Happy New Year and I hope 2016 is treating you kindly so far. I have no New Year Resolutions to share with you, though feel free to suggest something you think I should crack on with. I’ve bought a Nutribullet, so that particular New Year Cliche box is well and truly ticked.
Looking at my lists for 2015, I see I read 37 books and watched 105 movies last year – the highest number yet. #IntrovertsAchieve
But the number of gym sessions is the same as ever at 150. I came up with that goal a few years ago, as it equates to 3 gym sessions a week for 50 weeks a year (and two weeks off for good behaviour).
Normally I end up playing catch up towards the end of the year, but this year was different to previous ones:
Clearly there were not many good movies on in March.
I had a feeling that this year was going to get busier as it progressed, so as you can see I cracked on with extra gym sessions at the start of the year, so I didn’t have to go practically every day from October onwards (as has happened in previous years).
Part of this Autumn pause was due to the fact that my gym, LA Fitness in Brighton, closed down. The interior (which had been refurbished less than a year previously) was all ripped out and replaced with ….. another gym. That grated on me a bit. I know these things happen when businesses get taken over but still, it’s not as if we’re on a planet with resources to spare.
I was pretty much the last person out when the gym closed down, taking desolate selfies whilst workmen measured up for a new weights area.
So then the gym was closed for most of October, before re-opening in a new incarnation.
Then in November and December I was working for clients outside the house which was great work-wise but it didn’t half interfere with my gym schedule. I was exhausted with the effort of pretending to be a functioning member of society all day (not a problem when you work from home) but I forced myself to go to the gym after work although it wasn’t exactly fun. Still, those 150 sessions won’t do themselves.
So if you have just joined a gym with the aim of getting fit in 2016, the best advice I can give you is two-fold:
- Have a definite, specific measurable goal
Wanting to get fit is too vague a goal. It means different things to everyone – you could be aiming to get ripped enough for a bodybuilding contest, or just fit enough to run for the bus without collapsing a lung. Set yourself a very specific goal and it’s very easy to track if you’re doing it or not, and you will inevitably get fit in the process. I’m not saying everybody has to do the 150 session goal that I do, but you might want to go for trying out two new gym classes or sports a month, or doing 100,000 steps on your FitBit in a week or whatever works for you. Measure and track your goal (as you can see I keep a list in my Filofax) so you can easily make adjustments if it’s not working out.
- Don’t wait until you feel like going, or you think you’ll have the time
You don’t have to feel like it, you just have to do it. Many many times I don’t feel like going to the gym but I still go because I know the positive feelings will kick in afterwards, even if they haven’t before. And as for not having enough time to exercise, well, welcome to the club. There’s never enough time. That’s just life, it’s not an excuse. However, time is more elastic than you think and you will still get stuff done that you need to do if you add a little exercise in too.
And as a final tip, never worry about looking out of place in a gym. I am often the oldest, fattest, most red of face person in my gym.
Shits I do not give.
It really doesn’t matter.
You’re working on your own health, not anybody else’s. Never ever pause to give any energy or focus to what other gym-goers may think of you. They’re probably worried about what you think of them. Or wondering if they can get chips on the way home. Never let what someone else may or may not think get in the way of you taking care of your own health. And if ultimately you find that the gym is not for you, try something else.
Take care of yourself.
Wishing you much health and ever increasing happiness in 2016.