We’ve all been there: January 1st our motivation is high, our resolve: immovable, and determination is coursing through our veins.
But right about this time of the year…when we flip the calender over to reveal a new month…we sigh. Shake our heads. And say we’ll try better next year.
Why is it that our New Year’s Resolutions don’t stick? How come the human race is so dreadfully predictable in this regard?
Well, today, as a fitness instructor, I’m here to share a few tips that might be helpful on your journey. I’m using the exercise category for all practical purposes (because, after all, that was on everybody’s list, right?) – but really, these principles can be applied to many new things that you desire to make a regular part of your lifestyle.
Find a partner!
This can be a very difficult task: to find someone with a similar goals, who enjoys the same kind of exercise you do, and has a schedule that melds with yours… but it’s so worth the effort of finding it! Having someone to whom you are accountable will do wonders for getting you to the gym (or class, or the track, or the bike trail, etc.). If you can’t find anyone local, a long distance friend can also fill that void via regular text or e-mail check-ins, and if you search online for virtual accountability, there are many services (some free) that offer daily check-ins, rewards/punishments, and a place to track your progress as you move toward your goals.
Get it on your calender!
Buying a gym membership is not enough. Thinking that you’ll pop in when you “have the time” is not enough. Because you’ll never “have the time”. But signing up for a class that meets at the same time, on the same day, every week, will give you something concrete to plug into your schedule. And, as a result of having it on your schedule, you’ll be far more likely to get there! Locking in time (months out, even) to meet your workout buddy will also serve the same purpose. When you’re expected to be somewhere at a certain time. You will be. Simple as that.
Find YOUR style of exercise!
Weights are not for everyone. Neither are treadmills or stair steppers. Neither is walking on a track. But I promise you, there is some style of exercise out there that you will fall in love with. And that is precisely what you need to be doing! It might take some creative exploration on your part: try every single class your gym offers- throwing preconceived notions out the window. Even my small gym has a wide range of offerings: from Zumba, to Strength and Flex, to R.I.P.P.E.D., to Pump ‘n Cut, to Water Aerobics, to Step Classes, to the alternative to yoga that I teach. There is truly something for everyone! – But don’t limit fitness to the gym. Get outside and walk or bike on local greenways, take ballroom dance classes, learn to rollerblade, join your community pool when the weather is warm enough and swim laps each morning…the possibilities are endless!
And lastly, as an aside, be willing to spend money on fitness. Of course you don’t have to, but if signing up for an organized class is what will motivate you to get up and move (as opposed to just doing home videos or walking in your neighborhood): isn’t a gym membership a better investment in your quality of life than, say, cable or netflix?
So there are just a couple of ideas to hopefully help motivate you to keep on working toward your goals. Yes, it’s February, but all is not lost! – Now get out there, and get healthy! And tell me: what do you do to stay fit?