As a fitness professional if you're excitedly expecting dozens of new clients to flock to you come January first, I'm sorry to tell you; but you're probably going to be sorely disappointed.

January is a very magical time in the fitness industry. Everyone in the world gains a sense of a clean slate, an empowered feeling of inspiration fueled motivation to conquer any previously insurmountable task. This is especially true when it comes to weight loss resolutions, but there's a really big problem for fitness professionals come January one.

As you, like everyone else experience, Christmas is filled with all the socializing and joy that the season brings. It's a lot of fun but it comes with a hefty price tag. Most of us are off work, and under a little extra stress to carry the burden of the cost and the adventure of getting all our friends and loved ones just the right gift.

A couple weeks of frolicking, eating, drinking and investing in our social well being the mirror reminds us that our physical well being has slipped, often by as much as 8-15 pounds for many Americans.

Become the consumer…

Thankfully January first is just around the corner, this is your time, it's the day that everything changes, and nothing will stand in your way this year. You briefly recall something about last year and think for a moment that, "maybe I should try something different, maybe hire a trainer?" Then you are reminded how small your next paycheck will be, or how you had to look twice at your last ATM receipt because you were certain it was missing a digit. You think further about last year, how there was this thing, or that thing that kept you from going to the gym and ultimately caused you to fail. In no time at all you've convinced yourself that being fiscally responsible and renewing that $19/month membership at the YMCA is all you need and this year will be different!

Meanwhile elsewhere…

Trainer bob wakes up early on January one, he rushes to his email inbox and is surprised to find there's only one response, maybe two. He decides not to worry; people must just be getting organized. In the days that follow he finds himself wondering, "where is everyone, didn't anyone set a New Year's Resolution this year?"

This may seem silly but just wait until February and listen as the trail of frustration finds it's way to your door. You'll know when it arrives by the chime of, "I need help, man I sure don't want to pay for your services AND my membership at the YMCA, can I get a deal somehow?"

Now is the time to shift this tale, to learn from trainer bob and save the world at the end of this holiday season.

Acknowledge that the world needs you, and that your service comes at a premium. Your service is worth it and should not be given away, but come January you are fighting a consumer psychology that you won't be able to overcome through sound logic or reason. If you wish this January to be busy, and to face less objections in February your offering will be more likely to succeed if you match the consumer belief described above.

Low cost fitness challenges are one such fit, they represent a cost effective solution (still often more than a gym membership) in a way the consumer can validate. Most feel they can get started with you then develop the habit to carry on, on their own. We know this doesn't often work but it gives us the time to teach them and gain their trust. Additional similar offerings such as deep discount extended trials will also work well for the same reason.

Above all if January doesn't start off with a bang don't worry or doubt it's just one of the hurdles you'll learn that separates us from the typical big box gym. Time for you to set your New Year's Resolution of business growth, will you do the same as last year and expect a different result or will you too discern that it might be time to think about it differently? Merry Christmas from my family to yours and wishing you all the success in the coming new year! 

After struggling for eight years as a personal trainer, Cabel McElderry challenged the typical gym setup and created quite a reputation for himself. His 7 figure studio, now five years old, has won multiple awards for business excellence. Cabel has been recognized as one of the top 100 fitness entrepreneurs in North America and is currently one of 50 nominees for Optimum Nutrition's Canadian Trainer of the Year. He now mentors fitness professionals worldwide in an effort to help them achieve similar or better results than his own. Cabel's advice and writing can be found amongst some of the biggest blogs online and he is constantly called upon to offer his advice and strategies at some the largest fitness events