Keep Your Gym Motivation: Beat The January Drop Off
Ok, so over the Christmas period you looked in the mirror, and you didn’t like what you saw.
In my case, the person looking back at me started pointing and laughing, but that’s another story. Anyhow, making changes to your health and wellbeing is no mean feat, and joining the gym was your first step in the right direction.
Making a new year’s resolution can be a wonderful thing; setting a goal that you would like to achieve and working towards it is an underlying principle of life. However, if your goal was fitness specific and you’re starting to feel the burn in all the wrong places, then we are here to help.
As we close in on the end of winter, you may be finding it hard to leave the house on those dark wintery nights or find yourself looking around your gym class to find there is only three of you left. This can be seriously demoralising. Now there’s nowhere to hide.
But, I have news, if you’re struggling to maintain the exercise routine you set at Christmas, then you are most certainly not alone. Setting goals to blast some body fat, fill your t-shirt with bulging biceps or just simply get out of the house more often means that you have paid for a gym membership with good intentions but now feels more like a burden you want to cut loose.
But before you do anything drastic, you have done the hard bit by joining a gym. What’s more, you can beat the January drop off rate and use our top tips to keep up your gym motivation.
On your fridge in the kitchen, you may well find your uni schedule, a postcode from your Nan’s last mystery bus tour and a magnet from your ‘Ibiza 2016’ vacay! But something that should also be there is your health and fitness goal. Whether it’s the date of your next 5k race, a half marathon or a picture of your target body shape! That’s the only reason I have a picture of Magic Mike on my fridge, I promise!
Nothing beats the January drop off more than setting specific and realistic goals. Seeing these goals on a daily basis reminds you of why you started and what you’re capable of achieving. Nothing is more motivating that using set goals to look back on and review your progress.
Make Time for You
Scheduling time throughout your week is not a selfish idea; it’s a sensible way to rota time for you around your already busy life. Whether it’s getting up early to feel good for the rest of the day or hitting the gym late at night to get gym floor all to yourself, either way, there will be space in your day for you.
Use your paid-for gym membership as inspiration, not a burden. Sit down with your weekly schedule, the gym classes and opening times and even your friends and family to build in 45 minutes to an hour to work on achieving your fitness goal.
Remember, one hour of working on your health fitness goal is only 4% of your whole day. So next time someone says “you’re always in the gym”, you can say “well actually, I am only in the gym 4% of the day, that’s all I need baby!”
Variety is the Spice of Life
Thinking fun, variety and mixing up your exercise is key to maintaining your gym membership motivation. You may be feeling the lack of motivation or a bit lost with your membership since you started. That’s because the enjoyment has vanished. Reminding yourself of the goals on your fridge, scheduling in time for you and now mixing up how you achieve your goals is crucial.
Doing the same exercise routine week in week out is boring! There I said it; it’s horrendously tedious. You must mix up what you do and how you train. You’re paying for a gym membership so make damn use of it! Use all the facilities in the venue, try out all the classes, go for a swim, and jump in the sauna. You’re not paying just to work the peck deck machine once a week.
Keep up the fun element of your workouts by opting to do a variety of exercises; this will pave the way to success. Keep an eye on your goals and ensure that the different exercises or gym classes help you on your way to achieving your set goals.
Variety really is the spice of life; make sure you listen to your inner voice when choosing the best workout for you. Some people may find they can dance longer than they can run, well choose a dance class rather than the opting for the treadmill. Do what you enjoy and mix things up a bit, that way you also avoid repetitive strain injury and you use muscles you didn’t know you had!
A problem shared is a problem halved! Having a gym buddy or a work out partner is the best way to keep you motivated and accountable for hitting your gym session.
Having a gym buddy to give you encouragement, feedback, motivation and to meet you outside the gym minutes before your class is worth its weight in gold. You are more likely to get up and go if you know Tina will be waiting for you by the reception steps at 4 pm.
Also, sharing the experience of a spin class, or a swim, or an indoor rock climbing hour is all we need to boost our confidence, start a conversation and set you up for next week’s session already.
Once you start thinking like an athlete rather than an avid spectator your choices and decision making will change, that goes for your food intake as well as the type of exercises you take part in. Sharing your journey with friends, family and a wider community will boost your motivation through January, February and nicely into the summer months.
Consider joining a social networking site or online community with fitness trainers and nutrition experts and share your progress too. People who get this kind of online support are proven to lose up to three times more weight than people doing it alone.
To maintain your membership and get the most out of it, set yourself a goal, make time for yourself to work towards it, enlist a friend to take the journey with you and have some fun! Mix up your exercises and classes, do something different each week, try something new and this way you will be setting yourself up for a lifetime of better health and happiness.