Every New Year, it never fails: the gym is PACKED at every hour of every day, for the first three weeks of the year. When January 1st hits, people get a new spark of enthusiasm for being healthy. Gym memberships soar, health oriented websites surge in traffic and personal trainers don’t have enough hours in the day to see the new clients who’ve signed up for sessions.
Unfortunately, the enthusiasm rampant in the beginning of January wanes after a few weeks and before you know it, gyms have membership cancellations, websites see drops in traffic and personal trainers have a more manageable number of clients. This trend is as predictable as the ball dropping in Times Square New Year’s Eve.
Just because this happens to the majority of resolution makers, however, doesn’t mean that you, too, have to be a resolution dropout. Here are a few ways to ensure that you don’t fall off the wagon:
- Don’t Bite Off More than You can Chew: It is easy to want to do it all at once, but taking one day at a time is important. Don’t try to over commit yourself too early. Ease into your resolution so that you don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged.
- Do What You Love: Pretending to love running when you don’t, is not going to encourage you to exercise. Instead, find activities, classes and exercises that you really enjoy.
- Play with Your Food: Similar to exercise, force-feeding yourself rice-cakes when you think they taste like cardboard isn’t going to make you love health food. Instead, make a game of it. Experiment with different types of health foods to find the ones you like.
- The Buddy System: Finding a friend or family member to help motivate you will help you to be more committed to your resolution. Not only do you have to motivate yourself, but by buddying up, you will be committing to someone else that you will help them to stay on the wagon as well.
- Be True to Yourself: If you choose to buy a membership at a gym or to purchase personal training sessions, be sure the gym and/or personal trainer ‘is a match’ for you. Working out in an environment that you don’t like or with a person you don’t respect is not going to keep you coming back for more.
New Year’s resolutions are a great way to make change in your life.You owe it to yourself to stick with it! And you can! What helps you to stay motivated?
Originally published in 2009