuesday 6:45 a.m., Wednesday 11:00 a.m. - etc.  Even if I can't stick to a daily schedule, it's on my calendar!  Treat this like an appointment, you can't back out of it, it's too important!  And trust me, once you get into your workout clothes and hit play, you won't regret it.  No one ever regrets having worked out AFTER doing it!

Find apps that work for you.  There is a new P90X iPhone app.  Additionally, My Fitness Pal has been helping people all over the country efficiently track their calories.  Make it fun - instead of checking your facebook timeline, use your smart phone to track your workouts!

Be Flexible

If you miss a day - it's not the end of the world, but the most trying moment is the NEXT day.  I say be flexible because I know a lot of people who falter briefly and then give up.  If you were good for 30 days, then falter for 2 - think of all the progress you had already made and still have yet to make!  Don't let a couple bad days turn your world upside down, just get up and go.  As I always say, "Don't let a bad day turn into a bad habit."  We always remember the bad stuff more than the good stuff.  If you were good for 30 days, you are doing great, but you aren't done!  Get back up and keep hitting it!  Whenever I am ready to give up, I think of the scene in Cool Hand Luke where Paul Newman keeps getting himself up off the ground after getting beaten badly in a fist fight.  The other inmates have to eventually pull him out of the ring, but if it were up to him, he'd keep getting up.  So take a hint from Luke - keep getting up everytime you fall down!

Say it Out Loud

Do you have goals?  Great!  Have you even written them down?  Great!  Have you told anyone?  Sometimes when we say something outloud it becomes more real.  For example, you are on the way to a holiday party.  You say to your spouse, "Ok - I am only going to have one glass of wine and not have any cookies."  In another statistic I just made up, you have a 90% better chance following through once you say it out loud!  Maybe you'll convince your spouse to do the same too!

Find an Accountability Partner

...preferably somebody you are close to.  In fact I just posted on facebook earlier this week how grateful I was that my wife made me get up off the couch and workout with her!  But I am lucky, my day-to-day workout buddy has been a colleague at work.  We got into P90X together, showed up day in and day out, and suddenly it's 3 years later and we've lost about 50 lbs between the two of us, probably way more if we consider lbs of FAT off.  There were days there is no way I would have worked out if he didn't push me, or at least if there wasn't that expectation that "if I don't show up, I'll be letting him down."  If you don't have a live accountability partner, find one online!  Many of you are in the Fit Asylum Family on Facebook, find someone there!

Join the Challenge!

As you know, I am running 4-5 person accountability groups for people who are going to commit to 90 days of a Beachbody program and replacing one meal a day with Shakeology.  So far, I have 2 groups running right now and will probably be starting a new one in the New Year.  You pick a workout program, you get on Shakeology, you get a free trial to club membership to use the meal planner function, we calculate our daily calories and we're off!!  You can't hide in a group of 5!  Some of the people from my group that started less than a month ago on November 28th have reported this:

"I've noticed that tummy is getting flatter"

"My jeans fit looser and I have much more energy so I feel like I don't have to take a nap when I get home from work!"

"I've dropped a size, my tight pants now fit perfectly."

"My arms are shaping up and my stomach is more toned...especially in my obliques.  I've gotten so much motivation from everyone in the group!"

These really work folks!  If you are interested in taking the Beachbody Challenge, YOU have to make a commitment, but the you get the commitment of me and 3-4 other people to help keep you accountable.  Talk to me if you are interested!

Sometimes you have to stand up and say "I've got commitment issues!"  Follow these simple steps and we can work together on a better you!!