Don't Be a New Year's Resolutioner

It’s a sight as predictable as the sparrows returning to Capistrano. The day after New Year’s day (or maybe the day after that if the New Year was rung in with particular gusto) there appears at most gyms and health clubs an influx of new members. What drives them here of course is their New Year’s resolution to make this the year that they finally shed the excess flab and get into the best shape of their lives. At my gym, they are referred to as the “New Year’s Resolutioners”.

You can see the excitement and determination on their faces as they bombard the club staff with questions about exercise programs and how to use the vast array of fitness equipment. Yes sir, this is going to be the year that they get it done!

Some quickly get into a groove while others never seem to take to the whole “exercise get sweaty thing”. One thing that never changes is that according to my very unscientific study conducted over the past 17 years, a full 95.4% of New Year's Resolutioners will not show up after the end of February. That’s why the regular members cheerfully endure the crowded conditions at the beginning of the year because they know that in due time things will be back to normal.

So how do you give yourself a fighting chance to not become one of these grim statistics? Start by reviewing the 5 steps below and then picking a few that resonate with you.

5 Steps to Avoid Becoming a New Year’s Resolutioner

1. Don’t make fitness a New Year’s Resolution – there’s a lot of additional pressure when making any New Year’s resolution. The winter months are also a difficult time for some people to start an exercise program. Early spring may be a better time to start, but just make the commitment to start whatever time of year you choose.

2. Partner up – enlist a friend or family member to join you in your fitness resolution. It’s harder to blow off a workout when someone else is waiting for you to show up. A fitness partner can also provide encouragement and companionship during your workouts.

3. It’s no big deal – exercising at a moderate pace and intensity level for 30 to 60 minutes 4-5 times a week is really not that exerting. If you’re really out of shape, then you will need to take things slowly at first. Don’t treat your fitness program like Marine boot camp!

4. Use exercise as a break – I prefer to workout on my lunch hour. This gives me a chance to get away from my desk and get into a completely different state of mind. It’s my form of meditation if you will. Regardless of when you workout, this should be your special time and place to tune out the world for a short time and do something good for yourself.

5. Invest in yourself – as mentioned in the step above, your exercise sessions should be viewed as doing something good for yourself. The benefits from a regular exercise program are immense. The physical benefits are clearly measurable: weight loss, increased muscle tone, lower hear heart, and blood pressure. The benefits to your well-being can be felt almost immediately. Many people report a feeling of increased energy and a boost to their self-confidence when they exercise on a regular basis.

If the above steps aren’t enough to motivate you to stick with your exercise program, then here’s a little piece of information that should get you fighting mad: many people sign up for health club memberships and never show up at the club. However, their bank account or credit card is still being charged every month! That’s right, gym and health club owners just love New Year’s Resolutioners because they’re pure profit to them.

So why not be one of the elite 4.6% of New Year’s Resolutioners who goes on to graduate to become a gym regular!