The other day was the first official day of fall, and while most people are digging out their hoodies and pumpkin spiced bread recopies, I’ve got something else on my mind. Christmas. No, I’m not one of those people who has a count down clock running year round, or the kind of guy who’s ever been accused having too much holiday cheer. I’m thinking about Christmas because I know that most people gain 1-5lbs every year over the “holidays.” and never give it back. It might not seem like much, but that could be 10-50lbs from the time you’re 20 to the time your 30, and that same amount again from the time you’re 30 to the time you’re 40, and so on.

Statistically speaking, this time of year is slow for gyms. People’s lives are transitioning. People’s kids are going back to school, priorities start to shift as the pressure of having a “summer body” is further away than it is at any other time throughout the calendar. And I know what most people are thinking “I’ll start after the new year.” Statistically speaking, that’s also unlikely to happen, and if you do, you probably won’t stick with it.

But what if you start right now? At the time of writing this we are officially 92 days away from Christmas and 98 days until the new year. What if you lost 10lbs in that time? Average weight loss is 1lb per week. 14 weeks until new years=14lbs lost + the weight gained back from holiday eating is a net of 10lbs down. Wouldn’t that be a great way to starting your new year? Instead of having to muster up the motivation to get started, you could simply ride the wave of habit you’ve already built.

The Bigger Benefit

While many people workout to lose weight, exercising has a whole host of other benefits. One of them being the proving to yourself that you can do things that you otherwise didn’t think you could do or were too scared to try. Some of our longest standing members are those who have come in and signed up during this period between the end of summer and the new year. People who don’t “wait for Monday” are the type of people who succeed because they are prioritizing their goals. If something can wait until later to be done, you are subconsciously training yourself to believe that it’s actually not that important to you, even if you think it is. Your actions speak louder than your words.

Motivation is a funny thing. We think that it often comes extrinsically, but true motivation usually comes from within ourselves, and it is highly dependent on one thing: Progress, and progress comes from action. Starting now will only lead to more motivation down the road when you’re already making progress. When you come back from that nice holiday break, stuffed full of delicious food, and jump back into the “real world” of all your responsibilities, it’s going to be difficult to get yourself to walk through those gym doors, or get up out of bed when that alarm clock goes off, or do whatever it is you told you yourself you were going to do.

So it’s time to decide: What kind of person are you? The future is yours, and you can choose to be whatever it is you want to be. Be the kind of person that starts now.