As Britney Spears so eloquently states, “Wanna hot body? You better work, bitch.” But New Year’s fitness resolutions are more delicate than that; too ambitious a workout regiment and you set yourself up for failure. Too lax and you give yourself room to wiggle out of your commitment before the ground hog even has a chance to see his shadow.
With my own workouts, I’ve found I’m most committed when I have to sign up and pay for an individual class in advance. This takes all the doubt out of working out for the day. I’m obligated to attend a specific class at a specific time and there is a monetary penalty if I don’t go. With the group fitness classes included in my gym membership, I found myself questioning down to the last minute if I wanted to go at all. Then, I would waver between doing spin or an aerobics class and if I should go at lunchtime or after work. It was mentally exhausting. Needless to say, for the New Year I’m considering canceling my gym membership, instead splitting my time (and funds) between a barre studio, BodyRok (supercharged 40-minute megaformer class) and SoulCycle.
My second step towards fitness resolution sustainability in 2014 is to pick classes that I genuinely enjoy. Punishing, backbreaking classes–the ones that bring you to the brink vomiting, passing out or both–provide a certain masochistic joy; the more suffering the better the workout. I fell into this pattern for a period last winter. I punished myself for overeating by going to grueling workouts. It was bad for my body and my mind. This year, I’m aiming for less punishing classes that I can attend with more frequency, and that I actually look forward to going to.
Check out what the experts have to say in “Bay Area fitness gurus share tips to stay motivated,” a piece I recently wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle.
What are your tips for sticking with a New Year fitness resolution?