When we’re in our 20s, we may tease our friends about being “over the hill.” when they turn 30 or 40. You may even decorate their birthday party with black “Over the Hill” balloons and funny gifts. But, when we’re actually approaching what felt very old when we were in our 20s, we realize that there’s a big disconnect between that stigma and how you really feel.

In fact, when you’re healthy and fit, “over the hill” can be a great thing! We’re wrapping up many of the big expenses and time-consuming parts of life: careers, raising children, universities, weddings, etc., and finding more time to enjoy a new level of freedom. Unless you’re caring for someone who’s not in good health, “over the hill” means you’re finally free to start doing more of what you want to do … including travel, hobbies, new activities, etc.

At this point, you need to decide how you’re going to live that newfound freedom. What is it going to look like?

Choose Your Trajectory

Are you going to live on the high line where you can do all the things you need to do, all the things you want to do, and all the things you really love or even dream to do—for as long in life as possible?

Or, are you going to be on a lower trajectory? Maybe that means you’ll eventually have trouble climbing the stairs. Maybe you’ll have trouble getting in and out of a car. Maybe you’ll lose your driving privileges. Maybe you’ll even have to move into an assisted living or nursing home facility (something no one really aspires to do). I’m assuming, that is not your goal.

The reason we see people still out on the golf course in their 80s and 90s is because they made a lot of positive investments in their health in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Once again, exercise is a gift to yourself today. But, it’s also a gift to you tomorrow.

“Should I make time to exercise today?” You absolutely should, even if it’s just 15 or 20 minutes because it’s going to pay dividends in the years to come.

Understanding the Stages of Change

Now, let’s talk about how we can make this happen! How do I actually get started? I just don’t have the motivation to do that today, or I feel so busy or …” There are lots of different excuses why people don’t want to begin. We’ve not only heard them all, but we’ve also probably used a few ourselves!

Knowing that, we want to walk you through what we call the Stages of Change model and use this to really help you understand how to change your behaviour.

Stage 1: Precontemplation

It starts with precontemplation. By picking reading this article, you’ve made a step forward. The reality is, a few days ago, you may not have even been thinking about exercising, and that’s okay. You were in the early stages of change, where the thought of changing your health and fitness behaviour wasn’t in your thought pattern. The thought of joining a health club, working out with a personal trainer, or starting an exercise routine was simply not something you were considering. That’s fine. It’s part of the process. But, something triggered your move from pondering to actual contemplation.

Stage 2: Contemplation

At this point, you’ve moved to the next stage of change— contemplation. “You know what? Maybe I need to give this another thought, or maybe I need to investigate this. Maybe I need to think about how exercise could impact my health, my overall well-being.” Or, perhaps something shook you into the contemplation phase, like noticing an unwelcome symptom of ageing or a health scare or the death of someone you knew. Contemplation is an important stage, but we encourage you not to stay stuck here. We don’t want you to contemplate your health and your wellness for the next five years and lose precious time. We want you to move into action. It’s really important that you don’t just think about being a healthy person. You need to act today and start becoming a healthy person. As they say, knowledge is not power. It’s only potential power. Action is power.

Stage 3: Preparation

To act, you need to prepare! The preparation stage does just that. It’s where you really start to make a plan. You get to decide, “How am I going to attack and begin my health and wellness journey?” Planning your attack does not have to be done alone. In fact, it’s better to have an experienced trainer to work with you step-by step to guide you, support you, and encourage you! Preparation involves picking a plan and committing to it … and our 21-Day offer provides support during the critical beginning of your journey. We’re going to give you all sorts of tools, so you can be more successful. In fact, with our experience training hundreds of clients, we know what works best and what may trip you up along the way. So, preparation means picking your start-up plan and blocking the time to get moving. Choose to change and we’ll be there to support and challenge you every step of the way.

“I Don’t Have Enough Time” When considering a significant habit change, we need to talk about the biggest excuse all of us have, “We don’t have enough time!” It’s the number one reason people get stuck in the preparation phase, but we know how to get past it! The only way to find time is to make time. You need to prepare and plan to exercise. It needs to be part of your schedule; otherwise, like anything else, it just doesn’t get done.

Think about this. We plan and prepare to make time for most things that are important to us. You make time to eat, shower, grocery shop, check email, attend meetings, etc. Scheduling your time to exercise should just be another one of these essential priorities.

You need to think of exercise as one of the most important appointments of your day, which means you need to prepare for it. For us to best help you, you have to be willing to give us 30 minutes, three days a week—at least twice a week with a commitment to find time for a third workout on your own.

Think of it this way, if you can’t carve out that time to invest in your health and wellness, then you probably need to revaluate some of your priorities. You need to decide what is most important to you because taking care of yourself should be at the top of the list.

There are 168 hours in one week. Committing to 30 minutes, three days a week, or at least twice a week with a commitment to find a third workout on your own, is just 1.5 hours of your time per week (or less than 1% of your entire week!).

You can do this! Once you’ve made the commitment to make the time, you’re prioritizing yourself and your health. That is going to result in benefits way beyond those 1.5 hours.

Stage 4: Action

You’re almost there! You’ve moved through the early phases where lots of people get stuck, and now you’re ready for the next stage of change—action. We’re here to help you get started! With our personal training sessions, action means showing up for the first 21 days. We’ll create a fitness plan tailored to your specific needs and help you commit to moving forward with taking care of yourself.

Stage 5: Maintenance

You’ve made it through the start-up phase and now you’re hooked. Welcome to the final stage of change—maintenance! At this point, you know how much better you feel when you’re challenging yourself physically, and now you are ready to commit to showing up for the rest of your life.

Maintaining a functional fitness plan for the rest of your life is the real objective. We want you to be regularly active, fit, and exercising in a training program that targets physical and mental needs.

You’re on your way to staying on the highest line possible so that you are one of the success stories for decades to come.

That’s not a 21-Day result or even a six-month project.

Living on the highline is a lifelong commitment and riding it “over the hill” should be one of life’s greatest pleasures.