Resolutions: Is Later Better?

The dreaded parking lot, with no empty spaces in sight.

I don’t make new year’s resolutions. After all, every day is the start of a new year and a fresh chance to make changes in your life. But judging by the crowd at my gym I’m clearly in the minority. And when I say crowd, I mean that the place is packed to the rafters.

As you’ve probably noticed, I’m a regular exerciser, broken bones notwithstanding. I get more than a little bit cranky when I can’t exercise. And yet, I’ve had a few days where I’ve almost thrown in the towel because the gym is mobbed.

What about the people who are struggling to build new habits? What do you do when your best intentions are stymied by space limitations? What happens when you can’t find a spot in the parking lot, or can’t get your hands on an open treadmill? What do you do when the sign-up sheet for spin class fills up 30 minutes before the class starts? It’s discouraging, and makes it hard to build a steady workout routine.

Those of us who are “regulars” know that the resolution-exercisers start to vanish in February and are almost entirely gone by March. This got me thinking: what if the resolution crowd decided to implement their changes incrementally? For example, January could be Cook at Home Month. February could be Eat More Veggies Month. And March, when the crowds die down, could be Exercise Month. Would they be more likely to stick with it?

What’s the biggest obstacle to sticking with your January 1 fitness resolution?

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