You all know exactly who I’m talking about: those hundred or so students that flood the gym the first few weeks back in January. They hog the machines and clog the line, overcrowding the gym for those dedicated students who actually go to the gym year-round.
Listen, I know that you made a New Year’s resolution to lose some weight and actually use that gym membership that your parents are most likely paying for. Good for you. But I also know that you’re probably only going to be working out for a week, two weeks max. So why don’t you all save us the annoyance and just quit early.
Or, you defy all odds and continue going to the gym after the second week of the semester. And maybe, just maybe, you can make a habit of it.
In order to be one of those so-called crazy people that make it to the gym on a daily basis, you need to have some serious motivation. Along with motivation comes a set of goals you want to reach and a plan to help you reach them.
Setting a goal may sound easy, but it’s actually more difficult than you think. A goal that you have any chance of reaching needs to be extremely specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time frame specific. For example, if you’re a bigger person with weight to lose, you may be able to set a goal to lose 20 pounds in two months, but if you’re smaller, a more realistic, attainable and time frame specific goal would be to lose only five pounds in one month. If you set goals that you’ll never be able to reach, you’ll quickly lose motivation and stop working toward it.
Once you have a goal set it’s time to create a fitness plan. The plan needs to take into consideration your work and class schedule on a week-by-week basis. One week you may be able to make it to the gym five days, while another week you may only be able to go twice. As long as you plan for things like this it’s perfectly okay.
Your fitness plan also needs to factor in boredom. Don’t plan on running a few miles on the treadmill each time. Switch it up. Run long distance on the treadmill one day and go on the bike another. Run sprints on days when you’re feeling extra sluggish or follow a training program on the elliptical to work certain areas of your body. It’s important to not do the same exercises over and over again because if you do, you’ll get bored quickly and find yourself dreading your workout.
Another great way to guarantee your recurring visits to the gym is to get a workout buddy. Find someone who has the same goals as you and agree to always force each other to go, even when you’d both rather hibernate on the couch to hide from the cold weather.
Finally, always keep in mind what you’re working toward. You want to look and feel great by the first time you put on a bathing suit. You want to finally reach your goals. And most importantly, you don’t want to be labeled “that guy” in the gym. This time next year, you’ll be the one complaining about all those posers that act like they’re going to make the gym part of their daily routine.
It’s easier said than done, I know. But I promise you, if you make the gym a habit and realize that you’re going to be so much happier in the future, you’ll be able to do it. If I can do it, you can. So it’s time to get your lazy butts off the couch and into the gym.