If you follow anyone who is into fitness, you’ve probably seen a meme or two about the Resolutioner. For those out of the loop, this is a person who makes a New Year’s resolution to get into shape. They flood the gym in early January, and then most people lose interest in working out and the gym goes back to normal.
There isn’t anything wrong beginning your new year wanting to improve your fitness, but the problem is that many people go in without a plan or fully understand fitness, and this is why they fail. If you want to get into shape, here are some common mistakes Resolutioners make, and how to avoid them.
Remember, it Takes a While to Form a Habit
It can take a while for the gym to be a habit that you can’t live without. For some people, it may take about three weeks, and for others, a few months. The first bit of attendance can be a challenge, and that’s okay. Realize that soon, you’ll love the gym and can’t live without it
Don’t Go Just to Change Your Body
Most people getting a gym membership want to see a transformation. Whether it’s to lose weight or gain muscle, newcomers to the gym go in with that and mind, and quickly lose interest because it takes a long time to see results.
In a world of instant gratification, having to deal with a slow change can be a challenge. This is why you should avoid going to the gym just for that. The gym has many mental health benefits as well, all of which take effect immediately. Your body releases endorphins to make you feel better. Taking your frustrations out on a dumbbell or a punching bag feels so good. Go for that, in addition to changing your body.
Don’t Go Full Beast Mode
This is a common mistake that many people make. Someone who is normally not physically active tries doing everything at once. They immediately change their diet to be more keto friendly, and they do a full-body workout, going as hard as they possibly can.
The problem is that your body isn’t used to that, and you’ll get a heaping helping of DOMS, or delayed-onset muscle soreness. Feeling a little sore after a workout is common and it can feel great, but full-blown DOMS hurts and can be discouraging.
Take it easy. Limit your workout to one body part and don’t go full-on hard. Eat some protein afterward to speed your healing.
Find a Way to Be Accountable
Many go to the gym without accountability, and this is their downfall. By accountability, we’re talking about having a way to hold yourself responsible if you mess up. Being accountable doesn’t mean you beat yourself up for missing a day or eating a sweet, but it does mean that you should learn from your mistakes. Here are some ways to be more accountable.
- Have a workout buddy, be it your friend, spouse, or someone you meet online. If you can’t commit, you end up disappointing your friend.
- Don’t spend $20 for a month and then cancel it. See if the gym has a plan to make it an investment, such as a 6-month contract or a large sum of money you can pay in order to have a year-long gym membership. This gives you more incentive to work out.
- Talk to a professional to help you learn how to be more accountable. This can be in the form of a fitness trainer, or if you have any mental blocks, in the form of a therapist. Search for “therapist near me” and get started.
Being accountable can be the right way to sink into a habit.
If You’re Already Fit, Don’t Gatekeep
We all joke about Resolutioners, but if someone is new to the gym and serious about getting into shape, don’t treat them like a newbie. This will scare them off. Offer advice, if they want to, and realize they are making a change for the better. Shaming someone because they are new makes the gym a bad environment for any newcomers.
With that said, happy 2020, and good luck!
About the Author
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com.
With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.