We are days away from the new year and the start of a new decade. What a decade this has been and if you said I’d be doing what I’m doing now at the start of the decade, I’d be shocked. Thank you to those who have pushed me, supported me and trusted me to take care of their health and fitness needs. Without you, Adam Clark Fitness doesn’t exist (and not to mention I don’t get to write these e-mails that I love to write if I don’t have a list!). So, without further adieu, it’s time for the yearly lessons of 2019 and boy there are plenty of them. Here are my top 7 lessons of 2019 and steps you can take to implement what I’ve learned for 2020: IF IT DOESN’T CHALLENGE YOU, IT DOESN’T CHANGE YOU Man, I try to live this every day and feel like I have since I signed the papers to start Adam Clark Fitness. I used to live in this shell and some probably think I still do because I love my routines but if you are just staying in the same lane every single day and not seeking improvement in your life, nothing will change. Listen, I believe success is found in your daily routines because if you can master doing the little things right, you are well on your way. However, if you are just staying in your lane and not seeking out new challenges in your professional and personal life, you will be stuck in the same position come a year from now. No matter what position you are at in your life, consistently challenging yourself is important if you want to be successful. You want a job promotion? Put yourself out there to your boss and work on a specific skill to enhance your resume. Want to get healthier? Stop just walking on the treadmill. Pick up the pace, grab a challenging weight and challenge your muscles. For me, two ways I challenged myself this year were publishing a book and speaking at a conference. I can’t think of any better way than putting myself out there for the world to see my writing and for the fitness world to listen to my speaking. Was I nervous? Absolutely. Did I grow from it? You bet. Personally or professionally, what is one way you are going to challenge yourself this upcoming year? HEALTH IS WEALTH I went through a little stretch where I didn’t eat particularly well and put my workouts on the backburner because I was “busy.” I was doing up to 12 sessions some days and still running the business side of things and wasn’t making it a point to exercise regularly. During that period, I felt a shift in energy levels (not a good shift!) and my mindset wasn’t as strong. It was because I was not prioritizing my health. When I’m feeling at my best, it’s when I am eating well, getting an adequate amount of sleep and prioritizing exercise. It’s about as simple a formula as there is but if you want to dominate life, do those three things and you will have more energy and live a happier and healthier life. What are 1-3 ways you can make your health more of a priority in 2020? SET THE EXAMPLE This is one of our core values at Adam Clark Fitness and in today’s day and age, there are so many ways to set the example (this can be good or bad). We are in the digital age where it seems almost every moment of our lives is documented on social media. So are you setting the right example? Bosses, children, friends, co-workers, potential future employers all see it so whatever you put out there is for the world to see. At home, if you have children are you practicing good habits because they are watching your every move. In public, it can be something as simple as holding the door for the person behind you or saying thank you. That is setting the right example. What are some ways you can set the example in 2020? GROWTH TAKES PLACE EVERY DAY If you want to get better, it starts with the daily. Want to become a healthier person? Start doing healthy things on the daily. Want to get a college degree? Sign up, get accepted and start going to class daily. Want to be smarter? Start reading books daily, one page at a time. Want to grow your career? Start putting in the hours at work and using your spare time to work on other skills that will enhance your resume. No one achieves success overnight. In fact, Ray Kroc, the man who turned McDonald’s into a global phenomenon, was once asked what it feels to be an overnight success. He said, “It was an overnight success, a long, long night that lasted 30 years.” Success doesn’t happen overnight and to be successful you must grow. Strive for better every single day and doing your best. For me, I made learning a priority this year, attending several conferences to learn from the world’s best. More importantly, I make it a point every day to read or listen to a book or podcast to enrich my mind. What can you do daily that will help you grow and is sustainable for the long term? APPRECIATE YOUR TRIBE I love my tribe. My tribe consists of my gym family, my friends, and my family outside of the gym. If there is one thing I think we do really well at Adam Clark Fitness, it is providing the best possible experience. Yes, the training is great but we provide accountability when it comes to mindset and nutrition, we bring the energy all of the time and give you all the tools to succeed. More importantly, we provide an inviting atmosphere for people to come where they feel supported and can reach their goals. We have created a community and there is no substitute for that. My gym tribe allows me to live my dream. I own my business, can make a good living and have fun in the process and that’s because of them. So I appreciate my tribe. Whether that is sending a card, bringing in a guest speaker, doing a drawing for a prize or having a party, I like to let my tribe know that they are important to me. Do you appreciate your tribe? We can only go so far as one and it requires a team to be successful. Who is on your team and how can you appreciate them more? DON’T GO ALL OR NOTHING This is a set-up for failure and you see it all of the time, especially this time of year. Many New Year’s Resolutions are set and revolve around weight loss. As a whole, 92% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. You are making a drastic life change but you don’t allow yourself any leeway, you will fail. Things are not going to be easy and life does not operate linearly. There are going to be bumps in the road and you will have an off day here and there. If you think all of nothing, then all “non-perfect” days are going to be a failure, which is not a recipe for success. I am guilty of this at times and tend to beat myself up if I don’t hit a certain mark but that does ZERO good for you. Spending time harping on the negative is wasted time that you could be working on the positive. One slip-up is an accident, but two slip-ups are the start of a new habit. Just get back at it and do your best. What is one goal you’ve had in the past where you’ve failed because you went all of nothing? How can you adjust things and live this principle in the future? IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS So this is sorta funny and is a running joke in the gym, but man this advice couldn’t be any truer and I learned a good lesson in the process. I love a good deal. I mean, who doesn’t? When I was searching for rowing machines online, I had what seemed like a million pop-ups on Facebook with rowing machine ads. One particular one piqued my interest because of the price. A brand new Concept 2 Rower usually retails between $800 and $1000. This one, however, was being advertised for $165. That’s a MASSIVE discount. I wanted it, but there were several people asking the question if it was real. It was also being shipped from China and I wondered, “how could they sell this brand new machine at a massive discount?” Well, I purchased it anyway despite the warning signs. Three weeks later, my rowing machine was delivered in the form of a 4″ x 2″ cardboard bunny rabbit. I was duped and should’ve known. I’ve been duped on coaching programs this year too because I went away from my core values and searched for that shiny object. You see it all of the time and maybe you have been guilty of buying that ab belt that will melt away your abs or that supplement which guarantees weight loss after a day. We can laugh at my silly mistake but do your due diligence. If it doesn’t seem right, don’t do it. Have you ever been guilty of falling for something that was too good to be true? This year has flown by and I have grown leaps and bounds. I’ve hit business goals in the studio, published a book, spoke at a conference, traveled a bit, ran a half marathon and more. It’s been a great year. I wish you a very happy year ahead and look forward to helping you make it the best year yet!