So, you’ve just gotten a membership to a topnotch gym where you can work out properly. If you’re in California, this may be the In-Shape Gym. If you’re a woman, you may have tried Curves. Either way, you’re probably proud of yourself and maybe even raring to go.
Here’s the rub: there’s at least a 90% chance that you’ll quit going after 3 months. This is a well-known fact among gym owners. These owners always enjoy huge revenues in January, when they have droves of new members due to some sort of New Year’s resolution.
But more than 90% of them no longer show up after 3 months. Gym owners call them the “no-shows”, and there’s always a good chance that you’ll be one of them.
But you don’t have to be. You can stick it out. Here are some simple tricks you can try that should help:
Start with a SMART Goal
That means your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Your goal isn’t to just lose weight. It’s should be about losing maybe 2 pounds for the 1st month, then going for 4 pounds of weight loss per month afterwards.
You have to start small and slow, especially when you’re new to taking workouts seriously. You shouldn’t raise your expectations too high. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment when you fail to meet these lofty goals, and then you’re more likely to quit. You should consider the first weeks as some sort of break-in period.
Set reasonable goals, that you’re fairly sure that you can meet with a bit of effort. Then track your efforts (maybe use an app) to record your progress. Knowing that you’re actually meeting your goals help to encourage you to continue.
Find a Workout You Actually Enjoy
Think about what you really want. Do you enjoy competition or self-defense? In that case, you may not like going to yoga classes. You may just be better off getting a membership iLoveKickboxing instead.
Check out the many types of physical activities you can do to work out. There are dancing classes, various types of self-defense classes, and lots of gyms with a wide variety of machines you can use.
The point is that you want to look forward to these workouts, so you’re less likely to quit. Why should you quit when you’re enjoying yourself? It’s when you find these workouts dreadful or boring that’s the problem.
Treat It Like a Business Appointment
Are you a serious professional at work? If you regard your work serious and you’re not a slacker, then you can just transfer that attitude to your workout.
So, when you have a scheduled workout, put it on your business calendar. Treat it like you would your work.
Or better yet, pretend you’re a professional athlete. If you picked a workout that you actually enjoy, then you can still work out seriously. It’s both work and play, just like if you’re Tom Brady or Lebron James.
Do Your Workouts in the Morning
That means you get it out of the way first thing, before you manage to find some reason to blow it off. If you schedule your workouts at night, too many things can come up that will keep you from making your appointment. Maybe you’re too tired from work, or perhaps you suddenly have a hot date that night.
Doing the workout in the morning also improves your sleep quality later at night. Morning exercises also lower your nighttime blood pressure.
Of course, you may not be a morning person at all and you find yourself at your peak later in the day. That’s fine. You can try workouts at different times of the day for the first few weeks, so you find out which time frame is best for you. The crucial thing is that you find a time period that you can stick to.
Boredom is one of the more popular reasons why some people quit working out. This is especially true for exercises like running and cycling, which can be quite monotonous.
Music can help with the boredom, and also boost your mood. You can try epic music, to make you feel like you’re in some Lord of the Rings battle. Or perhaps some motivational music so you think you’re like Rocky in some training montage. You can also try fast music to help you keep your tempo when you run.
But for some people, music is still boring. If you find yourself thinking listlessly when listening to music while running, then try listening to a podcast or an audiobook instead. That should keep you from getting bored!