How to Never Quit a Fitness Program

OUR INTENTIONS ARE always sincere. We start January 1st with a renewed sense of motivation. We mean to train consistently and hard, and we vow to eat healthy.  Gym memberships soar as we, once again, make that commitment that this is the year we will start a fitness program, lose weight, or build muscle. 

Here are three common mistakes typically made that result in quitting a fitness program along with the best solutions for each.

Mistake 1 - I don’t have time this week. I’ll start over (again) on Monday. 

Take a mental check. Are you purposely sabotaging your plans and desire to feel better? What is the magic of Monday? Why not start today? 

Solution: Make the time.

One of the most common reasons given for not exercising is “I don’t have time.” 

This is typically a perceived barrier, not based on reality. We find time to watch TV and scroll through Facebook – if we really want to, we can find 30 minutes a day to exercise. If someone paid you $1,000 every day to exercise for 30 minutes, would you be too busy? Probably not.

One way to help the perceived lack of time is to physically put it on your calendar. You block out time in your calendar for meetings at work or picking up your children from school. Training should be no different. Keep this appointment with yourself as you would keep a doctor’s appointment. 

Mistake 2 - I’m not getting results as fast as I want. 

Too many times our fitness plans are either too aggressive or even unrealistic. Way too often, we start without a plan at all! Would you start a vacation without specific travel plans? Again, probably not. 

Solution: Keep goals realistic. Set precise goals. Be accountable.

Keep goals realistic:  When setting your goals, they have to be realistic. They have to be achievable. If you expect to lose weight quickly, or gain muscle fast and don’t, or even over do it, you are more likely to quit.  Fat loss, toning, and/or muscle building all take time. To truly achieve results, require a “road map".

Set precise goals:  In order to have realistic goals, it’s important to set precise goals or a “road map”. Your vacation required planning. Did you go to the beach or the mountains, drive or fly, stay in a 5-star hotel or camp? Your fitness program should have a specific plan also.

Make a “road map” by setting precise goals that you can realistically achieve, break these goals down to specific activities you will do per month as well as per week and even daily, then you will stop yourself from getting disheartened and keep yourself motivated.

Be accountable: If you’re not intrinsically motivated to train, then accountability from others can help you to start and keep going.  It’s easy to quit when we’ve only made a pact with ourselves and nobody else is counting on us. Invite friends or family members to exercise with you, join a gym class, or hire a personal trainer.  

Mistake 3 - I don’t like going to the gym. 

Do you hate running on the treadmill, or find the gym environment too loud, too quiet, too sweaty, or too expensive?  

Solution: Think outside the gym.

With a little creativity and proper planning, you can effectively design your fitness program. The treadmill can be miserably boring, so instead, find an outdoor track or play a high-cardio game such as basketball. Parks with well-designed running and walking paths have stations to perform body weight exercises such as squats, lunges, push ups, etc.

The body responds to a lot of different exercise stimuli. Running, swimming, biking, strength training, dancing, and yoga have great effects over a period of time.  But don’t stick with just one.  Mix it up. Strength train two days a week and complement that with yoga or dancing two days. 

Don’t quit!

Understand your excuses and preconceived barriers. Then start by making one positive change and stick with it. When it becomes part of your “normal”, make another positive change. Don’t quit, and you will see yourself start to transform in a few months, and over the years, to the person you have the passion to become!