As everyone knows, January is the month in which people make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t have numbers (and am too lazy to look them up), but the majority of people fail after a short attempt at trying to make changes: that’s why the health clubs are packed to the gills from the first of January until about February fifteenth. On February sixteenth, all of us gym rats get the place to ourselves again, like clockwork.
If you have a resolution to work on your fitness this year, I’ve got some suggestions for you.
1. Make small goals. If you’re starting a brand-new exercise program, it would be silly and self-defeating to commit to a routine that is more frequent than three or four days per week. If you jump in with both feet and think that working out daily is going to work for you, it’s possible but it’s more likely that you’ll experience burnout and quit altogether.
2. Be realistic about seeing results. Whether you’re working out for weight loss, better cardiovascular health, a smaller waist, or just to be able to take the stairs without huffing and puffing, be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight. Try and notice small successes that will eventually add up to equal your big picture success or, better yet, don’t worry about it at all. As long as you’re sticking to your set routine, the changes will happen eventually.
3. Get some support. Workout buddies are FANTASTIC, but not everybody has a friend who can–or wants to–commit to the same sort of exercise routine. If you don’t have someone who will exercise by your side, modify by asking a friend to be your accountability partner, even if she’s working on different resolutions: you can check in with her regularly and help each other to stay the course. If you start working out at a health club, make some friends. So many people go into health clubs feeling judged and–as someone who has worked AND exercised in health clubs since 1991–I can emphatically say that it’s not “them”, it’s you. It is so easy to find friendly faces at the health club if you just open your eyes, get out of your own head, and look for them. Eventually your health club friends will keep you on track because you’ll miss them when you don’t go for your workouts, and they’ll miss you.
4. Find a workout that you enjoy. If you hate running like I do and then make a resolution to run regularly, you’re setting yourself up for failure. (Been there, done that.) Find something that you enjoy–even if it’s not a traditional workout–and do it. I always tell people who say “I hate working out!” that they just haven’t found the right activity yet. That’s why I take Zumba classes and do The Dailey Method seven days per week and don’t run one bit, because I adore these classes. (I just did a six-month update on my Dailey Method workout, by the way. Read it here.)
What it boils down to is, you just need move your body. Need some motivation or need further suggestions? Hit me up on my email (melisawells at gmail dot com) and I’ll be your cheerleader. Happy to do it!
Now go: get moving!