Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. It’s my wife’s and my favorite time of the year and we enjoy spending our time with family and friends. But, we also know that with the new year comes resolutions.
It’s an exciting time of year at the gym as we both get to see and work with new faces, many of whom made resolutions to improve their health in 2017. As we look back on some of those who joined us last January, and see how far they’ve come, it makes us proud to see them continue on their path. They also motivate us to help others succeed along with them.
Sadly, many who have set similar resolutions toss them out the window by the end of the month. By the end of February, it’s a distant memory. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Why don’t people keep their resolutions?
As someone who has been in the gym for over three decades, I’ve seen this kind of motivation come and go over and over. In that time, I’ve found three common reasons why people don’t keep to their resolutions.
Lack of Planning:
There’s an old saying you’ve probably heard: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” When it comes to getting your health on track, this saying is spot on.
Most people who start working on their health are motivated to succeed. They go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of “healthy” food, they sign up for one of those $10 gym memberships and, heck, they may even go a time or two. (Side note: Did you know over 50 percent of those who sign up for those cheap gym memberships never actually set foot in the gym?) But, after a week or two the novelty and excitement wears off. That healthy food they bought sits in the fridge to rot before it is tossed in the garbage. And, after waiting on crowded machines — if they showed up at all — and not learning a good workout routine, the gym membership is promptly canceled.
The key is to have a plan. That means sitting down and plotting out your meals for the week before going to the grocery store. Look for recipes and buy only what you need to make those meals. It saves money, and space in your kitchen. Plan your gym time. Put it on the calendar and stick to it. When you walk into the gym, don’t just go in and say I’ll do whatever is available. Have a specific workout, whether you want to concentrate on cardio, flexibility or strength training, and identify the machines that are going to help. If you’re not sure, hire a personal trainer. It’s one of the best investments you can make for yourself. Not only will trainers help develop a workout plan, they will show you how to exercise without hurting yourself. If you need help with motivation, they will be right there by your side, too.
Lack of Support:
Sadly, most people try and go it alone. When motivation starts to wane, they don’t have someone to help keep them going. The day job gets overwhelming, obligations start to occupy more of your time, and next the smallest obstacle turns into an excuse to skip the gym. The fall continues when you opt out of cooking and choose to order a pizza, instead. In many cases, loved ones will actually sabotage your efforts. They will coax you into splitting that order of super supreme nachos, or press you to skip the gym to binge watch “Game of Thrones.” In that situation, convince your family why you have chosen to improve your health — it benefits them, too. Next, enlist a friend or co-worker for the support you need. A good trainer will also keep you on track. Having a partner in your fitness journey helps keep you accountable.
Here’s the thing folks. You didn’t put on 40 pounds in two weeks, and despite what you see on those weight loss television shows, you aren’t going to lose it in two weeks, either. Should your focus be on weight loss, your goal should be to lose an average of one to two pounds a week. That’s it. If you’re looking to lose 40, plan for it to take six to nine months.
Slow and steady wins the race, not only in getting the weight off but for KEEPING IT OFF! What does work is eating properly and exercising regularly. It’s a simple equation many overlook while seeking for the quick and easy way out. I’m here to tell you, there isn’t one.
So, make 2017 your year to get fit. Put together a plan and stick to it.
Dan Romand is co-owner and operator of Full Circle Fitness-NY in Colonie, where he is also a personal fitness trainer. For questions and information, you can contact him at (518) 955-6924.