This post was sponsored by Target® through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.
Did anyone else see all the Facebook statuses and posts floating around last week about how historically the third week of January is when the highest percentage of people abandon their New Year’s
resolutions commitments? What about comments from year round gym goers that things should be “back to normal” next week once all the January Joiners* give up?
*Urban dictionary definition of a January Joiner: “Someone who joins the gym in January as part of a New Year’s resolution but by February is back to being a couch potato.”
That’s not very encouraging, now is it?
My definition of January Joiner is a little different. To me, January Joiners are people who join the gym in January as part of a New Year’s goal to get healthier, with the potential to truly commit, stick around, become regulars, and change their lives.
Of course I’ve had moments this year when I’ve felt irritated with things like long class waiting lists and having to wait longer than usual to use the squat machine, but a friendly atmosphere goes a long way.
That said, I’ve observed a few things over the past couple of weeks that got me thinking about the reasons so many people lose motivation around this time of year, and I want to share some tips with the January Joiners today. My hope is that if you are someone who feels discouraged because your resolve has started to waver, because you haven’t lost that ten pounds yet, or because you feel bored, that some of these tips will dissuade you from giving up on your New Year’s goals.
Stop doing too much too soon.
I think one of the biggest reasons people start to waver around the third week of January is because too often people go balls to the wall on their first day back at the gym, or even worse, their first day at gym ever. Trying to start a consistent running routine but finding yourself on the couch more often than running that 5k? Stop aiming for the full 5k out of the gate. Instead, start with some short walk/run intervals. Trying to add some strength training into your life? If you haven’t picked up a weight in over a year, don’t bust out high intensity circuits in your first month. Instead, choose some bodyweight exercises like incline pushups, squats, lunges, or planks to ease into it. Gradually add weight instead of going too heavy too soon. If you start small with something you know that you absolutely are able to do, you’ll have a higher chance of following through and not burning out.
Start asking for help
I have noticed a lot of scary stuff in the gym this month (bad form, puzzled faces, lack of general fitness knowledge), and I never know whether to offer my help or just stay to myself. If you aren’t sure about how to properly execute an exercise, how to work a certain machine, or something just doesn’t feel right, please find a trainer and ask for their help. That’s what they are there for! I promise you that someone else has asked a weirder question than you. Remember that everyone starts somewhere, and asking for help is a better option than either 1) getting hurt and unable to stick with your goals because of an injury, or 2) just giving up because you feel self-conscious about what to do.
Stop standing in the back of class.
Was your New Year’s goal to try Zumba or spin? To find a group exercise class that you can start taking regularly? Aside from recommending that you introduce yourself to the instructor if you haven’t already, try switching up your spot in class. You definitely don’t have to be in the front row (I know, I know, all the scary regulars are standing in their spots there), but it’s important that you can see yourself in the mirror to check your form. It’s also important for not only the instructor to be able to see you, but for you to be able to see them so you can follow along without getting lost! If you tried a class and couldn’t keep up, try going back and standing somewhere else instead. Trust me as an instructor on this one! Side note: my friend Monique wrote a whole post recently sharing her tips for group ex newbies. This tip is one of them, along with a lot more!
Brush up on your gym’s rules, guidelines, and policies.
If you’ve felt uncomfortable or unsure of yourself while working out this month, try paying more attention to what some of your gym’s guidelines are. For example, one of my goals this year is to be more consistent with my morning workout times (so far, so good!). One of the classes that keeps me on track is my friend Emily’s Wednesday morning spin class, but the waiting list has been INSANE. It’s a serious battle for the saddle. For the past three weeks, people have either flat-out refused to admit they were on the wait list or they just don’t understand the sign up process. My friend at work also recently told me about someone at her gym who keeps using the Planet Fitness circuit machines for individual exercises when the instructions to use them for circuit purposes only are pretty much right in front of him. Just being more aware of things like wait list policies or machine rules can go a long way and help you feel more confident among the regulars.
If you’ve done all the above and still something isn’t clicking for you, take some time to reflect on what it is you can change. Not everything will happen overnight, and any healthy living journey or goal that’s worth reaching will need several tweaks before you get it right. Think about whether what you are doing makes sense for you. Not getting to the gym because you’re trying to go after work? Maybe it’s not working because you always have to work late. Could you try to go just one morning instead and see what happens? Maybe you just need some extra motivation, like a buddy to keep you on track or a new playlist to pump you up. Heck, maybe you just need to go buy yourself an awesome outfit that you feel badass in to give you a reason to wear it! Target® has a ton of cute, colorful, and affordable workout clothes in their C9 by Champion collection to help you with this. That magenta tech fleece pullover definitely helps keep me warm on the cold mornings I’m waking up to this month! You get the idea.
I know a lot of you January Joiners feel like you’re being judged at the gym at this time of year. I get it. It’s hard. But I want you to ask yourselves something.
Are you giving up or are you just warming up?
Don’t call it quits. It takes about 66 days to form a habit. And if you stick with it, you won’t have to be a January Joiner ever again. <3
Readers, let’s chat! Do you feel like your motivation is waning now that we’re nearing the end of January? Do you think there are any tweaks you could make to help get you back on track? What do you think of my picks from the Target® C9 collection?
To be fully transparent with you guys, along with being compensated to write this post, I also received $50 to shop the Target® C9 collection with. I picked out the women’s premium capri leggings in stately blue (they are SO flattering!) and the women’s performance tee in green berry to go with the fleece I’m sporting in the pictures throughout this post. I’m psyched to add dark blue workout pants to my collection, and the wicking material of the tee is perfect to hide how sweaty I can get.
Oh yeah, and here’s a blog shoutout to my gym friends Jen, Mary, and Jess for snapping these photos at 6am last week! They’re the best.