It’s a brand new year, and with that comes New Year’s Resolutions. While people make all sorts of resolutions, ranging from quitting smoking (common) to learning a new language (less common), a perennial favorite is the “I’m going to get in shape this year” mantra. The popularity of this resolution leads to the inevitable three week crush at the gym. Packed with newbies, gyms are both raking in membership fees and facing big crowds. All of the regulars start betting how long each newbie they see will last. This is the year you outlast them all, and you’re about to learn how.
If you’ve made the very same ‘I’m going to get in shape this year’ resolution before and not been successful, it’s important to know why. Examine previous attempts at achieving a resolution, both successful ones and failures. Once you know how you did it or where you took a wrong turn, those right moves and mistakes will help you succeed this time around.
Start small. While you may want to lose twenty pounds or run ten miles in the first two days, your best bet is to start small. While enthusiasm is a must for beginning a fitness program, overdoing it too soon can lead to injury and, ultimately, failure. If you can walk ten minutes a day for a week, walk fifteen minutes the next week and so on. You will reap rewards without hurting yourself, while also learning how and when you are able to fit a workout into your day.
By starting slowly, you have an opportunity to try different things. Because you aren’t ready to commit to a specific fitness program just yet, you’re free to take a different class each trip to the gym, work out alone, get together with a trainer, or check out different facilities. Use the beginning of the year, when gyms are crowded with people who won’t stick around, to figure out what works best for you. Find a place you feel comfortable, maybe even know a few people, and you’ll be sure to return.
While you’re trying all of the different and exciting fitness offerings in your area, write down what you’re doing. Keeping a record of your adventures can help you look back and decide what you liked best, what the best location was, or how you felt when you finished a certain type of workout.
Most of all, be proud of yourself. You have a plan you’re going to stick with and the results will come. You won’t be a January Gym casualty and you deserve a lot of credit for that.