With the festive season now in your rear-view mirror, turkey guilt amongst other things will drive many people towards resolutions for the New Year, intent on positive change. However, year-after-year, people fall off the wagon as early as February and slide back into the same old routine, with the same old habits. So here to help you out are 6 ways to stay on track, and adapt to your new routine.…

1. Know why you want to change your lifestyle?

The most common reason people decide to work out is that they’ve had enough of being overweight and out-of-shape, physically and mentally. They throw down a few hundred dollars on a gym membership with the goal of “getting fit". Unfortunately, “I just want to get fit” is not going to help you in the long run. You need to ask yourself “Why do I want this change?”, and you need to create a specific goal. Whether it’s to fit into a bridesmaid dress in 6 months or to sculpt a great body so you can get laid twice a week, a quantifiable goal is much easier to keep you on track. The clearer a path can be seen; the easier it is to follow.

2. Make specific time for exercise in your schedule

We say it over and over, and we’ve checked our stats - people who book classes ahead of time, come to our gym more often than those who don’t. We even have members who go old school and pull out a paper diary and mark the classes in their schedule. You wouldn’t miss a doctor’s appointment or a finance meeting with the bank, so your training appointment should be no different. Once you adapt to that mindset it will be hard for you to skip out so often.

3. Commit to a 21-day trial

Research has shown it takes 21 days to make or break a new habit. So if you decide to work out 4 days a week, do it religiously for 3 weeks, let nothing get in the way. You’ll find that if you keep turning up, you will notice a mysterious momentum that will take the process way beyond 21 days.

4. Identify reinforcing habits

Habits do not exist in isolation. This is an area where exercising really excels. It affects you in such a massive, positive way that reaches out to other areas of your life. Those who work out regularly, also start to eat healthier, socialize more, get better at their job, etc... This is where people experience a complete lifestyle change. So identify other good habits to confirm what you’re doing is working.

5. Have a back-up plan

Hugely important! The number one reason people can’t stick to good habits is that life gets in the way, and they find an excuse to pull out. We have a number of cancellations on a daily basis. Some come to another class instead; others give in and skip a week. Have a back-up plan. If you miss a class, and can’t replace it, work out at home, or in your cubicle at work. Who cares if your colleagues look at you funny? You won’t be the one absent with chronic back pain.

6. Track your habits

I’m a fan of apps and websites that can track your workouts, calorie counts etc... but like everyone else I find it hard to keep it up-to-date accurately, and it can be boring. You want to concentrate on fitting that work out in and when that good habit sticks you can incorporate this into your routine.

So what else can you do? Do what a 15-year old teenager with acne would do, and keep a diary. Take 5 minutes on your way to work to write down positive notes on how you feel, what progress you’ve made and what you will do that day to maintain and progress your good habits. This may seem drastic to some people, even lame, but we all make task lists at work, so why not do it for you. Professional athletes in all sports do this. It’s part of sport psychology, which also incorporates a lot of positive visualization. Keep a checklist to score off your exercises when you complete them and mark down the times you hit personal bests or you reach the next step towards your goal.


This blog was modeled on a fantastic article in Business Insider. I highly recommend you read it as it’s relatable to all areas in your life, not just fitness.


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