It’s the first working week of the year and let me guess, new year, new you, right?
The start of January is a time when you’re feeling motivated to shed those extra unwanted pounds, mainly due to guilt after over-indulging over the festive period.
Wherever you look you see adverts for the latest workout DVD, reduced gym membership and the latest diet trend.
According to the website Statistic Brain, weight loss was the top new year’s resolution in the US for 2015, yet only 8% of people who made resolutions, were actually successful in achieving them.
Is it any wonder though?
I don’t know about you, but other than New Year’s Day, January can actually feel quite depressing.
After having a week or so of merriment, good food, gifts, the company of loved ones, no work and being able to just let go, before you know it, it’s back to business as usual.
New Year’s Eve is full of optimism for the year ahead, but a day or two after, you return to your life as it was just a few days prior.
The temperature begins to drop, there’s more month than money and you have to wait at least 3 months until the next bank holiday!
Yet, you’ve set yourself this mammoth task, which after a week, you really have no motivation to achieve, and all you want to do is curl up on the sofa eating comfort food.
If your goal is to lose weight, after your first week or so of enthusiasm, the realisation that you don’t actually like how you look kicks in, and the thought of anyone seeing you sweaty when your body confidence is at it’s lowest, is less than appealing.
Very few of us put a plan in place for our resolutions. Often we think about it just a few days prior to the start of the new year, and launch straight into it come January 1st. We rarely consider what preparations or sacrifices we’ll need to make and fail to put a support network in place.
Slow and steady wins the race
So, this year, rather than rush to take up the discount gym membership or jump on that new diet, stop to think about exactly what it is you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it and what is the best way for you to achieve your goal.
Firstly you need to ask yourself if now is the right time? What else do you have going on in your life right now? Are you in the right frame of mind to commit to this goal of losing weight? Do you have the mental strength to push through the challenges that are sure to arise?
If you’re not in the right frame of mind, you could be setting yourself up for failure before you even begin. Just because it’s the start of a new year, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right time for you to embark on your weight loss journey.
Maybe there’s something else you need to get straight in your life first, to put you in a better frame of mind for losing those unwanted pounds, a little later in the year.
If you do decide now is the right time for you, then you need to get clear on a few things:
- How much weight do you want to lose?
- How would losing that weight make you feel?
- What difference would feeling that way make to your life? What is your motivation?
Next, you need to think about what you actually enjoy doing.
I like energetic fitness activities that involve good music. I also like structure so I know exactly what I’ll be doing, and for how long. So I’m much more likely to stick to a dance class that’s at the same time each week and that I know I’ll be in and out of in an hour, rather than wandering around aimlessly in the gym, feeling self-conscious and bored to death.
Maybe you prefer a slower pace, in which case a yoga or pilates class might be more appropriate for you.
Perhaps your time is limited, or it’s been a while since you engaged in any physical activity, and exercising for an hour or more is simply not feasible. In that case, find a high intensity workout that you can do in 15-20 minutes.
I like yoga but I can only do it for an hour MAX, and even that’s a struggle. As most yoga classes last 90 minutes, a yoga class is not for me, but I can do it at home with a DVD for 20-30 minutes.
I find it much easier to commit to doing 15 minutes of yoga and stretching daily, than an hour’s workout two or three times a week.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can work out but first you need to identify what type of workout best suits your needs, which is more likely to keep you motivated.
It’s also important to be realistic, if like me you know you that in your mind you’d love to wake up an hour earlier to exercise, but in reality you’ll just hit the snooze button once the temperature drops below 5 degrees, don’t commit to it and instead find a time and activity that you will commit to.
Lose weight without a 12 month contract
Here are a number of ways you can get active, without being tied in to a 12 month contract:
Free Exercise Ideas
- Sex – why not get a copy of the Karma Sutra from your local library and try out the different positions
- Dance – create your own upbeat playlist and dance around your living room or bedroom
- Cycle or skate – do you (or a friend or family member) own a bike or roller skates? If so, dust them off and get moving
- Green/Outdoor gyms – find your nearest one here and here
- Free workout classes in Sweaty Betty stores
- Youtube – there’s an abundance of exercise and fitness channels that offer free classes
- Opt for the stairs instead of the lift and walk up and down the escalators
Low-Priced/One-Off Payment Exercise Ideas
- Use one of the discount sites – Groupon/Wowcher/Pay As U Gym – to access special offers on a personal trainer, have a few sessions then continue the plan on your own.
- Use one of the discount sites – Groupon/Wowcher/Pay As U Gym – to try different activities and discover what you enjoy
- Purchase a workout DVD – it’s a relatively small one off payment. Make sure you check out eBay, Amazon and charity or discount games/electrical shops to get the cheapest price. Also ask friends or family if they have a DVD they no longer use but would recommend
- Just Dance – if you have a games console in the house, why not get a copy. Again be sure to check out eBay, Amazon and charity or discount games/electrical shops to get the cheapest price.
- Fitness apps – there are so many apps available and many are free. Here’s a list of 10 to give you an idea of what’s available.
- Swim – most local council leisure centres have a swimming pool you can use without having to commit to a monthly or annual contract.
- Skip – a small one off payment for the skipping rope
- Trampoline – a relatively small one off payment
- Join a team – there are lots of local clubs that you can join to participate in activities such as tennis, running, athletics and hockey. Many will be free to join with a pay as you go policy. Be sure to check your local council website and meetup.com to find out what groups are running in your local area.
If the gym is for you, there are much cheaper options available where you are not tied into 12 month contract, so if you find that you don’t use the gym in January, you can cancel and try one of the options above.
The final option for dropping the pounds, is reviewing the quantity and quality of the food you eat.
It is of course extremely important to stay physically and mentally active, however, the food you eat also has a huge effect on the way your body looks and works.
Hopefully, after reading this article, if losing weight is still a priority in your life, you’ll be better prepared for achieving your goal and no longer have the added stress of wondering how you can afford it.