Lately I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook about the New Year’s Resolutioners in the gym. There have been posts discouraging them, posts from them feeling judged, and I just can’t grasp this conflict between gym-goers and resolutioners.

a meme comparing the empty gyms during December and the crowded gyms during January

Ok, yes the gym is a bit more crowded right now

Yes, it’s February and the gym has been packed since January 1. I know this means you feel like you are fighting your way to get in your own workout and it’s frustrating. The reality is you have to be motivated to continue your workout.

Making a resolution involving the gym isn’t an easy one and many people set their sights too high. Some resolutions may include losing 10 pounds or more, but instead of creating a plan, most people are looking for instant gratification, let me tell you, it doesn’t work that way. In actuality you are only supposed to lose 2 pounds a week, meaning if your goal was to lose 10 pounds, it should take you 5 weeks. The key with maintaining gym resolutions is setting your goal smaller than small; by this I mean setting realistic goals. So instead of saying you’re going to lose weight, say you want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months. But, you need to account for the days you won’t have time to make it to the gym, or the days you decide to eat out. By accepting that achieving your goal is going to take time, you are more likely to succeed.

Many resolutioners and even gym-goers can become unmotivated. Like I said before, some people don’t like being at the gym when it’s packed. Maybe it’s because you’re self-conscious, maybe it’s because you just don’t feel like it today, or maybe you are really exhausted from your day. But these are all excused you tell yourself. No, it’s not easy going all the time, and sometimes your body does need to rest, but there are days when I don’t want to get all sweaty and then go back to class or studying. I know it’s not easy to set aside time for the gym either with how much you are required to study and the amount of homework you have, and can you imagine, having a job on top of that?  It’s difficult, but whether you are a resolutioner trying to become a gym-goer or a gym junky, here are some things you can do on the days you doubt yourself:

  1. Remember your goal.
  2. Take small steps, and remember you’ll get there with time.
  3. Have a partner. Whether it’s to lift weights or just someone to report your progress to, it’s always encouraging to have someone support you.
  4. Celebrate your small successes!
  5. Focus on the present. It’s important that you start over everyday, if you didn’t make time yesterday, or had a bad workout, today is a new day.
  6. Think Positively. Encourage yourself while you are working out and throughout the day that you can do this.

a magnifying glass focuses on the word "Do"

My best advice though for any resolutioner or gym-goer, is that remember that there will always be people resolving to better themselves. Each January there is always a new group of people trying to be healthy and change themselves. But when you are in the gym you are doing it for yourself, not for the person running next to you, not for that hot guy or girl you’re trying to impress, not to justify that pint of ice cream you just ate. You are working out for you and you’ll only get out of it what you put into it. So don’t give up no matter what anyone says. You can do it.

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Cassandra Tokach

Cassandra graduated in 2014 with a BA in English. She is from Savage, MN and her hobbies include reading, journaling, enjoying nature and being active outdoors.

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