It’s new year’s resolution season, and nothing saddens me more than seeing the gym burst at the seams at the start of January, only to have it turn into a desolate wasteland only a few weeks later.
It saddens me because it’s obvious the people in the gym at the start of January had the right idea: they wanted to become more active, and they took the first step – they showed up! And then….something happened…. And it’s that “something” that makes me sad.
So I want to talk about that “something”, in the hopes that if you are setting some exercise goals for the new year, you are setting yourself up for success, rather than blow them off in 2 weeks.
Throughout the years working one-on-one with my clients, I have seen what it takes to build a successful exercise routine. It’s not rocket science, but there are some tips and tricks that will make your life easier.
Secret #1 – Scheduling
I cannot emphasize this enough. Merely committing to exercising 3-4 per week is not enough, especially if your exercise habit is not yet built. If you have a busy life (just like we all do), it’s crucial that you schedule your workouts in your planner the same way you would any other event or meeting.
Now your workouts are built into your week, and you’ve allocated the time to make them happen.
Secret #2 – Accept that trial and error is part of the process
It takes time to figure out all the parameters of an optimal exercise routine: the time of day; the number of workouts per week; the kind of exercise you enjoy. Not everyone is a 6am gym rat – and that’s ok. You have to be open to exploring options until you find what works for you. If you try something and it doesn’t work out – that’s ok. Now you know that’s something that you don’t enjoy. Onwards to the next thing.
Secret #3 – Shift your mindset from “a workout” to “DPA” (daily physical activity)
I give credit to one of my brilliant clients for this acronym. Being active doesn’t have to mean a full on workout. How you move your body during the day also counts! Walking, house chores, chasing after the kids at the park; raking leaves in the garden – if you moved your body, it all counts!
Secret #4 – Slow and steady wins the race
Part of the reason many new years resolutioners don’t make it is because their workouts are too intense! Then they are sore for 3 days and that’s the end of if. You’ve got nothing but time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your exercise habit.
Secret #5 – Accept that challenges will come up
And that when they do, it doesn’t mean you failed, or fell off the “bandwagon” – it’s just life. You do what you can and pick it back up again when it’s possible. Successful exercise people know that challenges are just part of the process
Secret #6 – Make it choice based
The more you are in control of your choices, the more likely you are to follow through, So if going to the gym sounds like the most boring thing in the world, or you hate running, you don’t have to do it! Consider joining a class, doing yoga, trying out a team sport. There are SOOOO many different ways to become more active. Don’t limit yourself to what you think you should be doing.
Secret #7 – Know when to ask for help
Perhaps you lack accountability. Or you don’t know how to use the gym equipment. Or you have some past injuries/limitations and want to make sure you stay safe. Ask a close friend or family member to keep you accountable. Ask your class instructor to offer modifications for exercises that you can’t do. Hire a personal trainer to show you the ropes. Don’t feel like you have to go at it alone.
Here’s to a successful new year’s resolution season, and to you building a long term exercise habit!
Let’s work together
- Are curious about their body and want to learn its inner workings
- Are willing to commit the patience and time it will take to see long-lasting results
- Want to build strength and stamina so they can do whatever life things they want to be doing
Does that sound like you?Let’s get started!