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Right about now, you’re probably in what we affectionately call limbo-land. That “Twixmas” time when Christmas is over and the New Year is yet to roll on around. This year it’s extra special as it heralds the start of a brand spanking new decade. Full of optimism and promise! Nothing is impossible. Whether you want to run a marathon, hold the plank for 2 minutes, learn a new language, or even become a participant of this year’s Master Chef! The trick is to…

Get yourself started.

Right now you’re probably sat in your pyjamas, watching Xmas movies and saying to yourself, 

“I’ll start again in 2020. No point worrying until next week.”

While getting stuck into another mince pie for breakfast with a sausage roll chaser! You’d be wrong, though. NOW is precisely the right time to start putting actionable plans in place and giving yourself a head start to success. It’s all about dedication and discipline, yes, but it’s also about breaking down those big longer-term goals into smaller, more achievable milestones. 

Here at Contour Pilates in Brentwood and Loughton, we’re more than just a state of the art reformer studio offering an extensive range of Pilates and Barre based classes. We’re also experts in the field of “motivation,” and we’re here today to share our top tips on how to goal set for success in 2020.

How to set goals and keep them!

t Goals And Keep Them
How to set goals and keep them in 2020

Step 1 is to determine your main long term goal.

Everyone has a goal of some sort or another. Some more ambitious than others! Don’t overwhelm yourself by setting too many. Decide on one thing this year that you really feel like you want to achieve. Something that will improve your life, your health, your happiness, or just generally make you feel better about yourself. 

Perhaps you’ve already dabbled with Pilates, attending a few of our Beginners classes, but this year you want to master the Russian Splits! Trust us. It can be done! Or maybe you want to go from being a couch potato to participating in a 10k park run. Again, you got this!

It doesn’t matter what your goal is, how big or how small, the same rules apply. 

Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. How are you going to achieve your goal?
  2. Where/how are you going to get started?
  3. How will you assess and monitor your progress?

Step 2 is to break down your goal.

By creating realistic and actionable short term goals, you can begin to work more effectively and practically towards that bigger long term one. Make sure that your goals are realistic, achievable, and practical.

If you are aiming towards completing a 10k park run this summer, try and commit to running 3k nonstop by March and 5k by May. Don’t be too tough on yourself, trying to achieve your goal too quickly, then getting frustrated and giving up entirely. Remember that you should also enjoy the journey and have fun along the way. Progress will come if you persevere.

Step 3 is to create an action plan.

Once you’ve decided upon your short-term goals, those markers in the sand towards success, get specific about a more detailed list of actions. Then set yourself some accountable deadlines to go alongside these interim goals. 

Here are some examples of what your action plan might look like to achieving those Russians Splits!

  • Book yourself onto a course of Pilates. Check out our latest OFFERS.
  • Ask a friend to join with you to keep you motivated. Why not try one of our new semi-private induction classes together? Click HERE to find out more.
  • Talk to your Pilates instructor about your overall goals and any injuries to work around
  • Set a date to start and commit to times and frequency
  • Read up on Pilates techniques and follow the Contour Blog to gain a greater insight
  • Work on your hip flexibility and practice lunging
  • Turn up, listen to your instructor as well as your body and always engage that core

Step 4 is to hold yourself accountable.

If you don’t hold yourself accountable, chances are you will quickly lose sight of your grand plan. That might be through lack of motivation, boredom, or even frustration that the results aren’t coming as soon as you’d hoped. Perhaps it’s also a case of lack of consequence (the old cause and effect). What do you actually have to lose anyway by not showing up? Apart from your money and disappointing yourself, of course! Those are two reasons right there to stick at things when the January blues set in, and you find yourself curling back up on the sofa in your comfort zone.

So think about ways in which you can make yourself more accountable.

  • Creating to-do lists that can be ticked off is hugely satisfying
  • Regularly reviewing where you are at against your goals can help keep you motivated
  • Sharing your goal as well as your progress with a friend, family member or “expert” might make you more inclined to stick at things
  • Consider rewarding yourself for hitting various milestones as you work towards your end game. Perhaps you’ve promised yourself that when you complete six classes of Reformer Pilates, you’ll treat yourself to a new gym ensemble! Just pick something that motivates you to carry on when your discipline is wavering! 

Achieve your goals with Contour Pilates

Whether your goal is to shift a few pounds, get leaner and stronger, improve your fitness levels, or make new friends, you can achieve them all through Pilates! 

We want everyone to stand a chance of sticking to their fitness goals, which is why we have a fantastic new offer for all our new members in January. Optimally designed to encourage you to get into a solid routine, our January offer is 6 classes for just £66. To ensure success we recommend that you attend a class twice a week for three weeks. Research suggests that it takes 21 days to form a habit so after 6 classes we’re confident you’ll be hooked on Pilates! Grab our OFFER today and get ready to fall in love with the Reformer in 2020. 

