Here we are again on the cusp of the New Year, and millions of people across the globe have decided that 2018 is the year they’re going to get fit. That’s awesome, and we love hearing it. Unfortunately, 95% of those people will fall right off that fitness wagon as soon as they’ve stepped on. February will come around, and they’ll be back to their old habits of poor habits and no exercise.

If you want to buck the trend and be different this year, check out our tips for finding a good gym, and sticking with it.

1.        Manage Your Expectations – If you’ve been inactive for any significant amount of time, it is going to take a LONG time to get where you want to be. It will be measured in months, or even years, so don’t even think about looking for results after just 30 days. The “30 day challenges” or “2 week challenges” are bullshit. They’re a sales tactic to get you in the door.

2.        No Scales – Don’t even think about stepping on a scale. During the first few months of exercise, your body will go through massive physiological adaptations. For some, those adaptations will manifest themselves as weight loss. For others, the adaptations will be weight gain. Your body weight is not a direct indication of health and fitness. If you’re exercising regularly, you will be more fit and healthy then when you were sedentary. This is true 100% of the time. Don’t let the number on a scale determine your level of success.

3.        Choose your facility wisely – Big box gyms (Planet Fitness, Gold’s LA Fitness, etc) love the New Year because they will have thousands of people sign multi-year contracts, and most of them will be gone by February. They keep their prices so low that they are easily affordable for everyone, and the low charge is therefore easily forgotten as well. They don’t want you to get fit – they want you to sign a contract. That is why they are filled with endless creature comforts to make them seem as wonderful as possible on your initial tour. The average $10/month big box gym has around 6000 members, yet can only accommodate a few hundred people at a time. Why? They know most members will never come in. It’s their business model. Big Box gyms are in the business of selling low cost contracts, NOT the business of improving health and fitness. Find a facility with a coach, and small group or personal training – something or someone that will hold you accountable.

4.        Make it a habit – Exercise has to be a habit – just like brushing your teeth, eating meals, going to work, and anything else you do on a regular basis. It’s not a luxury in which to partake when you have spare time. It must come near, or at the top, of the hierarchy of tasks to complete in a day. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty for exercise. There are 1000s of studies that show that physically fit people are better friends, parents, workers, etc. Your life, and the lives of those around you, will be improved if you get yourself healthy.

5.        Embrace the suck – Getting fit is hard. You’re going to be sore, you’re going to be tired, and you will constantly want to quit. There is a reason that 80% of society is unhealthy. You cannot start the journey thinking that it’s going to be easy. Going back to #1, manage your expectations and don’t expect anything easy. Expect it to be hard, but also expect success. We’ve all accomplished hard tasks, and getting fit is no different. Everyone is capable of improving their health and wellness, they just have to stick to it.