Getting back to business after a break can be overwhelming for both personal trainers and clients. You can come back to work after a break without getting swamped and wanting a second break. These tips can help you and your clients get back on a routine with ease.

1) Prioritizing

On your first day back to your facility or office, start figuring out what your top priorities are. Make a list of tasks that need to be done and rank order it.  Are there any clients you need to contact? Do you need to follow up with any items you were working on before your break?

Think “Necessities not Accessories.”  What items on your task list are “necessities” in order for you to get going again? Which tasks are “accessories” and would support your business or work? 

2) Staying Focused

Use a keyword that you can say to yourself out loud when you catch yourself starting one task and then drifting to another. The most obvious word to use is “FOCUS.”  Others can be thought-provoking, funny, obscure, the name of a loved one, or a word similar to “FOCUS.” Whatever word you choose, let it be one that works for you to re-center and complete the task at hand. 

3) Pacing Yourself  

Think about how many days you were away from your business or job. Give yourself some grace and time. Chances are, you won’t get all caught up in a single day, which leads to the next point…

Business painted on roadway

4) Setting Realistic Expectations

Use SMART goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Bound.
Set a reasonable time-frame that you think you can catch up by. Put the date on your schedule or calendar as a tangible reminder.

5) Chunking

Group similar items on your task list together. It takes time for the brain to switch gears from topic/tasks. By focusing on completing related tasks, you can save time from your brain needing to ‘task switch.’

6) Book-Ending or Buffering Your Trip

This is a great mindset tool that will help to get you mentally ‘back in the game.” Try scheduling 1-2 days “open” no client days to readjust after your break. Just like you may feel jet-lagged if you traveled and need to physically acclimate to your time zone, it takes the mind to ‘turn back on’ and rev up its analytical and professional engines back to your work.

6) Delegating

Which tasks can you trust others on your team and inner circle to help with? By leveraging your team, it can free you up to focus on key items on your task list.

7) Using Positive Self-talk

This is another mindset tool.  By staying positive and ‘pep talking’ yourself through your task list,  the Mt. Everest sized list becomes “right-sized.” While the list is still there, and the items haven’t changed, keeping a positive attitude helps to stay objective and to put all the other tips into play.

If we’re anxious, stressed, or not in the right mindset to tackle our task list, it can become daunting really fast and feel like a chore. It’s very much like when you support a client through the last set of an exercise. Only, you’re doing it as you work on your list! 

As fitness professionals, the more effective we become at getting back to business after a break, the more we’re able to help our clients do the same. Many of them probably went on trips over the holidays.

Maybe they just took time off because people are coming into town to visit them. You’ll be modeling these habits for your clients. Clients pick these subtle things up and you can teach by doing.


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Shay Vasudeva

Shaweta “Shay” Vasudeva, MA (Psychology), MS (Kinesiology), NFPT-CPT, NASM-CPT-CES, THSA-CNT, and Tai Chi & Black Belt Karate Instructor is a teaching professional, speaker, author, coach, and cat lover! Her passion is to help people become the best version of themselves by using an interdisciplinary and holistic approach, bringing 10+ years of experience in Psychology, Personal Fitness Training, Corrective Exercise, Nutritional Coaching, Cranial Sacral Work, and teaching Karate & Tai Chi classes to her business, ShayTheCoach. Shay teaches classes at Maricopa Community College District as an Adjunct Professor. For more information visit her personal webpage: