Healthy for the Holidays Challenge

By on October 28, 2015

Carolyn at StaplesCarolyn Loh is throwing down the toughest challenge of the year to her students at The Bar Method in Ridgewood, NJ. Starting on November 1st, she wants them to take their exercise commitment to the next level. According to Carolyn, the months of November and December are always the toughest time of the year for people wanting to eat healthy and stay active.

This year, Staples and I are proud to support the efforts of Carolyn and The Bar Method in their 60-day challenge. We took her to my favorite Staples store in Paramus, NJ to order the supplies order the supplies she will need to set up and promote her exercise challenge.

Brian Moran: What is the 60-day challenge and how long have you been running it at your location?

Carolyn Loh: This is the third year of our 60 Day “Healthy for the Holidays” challenge. It runs from November 1 – December 31 and we challenge our students to take 40 classes in 60 days. That translates to roughly four classes per week. Most of our students take an average of 2-3 classes per week, so it’s an opportunity for them to ramp up their workout pace resulting in body changes that they may not have experienced without the extra push.  

Bar 1

Moran: How many of your students will take the challenge? Do you see a lot of community support for people participating in it throughout November and December?

Loh: In 2013, we had approximately 85 students participate; last year the number was over 200. In 2015, we will have close to 300 participants for the 60-day challenge, but I’m printing enough collateral material at Staples for 400 participants…I’m optimistic!

As far as community support for the challengers, we see a lot of it via social media. Not only do we post challenge updates and highlights on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but the students post updates as well, and that’s where we see their families and friends cheer them on.

Bar 2

Moran: In our trip to Staples you made fantastic posters and flyers for the challenge. Is being recognized for their hard work an important element of the challenge for your students?

Loh: The tokens of recognition we give the students for participating in the challenge and prizes we give for completing the challenge are modest, but meaningful. What amazes me is that the students are so enthusiastic and dedicated about sticking with it. What they gain is more valuable than any gift we could give them; pride, confidence, strength, and a sense of accomplishment. The byproduct of a toned and fit body doesn’t hurt either!

Moran: As a small business owner, if we were to set up a 60-day challenge for you, what would it entail?

Loh: I think any time you are held accountable for completing a goal you make an extra effort. There’s something about checking off a box or doing something tangible to show you’ve completed a task that shows accountability. My co-owner and business partner, Melissa Ferrigno, and I have an informal “challenge.” We have a (very aggressive) magic number of how many clients we want to convert from a new client membership to a recurring client membership. I have a stack of Post-It notes with numbers on each note leading up to the magic number. Every time we gain a recurring monthly client, we peel the top number off the stack. It’s very satisfying to peel those numbers off and it keeps us hustling!

Moran: Does the challenge really end after 60 days? It seems like a perfect segue or transition into 2016.

Loh: That’s a great point and it certainly is one of the biggest benefits of taking the 60-day challenge. Our students don’t feel as if they need to make any New Year’s resolutions. Most people will proclaim that “This is the year I will get in shape and start exercising.” Within 30 days, they’ve broken both resolutions and then they crawl back into their comfort zones. Our students blow up their comfort zones well in advance of January 1st. They also get to enjoy the holidays more and aren’t as stressed about eating healthy and staying active. It’s truly a “win-win” situation for them.

Moran: I certainly am inspired by the 60-day challenge. Thank you to Carolyn and The Bar Method in Ridgewood, NJ for challenging your clients to commit to taking their exercise routine to the next level.

For the small business owners reading my post, are you doing what is necessary to enjoy the holidays AND put your business in a position to hit the ground running in 2016? A fast start can mean the difference between winning and losing next year.

One suggestion is to make your way over to your local Staples store and check out their Copy & Print department. They have lots of great offers and low prices on fantastic products and services to help small businesses make more happen this holiday season. You can show your customers how much you appreciate them with holiday cards, gifts with personalized logo placement and more. In addition, you can get organized and start your year off right with new business cards and marketing materials. Do it today so you can enjoy the holidays!

This post is sponsored by Staples. Staples Copy & Print now offers new, low prices on core products, including business cards, banners and more.


About Brian Moran

Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal where he oversaw the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group.

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