Each year upon entering the gym from Thanksgiving through December, the gym appears to be a ghost town. You can get there at the peak hour, and still have 20 machines available for you to use. You feel the world is at your fingertips.
Fast forward to January 2nd, 2017…and you can’t even find a spot in the gym parking lot. You find yourself stalking your favorite machines, and bringing free weights into other rooms just to get your workout in without slugging anyone during your arm exercises.
A few weeks go by, and the numbers slowly start to dwindle. By the end of February, it seems the playing field is evened out once more.
What causes the swarm at the gym to die down once the New Year’s commotion comes to an end? It is not because New Year’s resolutions become less important. Most likely, people give up on their resolutions because they do not create a plan in order to make their dreams a reality. It becomes overwhelming to pair activity with their busy lives, and it seems easier to lose track of everything that they have worked so hard to achieve.
How can you change this cycle? Here are a few tips to enable you to achieve your goals this year!
- Don’t wait until the New Year to begin. Have a goal fitness goal? A nutrition goal? Start incorporating small changes today. For example, if you want to start including activity in your lifestyle, don’t wait until you plan to go to the gym to do so! Start with 10 minutes of simple exercises you already know. It will be that much easier to develop a habit if you start with small changes.
- Aim for progress, not perfection. Unrealistic goals can be inhibiting because ultimately, you will be setting yourself up to fail. If you aim to lift 50 lb weights January 1st in the gym when you have never lifted a weight in your life, chances are you won’t go back the next day because you will either feel sore, or you will seriously injure yourself. If you conquer small goals, you will are more likely to continue on with your journey because you will have a positive outlook on physical activity.
- Create a schedule that is realistic. If you are not a morning person, chances are waking up at 5:00 am to go to the gym for the rest of your life is not an ideal goal to have. We want to create a lifestyle change, not a fad. Instead? Think about when you have free time throughout the week. Then, write it down. After this, look at this free time. Where do you have the most energy? Circle these times. Then, create a plan. It is recommended for an adult to get at least 30 minutes 5x a week of activity in. Where is the door most open for you to do so at this time?
- Sign up for a class, a trainer, or download an app. It is MUCH easier to stick to a routine if it is structured and has some form of accountability to push you to your maximum level. Most importantly, being in a group environment makes it fun! A trainer or an exercise app can do the work for you, taking away one more stressor than can reduce the likelihood of you following through with the behavior. One of the number one methods of behavior change includes creating a trigger that makes it easy to follow through with the behavior! Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, use it to get you rolling!
Need other suggestions or tips this holiday season? Need a buddy to help you through this journey? Want to get rolling on creating healthy habits that actually stick?
Do not wait until the New Year to begin. Call today and start living the life you want, NOW! 609-738-3143 or shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michele Wroblewski, RDN
Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC
1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3
Allentown, NJ 08501