Why January is not the best time to start your fitness goals | Fitness Tips
Why January is not the best time to start your fitness goals | Fitness Tips
What’s stopping us from achieving our fitness resolutions? The fitness tips you need.
Today we’re talking fitness tips. It might seem a little unlikely, but the perfect time to start a fitness resolution isn’t January! That’s right, evidence shows that we’re more likely to ditch fitness resolutions that we start in January and even worse, almost half of us who failed will have failed before January was even over! But with a bit of planning and a lot less pressure and also, a few friends, we can definitely start now and get to our goals in 2022!
of those who stated they failed their resolutions, 43% had given up after less than 1 month – ComRes
If we think about the 43% of people who said they’d failed their resolutions last year giving up before the end of January, we’d probably agree! Did you make any resolutions last year? How did they go? Hopefully, really well. But, if they didn’t, you’re not alone. So many of us make resolutions for the new year for our health, relationships, finances and more. We put that marker in our diary and we carry on until that point, where we hope to start a whole new me on that date. Right now, that marker seems like a long way away – especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas at the forefront of our minds. What happens when we get to that date? Often we have a list of goals and we jump head first into them and by February momentum starts waning and by April, they have become a meme poking fun at our failed aspirations.
Guarantee your 2020 fitness success by starting now
But, then it’s almost summer and we rush to get beach ready and again throw ourselves into diets, changes that we want to achieve in a short time so we can feel happier and more confident. Then summer holiday ends and perhaps as it’s getting colder, it’s feels good to eat a little more stodge, even if we are being a lot less active and anyway, there’s no point thinking about fitness now because it’s almost Christmas and that can be a month long of indulgences and so we might as well wait until the new year…
This needs to stop. Just writing it has my head in a spin and that’s part of the issue, I think. I’m sure you already know what you want to achieve in terms of your health and fitness resolutions now, so what on earth are we waiting for? As someone who has done this before, let me explain why just making a start now can lead to achieving that success. Yes, it’s not about the finish line, it’s about finding the best route for you.
Why join the gym or your fitness classes now
I wrote this post and then did a bit of digging around to see if I could find any studies to back up what I believed is stopping us from achieving our fitness resolutions. And I found lots! In fact, I found a really interesting study on resolutions and their success and failures by respected body Comres and it all makes perfect sense. So, if we head some of the barriers found there before we start, we’re almost there.
Here’s why starting now, even if (and because) we don’t feel like it, will make us more likely to succeed.
1. You can take control of your gym anxiety
So, your fitness resolution is to join the gym. You’ve been holding back for a while. Why? Perhaps because we think the gym is an intimidating place for a newbie/novice/lapsed frequent flyer? Gyms can be intimidating places and it’s easy to let them. I’m an avid gym goer, but I do get a sense of anxiety when I start at a new one. Will I know how to use the machines and end up flying off like Bambi on ice? Will I look out of place as a sweaty mess that I will inevitably be? But, for me, that is also mixed with a sense of excitement because ultimately, I get a real buzz from my workouts.
The best way to overcome this anxiety is to take control. How? Do an induction first and get to grips with the machines, the layout of the gym, a couple of instructors (not that familiar!). Now matter what gym you go to, they should do a free induction and at that induction you will often be given a basic workout plan based on your individual needs and goals, that way you can start with that and work your way up. This will not only make you feel at ease, but it will also help you learn how to prevent injury because you’ll be doing it right and at, importantly, at a level and a pace set for you.
If you start now, come the new year, you’ll be feeling so much more comfortable and you will be less likely to have fallen off the wagon as much when it comes to the holiday season. Heck, you might even carry on going during the holiday season!
If you were to make a health and wellbeing New Year’s resolution, which of the following, if any, would you most like to make?
2. Gyms are busier after Christmas and in the run up to summer
12% of new gym memberships start in January. That’s not a bad thing! But, ask yourself, will a busy gym when you haven’t been for a while or maybe not at all put you off? For a lot of people the answer will be yes. Yes, the gym isn’t the only place to get fit. But, if you don’t have the equipment you need or you prefer a group class, the gym is great! I like to do a mixture of gym and non-gym based exercise. By starting now, you are far less likely to be put off by the crowds later on. That’s one less reason or excuse for us to give ourselves. Once you’re into your routine, you’ll find crowds are a lot less of a problem as you’ll be in your groove. By then, you might even have experimented with alternatives that take you out of the gym, too…
3. You can try alternatives to the gym to see what works for you
Mixing it up means we are constantly working on different body parts and skills and will mean we’re less likely to get bored.
Start testing out different ways to exercise now and you’ll have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Plus, you’ll be ready to jump straight in and also take advantage of any discounts or incentives come the new year. Better still, you can do it without fear of wasting your money.
Think about what you enjoy and what you have time for and start looking around for inspiration. YouTube and Pinterest are great sources.
4. Doing regular classes will boost your confidence, your mental and physical health and find you friends
There is a lot to be said about exercising with a group and with friends. In fact, it’s one of our biggest motivators. So, getting a friend to join you will definitely help keep you on the right track. But, even if you don’t have someone to go with, getting fit is a great way to meet new people. You’ll find in most classes, that as you go regularly, you talk to people more and build up a group of peers. If you start now, by the new year you’ll feel so much more comfortable and you may be ready to start new goals, but this time building on an already solid foundation, along with some chums to share the pain and the gain!
Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of people with mental health problems say they enjoy taking part in sport, or exercising, however around nearly two thirds (64 per cent) are worried about taking part in sport by themselves – Mind
5. You will have started to see positive physical and mental changes
One thing that often puts people off is not seeing results quickly enough. We all know that taking control of your fitness and body shouldn’t be about unsustainable quick wins, but all too often it is. We’ve all seen or even been one of those people who went hard and achieved a lot quickly and then found that extreme too hard to maintain and, worse, went back in the opposite direction. Let’s be honest, we all need that boost of seeing results, but slow and steady is always the best way. By setting expectations too high, it’s easy to become disheartened – especially in that post-Christmas lethargy-laden anti-climax.
That’s not to say you should set the bar too low, but by new year you can ramp things up a notch. Plus, there’s no better way to beat S.A.D and those winter blues, than getting those endorphins and serotonin (the happiness chemicals) activated through activity. Taking the stairs, or a brisk walk or getting off the bus a couple of stops earlier is a great way to get moving.
6. Your goals will be more realistic
Sometimes in the post-holiday, bloated, alcohol-infused slump we put too much pressure on ourselves to over compensate for the excesses. Again, this can set us up for disappointment and failure. Why not set a goal now that by the new year, you will have achieved. Something as simple as walking a certain distance each day or aiming to try a new vegetable or healthy dish 3 times a week will make a difference. You’ll look and feel a lot better by Christmas and have far less to travel by the new year and doesn’t that sound like an attractive prospect!
“Why not set a realistic goal now that by the new year, you will have achieved.”
So, I think we can agree there are so many advantages to starting now, as opposed to waiting until the new year or another milestone. Just making those changes now, away from the pressure of resolutions will mean you’re on a healthy path physically and mentally and will mean you’re more likely to maintain the habits that will become your standard lifestyle and once it becomes your lifestyle, it’s no longer a chore.