We hope that our top tips to setting goals and sticking to them has spurred you on to sit down and think about what you’d love to achieve in 2020. We look forward to welcoming all our existing and new clients back at Contour Pilates, and we wish you all….



At Contour Pilates, we care about more than just your physical health. While our state of the art reformer beds might well be designed to give you a full-body workout, we also care about your mental well being too. Mind, Body and Soul, Pilates is all about YOU.

It’s safe to say that Christmas is upon us. For many people, that might mean missing a couple of their regular Reformer Pilates classes to celebrate with friends and family over a glass or two of festive cheer. Know what? That’s perfectly fine with us! 

You’ve worked hard, coming to class and putting in the effort all year. Now it’s your time to grab those dancing shoes, slip into that little black dress and enjoy sashaying the night away, showing off those killer Pilates curves you’ve sculpted. Ladies (and gents) all those times the Instructor said “just one more” (and you know she really meant ten) are about to pay off. 

Rock Your Pilates Body This Christmas

While Pilates might have helped you rock that Christmas party body this year, how do you survive the festive season itself? We’re running you through our top seasonal tips today.

Top Tips For Surviving Christmas the Contour Way!

It’s not all Prosecco, parties and pigs in blankets! Behind the glam and glitz of the flashing lights and tinsel can be a world of loneliness, stress and downright exhaustion. Not everyone is lucky enough to have friends and family around them, or spare cash to indulge in Christmas treats. 

The festive season might leave you feeling like you want to retreat into a hole and re-emerge in 2020 when the coast is clear of rowing relatives! Never fear. We’ve compiled Contour’s top tips to getting the most out of the festive season and surviving it “relatively” unscathed.

Prosecco and Pilates

Plan Ahead

Instead of worrying about getting the shopping done in one mammoth session, start stockpiling supplies as soon as possible. Plan in regular supermarket shops in the run-up to Christmas and buy extra items as you go along. It’s also a good idea to buy a couple of emergency presents. Lots of the larger retailers run 2 for 3 offers at this time of the year. You never know who might pop by unexpectedly with a gift so have a couple of options on standby!

Don’t Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself

There’s such a weight of expectation to deliver the perfect Christmas. It’s not about going all out, buying the most expensive of everything you can lay your hands on. That doesn’t show that you are the hostess with the mostest! Christmas is about simple family time and trying to relax and have fun. If things aren’t going quite to plan behind the scenes, the chances are your guests won’t ever realise. Unless a burnt turkey has set the fire alarm and water sprinklers off! So don’t be too hard on yourself. Try and enjoy the festivities without going overboard.

Festive Table Setting

Ask For Help

If you are the key organiser in the family and yet again it’s your turn to cook and host, don’t be afraid to delegate other duties to family members. It’s so important that you have some YOU time. Why should everyone else get to watch the Gavin and Stacy special while you’re slaving away in the kitchen? Maybe ask different family members to take care of certain elements the meal; snacks, entrees, desserts, making sure the wine is flowing. Don’t try and do it all yourself.

Everything In Moderation

Today more than ever, Christmas seems to be about excess and over-indulgence. If you’ve been coming to Pilates all year, you’ve built up a great core that will serve you well. Cut yourself a little bit of slack, but don’t undo all the good work by going all out, drinking and eating everything in sight! Try and moderate yourself. That way, the gains will come back so much quicker in 2020 when you jump back on that Reformer machine. 

Family Festive Fun Times

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Water, wine, water! In that order. It’s so important to keep yourself hydrated. Your liver is likely to be working much harder over the Christmas party season. So stay on top of your H2O so that you recover quicker and dissipate any morning-after hangover.

Stay Active

All that sitting around indoors and over indulging can leave you feeling sluggish. Grab your new hat and scarf (and the obligatory Christmas novelty jumper) and get outside in the fresh air for a brisk walk. Clear your head and work off that extra helping of roast potatoes that you just couldn’t resist! 

Get Plenty Of Sleep

Sleep is when our bodies recover. Late boozy nights are fun at the time but they can disrupt regular sleep patterns. If you’re used to being the life and soul of the party, make sure you adequately recharge those batteries. That way you will keep going like the proverbial Duracell bunny!

Take Time Off

If busy work schedules permit, plan to take some time off in the run-up to and over the Christmas period. Burning the candle at both ends can take its toll. A few strategic days off will prevent you from being overstressed and overtired even before the big day itself arrives. Don’t peak too early as the saying goes.

Spend Time With The People You Love

Try not to be alone or feel isolated at Christmas. If you do live alone, reach out to friends and family and firm up plans. Don’t leave it too late only to realise that you’re planning a turkey dinner for one. Christmas is best shared and experienced with loved ones. So make an effort to reconnect with the special people in your life at this festive time of year.

Merry Christmas To All Our Clients from Contour Pilates

On that note, Contour Pilates would like to wish all our regular, new and future clients a very Merry Christmas. Keep checking out the Blog and sign up to receive our members newsletters so that you can be kept up to date with the fantastic New Year offers coming your way.


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