It’s that time of the year again when we make New Year’s resolutions and a lot of people will have one in common – going to the gym. Yes, you want to get that beach body until the summer, yes, you want to be healthier and look sexier. So in January gyms will be packed with people that share this resolution yet come February, they will be empty again.
Wanting to be fitter and healthier is all good and well as long as you actually keep the promise. Which is easier said than done as evident by how the number of gym goers changes year in, year out. So how do you actually go through when a simple resolution is not enough? Here are a number of ways that will force you to stick out of the crowd and be one of the few who continues to hit the gym past January.
1. Join a Gym You Like
First things first, find a gym that you will like going to. It’s hard enough to find motivation to break a sweat when instead you could be watching your favorite show on a comfy couch or hanging out with your friends at your favorite bar, so it’s nearly impossible to keep going to a gym you hate.
So find one that looks and feels awesome going to. Maybe there are a lot of hot girls (or guys) that are regulars, maybe it’s all fresh new and modern with big screens and shiny new equipment, or perhaps it’s a little cozy gym round the corner – whatever makes you feel comfortable – make sure your gym does.
Buy new training gear, new shoes, clothes and gadgets for your new workout season. Go all in, don’t hold yourself back, get whatever you want and need. You will be more likely to go through if you make a bigger financial commitment. Furthermore, as we now have a lot of cool smart gadgets to make working out and tracking your progress easier, it makes the gym so much more interesting.
3. Remove Obstacles
Whatever prevents you from going to the gym, it’s an obstacle that has to be removed. Whether it’s only in your head or something real such as cold weather or the traffic, it will make it so much easier if you find a way to overcome these obstacles.
So find a gym closer to your home or work so you can reach it on foot and avoid traffic. Or get yourself a new warmer coat that you will love wearing out in the cold while you get to the gym. Do whatever it takes, but overcome those obstacles.
4. Get a Program to Follow
Purposeless wandering in the gym is useless and you won’t last there long. You need a workout program to follow day in and day out in order to make your time spent at the gym purposeful. So either get one online, or get a professional trainer at your gym make one for you. And stick to it. It’s easier when you have something to follow.
5. Set Goals
You need goals to make going to the gym purposeful. You don’t go to the gym just so, you go there for a reason. You want to lose weight, you want to become stronger, you want to look better. So set small but real goals for every workout day, every week, every month.
Be realistic about it. A goal of losing 10 pounds in a week may not be realistic and it will crush your confidence if you don’t achieve it. But losing 2 pounds in a week is more realistic and it will boost your confidence if you reach it (and you likely will).
6. Reward Yourself
Rewards motivate you to do whatever it takes to get them. So give yourself a reward for meeting your gym goals. It can be anything – indulge yourself in your favorite meal after the workout (just make sure it’s not too calorie intensive such as a cake, as that will beat the purpose of working out in first place), go to the movies after each week you didn’t miss a workout day, buy yourself that new awesome thing you always wanted after you complete a month of working out, and so on.
Not only that will help you keep on going, over time you will learn to associate the workout itself as a reward, as your brain will begin to associate the release of endorphins that a reward causes with the physical activity.
7. Track Your Progress
When you track your progress, you are under control and that makes you more confident that you can reach your goals. So write a journal of everything you do at the gym. Track the number of hours you train, the exercises you do, the number of reps you make, the weights you use, the pounds you lose (or gain, if that’s your goal), and so on. Use fitness gadgets and apps (such as Fitbit) to help you out.
8. Find Yourself a Gym Buddy
It’s hard to go alone but if you find someone to go to gym together you will help each other to keep up. Having a gym buddy you commit to going to gym with them and they commit to you. This mutual commitment will prevent you from skipping gym just because you feel like it. You will look forward to going to gym just to meet them if you enjoy their company – it doubles the motivation.
Not only that, it will further boost your progress if you get competitive, if you set goals and try to better each other.
9. Get Paid or Fined
If all else fails, you can get paid for going to gym or fined if you skip it. Money is a great motivator and with the help of an app called Pact you can sign a pact which you will have to keep. If you miss a goal, some money will be charged to your credit card or Paypal account and placed in a pool along with other users. You are paid from this pool as you meet your goals.
These are the 9 ways to get you motivated enough to keep your New Year’s gym resolution this time. If you follow just a couple of them your chances are much greater than the thousands of other people who don’t.