At the start of the New Year, the list of healthy resolutions can be long and strong — and the studios and stations at the gym can be packed. Creating wellness resolutions is easy, but it’s the consistency of keeping those goals that can be challenging.
When it comes to creating a wellness routine that sticks, there are several things you can do to help retain gym members and keep them focused. From meal planning to social accountability, here are some processes gyms and fitness centers can put into place and keep client motivation high.
Keep a Wellness Journal
Journals are a great way for members to keep track of their wellness resolutions. When we keep a journal, we’re able to reflect on what we did or did not do in a single day. Members can look back on a given week and see what they accomplished or how they were feeling. Many members log the workouts they do, the things they eat, and the days they do (or don’t) make it to the gym. Journaling, in any form, is a good release, especially when it comes to keeping track of a New Year’s resolution and staying motivated. After all, no one wants to go into their wellness journal and see they skipped their usual Monday spin class and ate a burger instead. You can encourage members to have fun with their journal by using bright colored post-its, colorful pencils, and stickers.
If one of the member’s wellness resolutions is to eat healthier, meal planning is a fantastic option. Meal planning helps to keep people organized with their weekly meals and stay on top of their nutritious eating habits. It can also save money and time and eliminate food waste. If a member has a hectic schedule with work, kids, and gym time squeezed in there, they may think there’s no time to make homemade meals (and therefore, resort to unhealthy eating habits). If this is the case, encourage members to do meal prepping as well. Lots of busy families turn to Sunday afternoons to prep, cook, and either freeze or refrigerate their food for the week. This method is also good for clients who want to monitor their portion control or who have specific dietary restrictions that make meal preparation a hassle at the end of a long day.
One of the most important parts of wellness resolutions is for clients to believe in themselves. Some gym members, if they don’t step on the scale and immediately see results, can grow discouraged. Daily affirmations help to foster mental health and will encourage clients to keep showing up to the gym — even on tough days. Keep in mind that affirmations are different for everyone, and it’s important for individuals to find specific affirmations that work for them. Remind clients that the value of a daily affirmation is that these positive thought patterns improve their mindset on a daily basis and remind them how worthy they are. They can be as simple as repeating the phrase, “I am on the right path,” or as complex as a full paragraph that lists qualities they love about themselves. Some clients might initially feel funny repeating these phrases — so remind them, it’s not self-indulgence, it’s self-care.
When the excitement of a new gym membership wears off, it’s important to keep clients’ momentum going strong with varied workouts. Encourage clients to try one new class a week — whether it’s yoga, spin, or a Zumba class. As a gym owner or manager, make sure to come up with new classes every so often. Maybe during the summer, you can take things outside with a workout by the beach or lake. In the winter, try candlelit yoga to ease into the shorter days. Themed classes are another way to keep things festive and fun. How about an 80s-inspired cycle class or a rock-and-roll lifting session? When you get creative with class options and varied workouts, clients will stay focused on their wellness goals, while also getting the opportunity to try something new (a win-win for wellness resolutions).
Too often, clients are over-eager when the new year begins. They go big with intense workouts every day and create a schedule that isn’t all too easy to maintain. Eventually, they can get burnt out and feel that sense of giving up that sometimes takes over around the months of February or March. When it comes to wellness resolutions that stick, it’s a good idea to remind clients to start small and build from there. Healthy lifestyles and a weight members are happy with tend to come from consistent actions. Encourage members to implement daily habits that aren’t over-the-top. A 30-day challenge is a great way to do something small every day — a one-minute plank, 50 pushups, running one mile — that after the 30 days, is sure to show results. Once clients see the results, they’ll be more likely to stay motivated moving forward (and less likely to experience the New Year’s resolution burn-out).
Make a New Playlist
Nothing says kicking up the fun with wellness resolutions like a new playlist. Music is shown to do everything from reducing stress to lessening anxiety to improving mood and exercise. It’s easy to fall into the routine of turning to the same old playlist time and time again. This year, get members excited about crafting an all-new playlist. Make it a group affair by posting a giant “song suggestion” chart on the wall. Members can share songs that put them in a good mood, get their heart rates going, and encourage pushing onward toward the finish line of a workout. Not only will new playlists entice members to keep going with their workouts, but the right playlist heard overhead can do wonders for your staff, too.
More and more fitness centers are implementing social accountability into their locations and social media sites, which is important if you want to promote your gym. They’re exploring the impact of what happens when a member shares a “before and after” photo or a story about a particular workout or wellness routine. When members are held accountable for their physical activity, it can give them a positive push to keep returning week after week. You can go the route of an accountability partner, where members are matched with each other based on specific fitness and health goals. Having someone to check in on you to see if you’ve met your daily quota of FloWater ounces or your weekly goal of crunches can do a lot when it comes to fitness goals. Keep in mind, this might not be a fit for everyone (some people prefer to be entirely self-reliant when it comes to motivation) but when it works, it works.
When a member reaches a goal, reward them. Say someone has had a long term goal of running a mile under 9 minutes. After a few months of hard work, their mile time clocks in at 8 minutes and 55 seconds. It’s important to not only recognize these feats for your members but to celebrate them as well. Just like we used to do in middle school — create a mile chart for the bronze, silver, and gold mile club. With the vision of their names finding a place on one of those charts, members will run faster, harder, and with more dedication toward their running goals and wellness resolutions. Of course, rewarding the gold members by throwing a monthly ice cream party is always a good idea, too.
A Positive Environment
One of the most important factors for building and maintaining consistent healthy habits is to craft a positive environment. People join gyms for all sorts of reasons, but always, they’re on the hunt to make their lives better and healthier. To create a positive environment, it’s important to hire a personal trainer and staff members who are enthusiastic and willing to listen. Some people might do well with a personal trainer who’s “mean” and “pushy” but that’s not quite the norm. Most people on a health and wellness journey are looking for teachers who will instill confidence within them. Confidence is the first step toward helping members believe that their wellness resolutions are possible for the long term. Just as teachers in a classroom environment create positivity by addressing student needs and avoiding judgment, trainers can do the same in the gym.
Whether you’re learning toward the idea of a new playlist or implementing promotions to get new customers, all of these ideas will help foster a positive workout environment and turn New Year’s wellness resolutions into habits.
From all of us at FloWater, thanks for reading! If you’re interested in installing one of our healthy and great tasting water filtration systems in your gym, feel free to reach out today. We’ll be happy to help and look forward to becoming part of your clients’ wellness routine and healthy lifestyle by encouraging them to drink water post-workout.