New Years Day arrives about 5 weeks early for me each year. I treat Thanksgiving Day as the last day of the year-at least in terms of my written goals and here’s why. Most people who set goals use a January 1st-December 31st timeline. The problem is that you really dont get going until the second week in January. Then it takes a couple of weeks to recover from holiday indulgences and its often March before you really start making any measurable progress. Here is what I have done for close to twenty years. Use Thanksgiving as the last day of your training year. The Friday after thanksgiving is always a great day to rest and relax-its the ultimate alpha-male day-plenty of leftover food, no family expectations, the ladies are usually at the mall, adn there is often a good day of football. So you take Friday to rest, relax, and reflect on your previous years training. Did you reach your goals, what mistakes did you make, what did you learn, what changes need to make place, and then write specific, training goals for the next year and a specific list of action steps needed to achieve those goals. Your start date will still be Janurary 1st, but you have the entire month of December to get ready-both physically and mentally. Use December to improve your GPP, to improve your flexibility, to perfect your technique, maybe to try some new exercises or variations of exercises. You treat the gym as a lab during December-this is a lot of fun and it takes the pressure of focused heavy training. This allows you to enjoy the holidays. You also use this month to mentally prepare. Maybe you need a change of training venues, make a list of supplements you will need, of new equipment, drop some hints to your family in terms of these needs. Watch inspirational movies, ie Rudy, Vision Quest, etc. Order a DVD of your favorite iron athlete-you get the idea. By the time Jan 2 rolls around, you are rested, conditioned and completely prepared to hit the gym at full speed.
One final note-You best workouts of the year should be in November-train your ass off, hit those PR’s, and then enjoy the holidays.