Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Great Intentions


I've been involved in the fitness industry for over 14 years and this story is nothing new. I have seen it played out year after year. Grand plans to get fit end up fizzling.

Has this ever happened to you? As you were reading the story did anything hit home? If you answered "yes" you are not alone.

Each year nearly 100 million Americans will make a New Year's resolution, the most common being health related. The sad thing is that only 40% of people will be successful on the first attempt.

When you walk into a health club in January, it's amazing how busy it can be. The enthusiasm and excitement to make the resolution work is evident. However, February rolls around and the reality of failed resolutions is very noticeable as the attendance begins to decline.

You may ask why I talk so much about New Year's resolutions. I do so because they are typical ways in which people start or re-start an exercise program. It's unfortunate this is often the only time many people give thought to exercise. It should be thought about all year long.

I find it interesting to look at the statistics between exercise dropout rates and the failure rate of New Year's resolutions. In both instances half of all people quit within a few months. Is there a correlation? Probably not, but I think the level of commitment that goes with making a New Year's resolution is similar to the commitment many people make when starting an exercise program. It's superficial, just a good intention to do something. Good intentions rarely result in changes that will last.

To make exercise work, you need more than good intentions to need to make a commitment. A study conducted by Elizabeth Miller, a University of Washington doctoral candidate in psychology, and Alan Marlatt, director of the University's Addictive Behaviors Research Center, found that one of the keys to a successful resolution is commitment to making a change. In addition, Miller states, "Resolutions are a process, not a one-time effort, that offer people a chance to create new habits."

Creating a habit, that's what this chapter is about. If you can successfully make exercise a habit, you are on your way to overcoming many of the obstacles that keep you from being inconsistent. When exercise becomes a habit, the setbacks you face are only speed bumps on the road to making exercise a part of your life.

F.Y.I. ~ Each year nearly 100 million Americans will make a New Year's resolution, with the most common being health related.

Of the millions of Americans who make New Year's resolutions, only 40% will succeed on the first attempt.