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Last Updated on February 2, 2018

90% of People Quit After 3 Months of Hitting the Gym, Here’s How to Be the Exception

90% of People Quit After 3 Months of Hitting the Gym, Here’s How to Be the Exception

I manage a fitness center for one of the biggest brands in Switzerland. My prediction for January: We will have more than 130 new members that will join our facility. This is nearly 100.000 dollar revenue – in a single month.

January is the most lucrative month for fitness centers. A lot of the people start a gym membership, because they want to completely redefine themselves. “New Year – New Me!”, they will post on social media. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. More than 90% of these people will quit after three months of going to the gym. We call them the no-shows.

This is not the ideal situation, neither for the person that is going to the gym or the gym itself. I remember my previous boss telling me: “Florian, the no-shows are not your ideal customers. Gyms will always need them to make money. But the people that are training frequently, reach success and then enthusiastically tell their friends about it – these are our true value customers!

My previous boss had many flaws, but in this aspect he was right. Here are 3 tips that will help you stay training, for months to come.

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1. Set Good Goals

Most of the time when clients come into our facility, they haven’t set proper goals. Whenever we fill out the evaluation-form, they write down that they simply want to “lose weight” or “gain muscle”. These two statements are wishes, not goals.

Realistic goals follow the SMART-rule. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Losing weight is not a goal, losing 5 kilograms of body weight in the next two months is.

I want to stress out the realistic aspect of the goal-setting. Start really small. Having big goals will only frustrate you in the long run. Read about it on forums and then determine what is reasonable. Change one behaviour at a time. Make it sustainable.

Also make sure that you will write your goal down. There’s magic behind a written goal. You will be far more likely to stick to it, if your goal is engrained in paper. Remind yourself of your goals daily – write them on a post-it note and put them on your fridge.

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    2. Find Accountability

    Writing your goals down and putting them on your fridge also have the benefits of creating accountability within your family. Your family will support you and ask you how your journey is going. This makes you more likely to stick to your goals.

    Have you ever wondered why gyms have group fitness classes? It’s because having a Group Fitness class helps people foster personal relationships. And relationships within the gym increase the chances of the person renewing his membership. The people that train with a friend will generally train more often and harder. They are more likely to reach their goals.

    Ask a friend to go with you on this fitness journey. Post your goal on Facebook and create accountability. Use accountability to your advantage.

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    3. Learn To Deal With Setbacks

    The line to your goals won’t be straight. The sooner you accept this and learn to deal with it – the better.

    The diet that you will start doing will not always be clean. The workouts that you will be doing are not always amazing. Don’t beat yourself up about it. These setbacks are simply one of the keys of the game that we all have to play. Accept the setback and immediately move on.

    Ten years from now, the people that have learned to deal with setbacks will be the people that are blessed with amazing lives. Angela Duckworth wrote a book on perseverance called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Regarding the 770-5 star reviews, it’s definitely a book worth reading.

    Focus on progression and not perfection.

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      Quitting Makes Nothing Better

      I am not a believer in the never quit – mentality. Sometimes it definitely is a reasonable choice to do so. No one would argue, that quitting smoking is a bad thing to do. Quitting can be a reasonable thing – but not in the gym.

      Remember that you’ve started going to the gym because you had a big need to fill. You wanted to get in better shape or get healthier. Let me tell you two things: 1. The gym works and 2. Getting in shape is definitely worth it.

      It’s a good thing to be able to go to the beach, shirtless, with a chiseled midsection. Smiling, when your friends ask you: “How did you do this?”.

      It feels amazing to wake up with energy and walk with confidence through life. These are feelings worth fighting – or should I say: training – for. Stick to your new years resolutions, a great life is waiting for you.

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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      Florian Wüest

      Qualified and experienced fitness trainer and online coach.

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      Last Updated on November 20, 2018

      10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

      10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

      A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

      Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

      1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

      Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

      If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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      2. You put the cart before the horse.

      “Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

      3. You don’t believe in yourself.

      A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

      4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

      The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

      5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

      If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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      6. You don’t enjoy the process.

      Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

      The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

      7. You’re trying too hard.

      Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

      8. You don’t track your progress.

      Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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      9. You have no social support.

      It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

      10. You know your what but not your why.

      The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

      Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

      Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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      Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

      Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

      Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

      • The more specific you can make your goal,
      • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
      • The more encouraged you’ll be,
      • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

      I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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