How Long Do Your New Year’s Resolutions Last?

You're going to need willpower and know how to handle yourself in a full gym
icon 2 min
Woman doing sport in the gym. ©Thomas Barwick

Just like every time a new year arrives, and after the excesses of the festive season, the challenges, promises and new goals of the traditional New Year’s resolutions come to the fore. “This year I’m getting in shape”. ” I’m going to the gym every day.” “Now I’m definitely going to increase my muscle mass“. “New year, new life”. A series of mantras that we repeat over and over again every December and that, when January arrives, we have to start fulfilling. The problem is that what at first seemed like a great idea turns into an obligation and, on many occasions, is quickly forgotten.

One of the key players in these New Year’s resolutions is the gym. January is the month for new faces. If you go to the gym over this period you know very well what we’re talking about. Packed treadmills. Busy machines. Almost impossible to get hold of dumbbells. And even problems finding a free locker in the locker room. A real nightmare! It seems as if the 56.3 million Europeans (according to the European Health & Fitness Market Report by Deloitte and EuropeActive) who are signed up to a gym, have agreed to go all together, at the same time, just when you had decided to start to get in shape.

But don’t be fooled by how it feels. Although it’s hard to believe, the first month of the year only accounts for 10.3% of the total enrollments in gyms throughout the year. This makes January the fourth most popular month for sign-ups. Gyms report that the busiest months of the year are September and October. Even February exceeds January for numbers of registrations. So you can still stretch out your goal of getting fit for a few more weeks without feeling guilty.

Why is January so hard?

Precisely in relation to New Year’s resolutions and the length of the promise, the same study reports that 14% of the registrations made in January are canceled before April 30. Not that many! This information fills us with hope. Maybe this time you’ll finally be able to keep your New Year’s resolutions. You’re going to need willpower and know how to handle yourself in a crowded gym, but don’t worry, it’s going to be worth it!


A few quick tips for surviving a crowded gym: 

– Make friends with the receptionist (a gift voucher for a coffee shop is a nice gesture) and ask for information on the peak and off-peak times at that particular location. Every gym has its own quirks and pace, and no one knows this better than the front-desk staff.

– If you want to use the pool, don’t go on the hour (7.00, 8.00). Instead, go at 6.45 or 7.45. It’s the time interval between when bathers leave the pool and new people arrive.

– If weights are in short supply, get creative. Many dumbbell movements can be done with weight discs.

– Look for variations with the available equipment. Try using a bar, place one end in a corner and support it with a couple of sandbags or weights. Add weights to the other end and start lifting. Perfect for arms and back

– Prepare to quit. If the gym’s too crowded, find an alternative. Can you run near the gym and use the changing rooms to store your things and shower? Can you be creative in the gym and find another option? Look, if the elliptical works for Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, it can work for you too.

Find out more about this topic at foodspring: 

Sources for this article

We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.