A new year brings new goals, new expectations

At the end of every year, I always ask my group fitness clients if their goals and expectations were met over a 12-month course.

The goals are always different. For some, it’s doing every push-up in a BodyPump track on their toes. For others, it could be completing that first marathon, half-marathon, or charity bike ride. No matter how big or small the goal is, January is typically met with the expectation that this is the year all the fitness fulfillments will come to fruition.

Every new year brings on new challenges. For some, the real challenge is sticking with those goals and not abandoning them after three months. A lot of Les Mills clubs have that “resolution” period after the ball drops in Times Square where the group fitness room is full for four months, and then the expectations wither, and things drop off a bit.

And then, once the year concludes, that realization hits in: I didn’t meet my goals. Clients find themselves asking the question, what can I do better?

Even us Les Mills group fitness instructors ask that same question at the conclusion of every year. A lot can happen in 12 months, between quarterlies and trainings, bloopers and AH-HA moments, and even new certifications.

Just this week, I asked some of my tribe members – including two of my own teammates – what they hope 2014 will bring for them.

April McKinney, one of our Combat and RPM instructors, who I may also add is joining me in New Orleans next summer, expressed a desire to get to AIM I for Combat. Sheila Drinkwater, an RPM instructor, mentioned she is gearing towards increasing her class following, becoming a stronger cyclist and has mentioned Sarah Ostergaard as a role model.

Becky Holmes, who teaches in Pennsylvania, also has AIM I on the list of 2014 goals, with CXWorx being the program of choice. She also mentioned wanting to improve on her push-ups and add another program, such as RPM or GRIT.

Shelley Mahoney of Vermont, who will also be heading to New Orleans next summer, mentioned her big highlight of 2013 was the Orlando Mega-Quarterly while she is also hoping to get to AIM I for BodyFlow and AIM II for BodyPump.

Those expectations are all good ones. It gives us things to strive for over the next 12 months, no matter how big or small they might be. It certainly makes us work all the more harder, whether its in Les Mills classes, in the gym, or outside of the gym.

Now that my tribe members have checked in with their fitness goals for 2014, I’ll check in with mine, in no particular order, of course:

1. Get back to AIM II for BodyPump and finish the job I didn’t finish in 2012. In April 2012, I was a nervous, inexperienced 26-year old kid who attended AIM II after only a year and a half of BodyPump certification. More experience has certainly helped, and it could certainly bring a different outcome.

2. Raise more than $1,000 and complete the Trek Across Maine. The weekend before New Orleans, I’ll be riding in the Trek Across Maine, a 180-mile charity bike ride from Sunday River in Bethel to the ocean in Belfast. It’s my first such ride and I’m looking forward to it.

3. Continue to build my client base. This speaks for itself: Continue to fill the room at USA. It’s been a challenge for a lot of us on the East Coast with snowstorms in the forecast every other day, but with the holidays behind us, busy season is upon us.

4. Add another Les Mills program. RPM and GRIT are the top choices to add to the resume.

5. Continue to get stronger. This is a simple one. I’ve set this as a goal every year since 2010, and every year its come to fruition.  No question it can’t happen again.

Hope everybody has a safe, strong and happy New Year. Don’t forget those expectations, and don’t give up if they aren’t met in the first two months of the year.

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.