28 Days To Create A Habit: What It Means For Success At The Gym
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 35 seconds.
Whenever a new year rolls around, gyms tend to see a large increase in the number of new members joining. Here at Ultimate Fitness, we are always excited to welcome new members and relish the chance to help support more local people in their pursuit of greater personal fitness.
However, after just a few short weeks, the number of new members still actively visiting the gym starts to drop off. There are a number of reasons for this, but there is ultimately only one way to help conquer this 3 week failure period. And that is by focusing your sites on the rule that it takes 28 days to create a habit.
Does it really take 28 days to create a habit?
Well yes, and no. The 28 day rule states that it generally takes anywhere between 21 and 28 days to create a new habit. Meaning that the first 3 to 4 weeks of performing a new task is often the hardest. Only once you cross that 3 or 4 week period do things start to get easier as the task then becomes a habit.
As you might imagine, there is no exact science behind the rule. As in, it doesn’t always take exactly 28 days to create a habit, but the rule has held true over time. And we see it all the time at Ultimate Fitness. Those members that are able to stick to their plans for those first 3 to 4 weeks are then far more likely to keep going for 2 months, then 6 months and then a year.
In turn, it is those individuals who are the ones that are then able to reap the massive benefits that come from working out regularly. For example, if your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight and get fit for Summer, then there’s no way that you could see those benefits unless you stick it out with us for at least a few months. So this all begs the question …
What can you do, to help hit that 28 day period?
By hitting that 28 day goal, you’re well on your way to reaching your targets and you’d have crossed a massive milestone that most fail to reach. So here are 7 of our top tips to help get there.
1. Set some tangible goals to reach
Be very clear in highlighting a few goals that you want to achieve as a result of visiting the gym. These need to be as specific as possible, in order to make reaching them much more likely. For example, you might want to set a goal of losing 1 stone in weight by the start of next month.
2. Create a clear plan of action
Now that you have your goals, you can go about creating a plan that will help you to reach them. This can include, for example, 3 days of strength training and 2 days of cardio. Next, break down each individual session for the next 4 weeks into exactly which exercises you will be doing and for how long. That way, you know exactly what lies ahead and what steps need to be taken in order to reach your eventual goals.
3. Talk to your friends about your goals
In order to make your goals real, you should talk about them with anyone who is interested and who can support you. Make it clear that you are committed to maintaining your workouts for at least the next 4 weeks, and they should hold you accountable.
5. Set rewards
You should set rewards for maintaining your schedule. This might include having a cheat day every Sunday, where you get to eat what you like. But only so long as you go to the gym for every scheduled workout that week.
6. Take progress pictures
You’ll be surprised by just how quickly you start to see results. We recommend taking progress photos of your body every week at the same time. Then, you will start to see just how much positive change your new lifestyle is bringing.
7. Get a workout partner
Perhaps the best thing you can do is find someone who also wants to commit to working out and join you in your 4 week challenge! Your chances of success go up greatly if there is someone else there ready to motivate you.
Hopefully now you understand a bit better why it takes 28 days to create a habit and what you can do to hit that key milestone. Well, another key part of the puzzle is finding yourself a great quality gym environment which employs staff who are able to motivate you on your way. This is exactly what we do here at Ultimate