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Great Expectations

You’ve seen it play out every January and February during your fitness professional career: The new, zealous exerciser rises like Lazarus from the safety zone of his living room couch and bravely comes to you looking for redemption. You nurture, coach and encourage him; you cajole him toward his goals of reclaiming health and fitness. And it works—for a little while. By late January, though, the client’s shiny optimism for rebirth begins to tarnish. Alas, in the latter days of February, the fat lady materializes to belt out an aria that sends your client, defeated and limping, back to the cave that contains his TV remote and a big plate of hot wings and blue-cheese dip.

Resolve to help this client make 2006 different. Employ every motivational strategy you know to keep him on the path toward his goals. Work with him to tailor an activity program he can live with long term. If you can just get him over the February and March doldrums, he may well continue striding toward a permanent lifestyle change that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. Remember, great expectations have the potential to become exceptional accomplishments!

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