Every first week of January gyms are at full capacity with new membership cards being activated and consistently swiped. Then February attendance drops down to where it was just two months prior. People begin to lose sight of their goals and don't stick with their resolutions. Although I am not one for New Year’s resolutions, I can definitely relate. Have you told yourself time and time again that you would work out consistently at the beginning of a season, and then fallen off before it comes to an end? I definitely have, however I have learned some tricks along the way that help me stay consistent when I feel myself slipping. Here are five tips that can keep you going when those 1-mile runs and Bikram yoga classes sound unappealing. 1. Write down your goals. Why are you working out in the first place? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to be toned? Or do you just want to get the weekly minimum of two hours and thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, as suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Whatever the case may be, write it down and stick it up somewhere. Post it on your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror, office door, or wherever works for you. 2. Make a plan. A study at the Dominican University of California showed that people tend to stick to goals and tasks when they have been written down AND shared with someone. Every weekend write down your workout plan for the week. When you have a solid plan going into the week, you are more likely to follow through. If you write down your daily activities into a planner or program them into an electronic calendar, try adding your workout times to your daily plans. Recording such things shows that you’re serious, and is also a way you can check your consistency and hold yourself accountable. 3. Have an accountability partner. But let’s face it. Keeping yourself accountable is not always enough when you have more obligations. Get someone that will talk some sense into you when you feel like giving up on your goals. This could be a friend, a family member, or a workout buddy. This person can be also be a personal trainer that already knows your goals. Either way, it should be someone that will hold you accountable to the workouts you say you are going to do. 4. Buy a series worth of classes. When you spend money on a class, it is more likely that you will attend, thus getting in your workout time for the week. You bought them, so that motivation to not waste money will help. Gyms often have classes available for their members already. If you don’t have a membership you can also look into recreational centers and studios in your neighborhood for fitness class offerings, or check out Groupon or Living Social for great deals.
5. Take on a challenge. Every month HeyFranHey comes up with a challenge to put out into the cyber world. The challenge gives you a variety of tasks to complete every day of the week, often increasing in intensity each week. The #MadFree #30for30 challenge is also underway for the month of December. Taking on a challenge like this allows you to start off slow and push yourself as your body gets acclimated with the new routine.