Blog Header Image

Wendy Shafranski


June 26, 2024

That New Fitness High

Here’s a scenario we commonly see played out:

  • A new person contacts us, wanting to get in shape, like yesterday.
  • They quickly make it through the Fundamentals sessions so that they can join the classes.
  • Motivation is sky high and the first week goes great. They respond to my check-in texts and are thinking, “why haven’t I done this all along?! I feel amazing! I am UNSTOPPABLE.”
  • Somewhere around the month mark, motivation starts to dip. Attendance is spotty, then they miss a week. They stop returning my texts.
  • They quit.

What the heck went wrong? What separates the people who succeed with those who fall off?

It’s not motivation, it’s HABITS.

Realize this: motivation is an emotion and it will come and go. It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked out for a month or your entire life, you will have times when you just don’t feel like dragging yourself to the gym.

Building habits is hard. You’ve probably heard it takes 21 days to build a habit. That’s bull. Studies show it takes much longer - some say 66 days, but I’ve seen that vary from person to person and there are lots of other factors at play.

If you want to build the habit of regular exercise, there are often other (negative) habits that are working against you - you don’t get enough sleep, you enjoy a cocktail each night,  you eat crappy, you have an unsupportive spouse, etc.

So, in order to build a habit, you not only do you have to “do the thing,” you also have to identify what’s keeping you from building the habit and work to remove those barriers.

Once you start to see and feel results, it becomes easier - and I don’t mean just aesthetics. I’m talking about feeling amazing, getting stronger, having everyday tasks feel easier. Eventually, moving on a regular basis becomes a non-negotiable.

But, this takes time. If you are new to fitness, you must first learn to move properly, then you can gain strength and muscle. There may be periods where you feel like you aren't getting anywhere (even when you are).

Consistency is king.  

Mindset is also key. You don’t “have” to work out. You “get” to work out and honor your body. I love the way I feel when I lift something heavy or when I complete a cardio workout…it’s fun. If you don’t think training is fun, you are less likely to do it. When your inner dialog is making excuses, think about how you feel after a workout or envision yourself reaching your goals.

To recap:

  • Habits pull you through those times when motivation is low.
  • If you are struggling, look at which aspects of your day may be interfering with your healthy habit building. Buck up and remove those barriers.
  • Look for enjoyment in fitness - from achieving a PR to improving body composition to surprising yourself…these are all FUN!

Fitness is a lifelong endeavor, so stick with it, my friends!

Continue reading