It’s that point in the winter when your New Year’s resolution to exercise is being tested. At this point, the gym is either feeling like a natural fit for you or you’re still feeling like a tourist, ready at any moment to return to the land of the sedentary. I’ve written before about the stage of change theory and how it applies to following a healthful diet. It may not surprise you that it plays a significant role in helping you stick to a gym routine too. Since you already have the membership, you assumed you were ready…but were you?
Did you put it on your schedule?
If your child has dance or karate…it’s on the schedule. If there is a meeting for work or an event at school…it’s on the calendar. But what about your spinning class? Or the treadmill time you promised yourself? If your gym time hasn’t been built into the schedule like the other commitments in your life, then you are very likely to pass on it… you are also communicating to yourself (and those around you) that it “doesn’t matter” as much as your other obligations.
It is top priority?
Along the same lines of scheduling in your gym time as a regular event on the calendar is making sure it is a top priority for you. If your “to do list” seems to grow throughout the day or is unpredictable, then you likely need to make the gym first on your list and go in the morning. Doing so says to you and others that you are available to take on many challenges throughout the day after you challenge yourself at the gym first. Not only will you communicate to yourself that the gym is your priority, those around you will begin to understand it too.
Are you making the most of your time?
So maybe you are getting to the gym (terrific!), but are you pushing yourself when you’re there? We know it isn’t always easy to carve out the time, so when we do make time for ourselves to exercise and get to the gym we need to make the very most of it. If you are bored at the gym or not seeing results after several weeks of exercise, then it is time to make a change. Pass on this and you may find yourself passing on the gym altogether.
If you answering these questions has helped you realize that your exercise has become a routine part of your life, and a top priority that you engage in and take full advantage of, then congratulations! You are likely to be able to maintain your new, healthy habit! If these questions, helped you realize that exercise isn’t quite the important part of your life that you thought it was, then consider whether you are ready to make it more of a priority. If not, then maybe you should in fact check that fine print on your gym contract until you are.