Mike Primeau is a regular at the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island facility in Westhills and knows that January will be busy with lots of new faces. (Tim Collins/News Gazette staff)

Set attainable goals for resolutions

Gyms expect an influx of new faces in the new year

New Year’s resolutions have been a part of human nature for millennia.

The month of January was actually named for the Roman god Janus, who supposedly had two faces – one facing backward to review what had happened in the past, and one looking forward to the future. The Romans also believed that Janus could forgive them for their misdeeds of the past and help them to achieve a better life in the coming year.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that January has traditionally been the month for resolutions and, as a consequence of that tradition, a time when local gyms see a sudden influx of fresh faces. They come in droves, cautiously eyeing the variety of exercise machines or shivering their way into swimming pools for what they hope will be the beginning of a healthier lifestyle.

For some regular gym-goers, it’s a time they dread.

A regular at the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island facility in Westhills, Mike Primeau, was philosophical.

“I know that there will be a lot of people coming in January, but that’s okay. I just try to come at less busy times,” he said.

“As far as offering advice? I hesitate to offer advice since I’ve been one of those people myself in the past. All I can say is make your goals attainable. If you don’t, you’ll get discouraged and drop off. Just make it a habit and keep coming.”

The influx of people with resolutions isn’t lost on staff who know that January is a very busy month.

“Every January we see a ton of new people coming into our facility. I guess it’s because of New Year’s resolutions to get more fit and lose weight, and it’s true that many of those people won’t last too long before they go back to their old ways,” said Sandy Dowell, aquatic co-ordinator at the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island facility in Westhills.

It’s a common phenomenon that led to a study at the University of Scranton. In the Journal of Clinical Psychology researchers reported that resolutions tend to reflect short-term thinking, leading to only about eight per cent of resolutions being successful.

It’s a finding echoed by Timothy Pychyl, an associate professor at Carleton University.

“Most people aren’t ready to change their habits so they won’t change and that’s why we see the high failure rate,” Pychyl said.

But Dowell has a more positive outlook on the resolution phenomenon.

“The secret that I tell people is to realize that it may have taken years to put on the weight or get out of shape. It’s not something you’ll solve overnight. The problem is that people today expect instant results, no matter what they do – instant gratification,” she said.

“I tell them to find that gratification in making social connections at the gym, making it a habit, taking it slow and being consistent. Find a part of the routine that you love and make that your motivation, even if it’s just talking to some new friends at the gym or pool. Make the time in the hot tub your reward, or going out for coffee (skip the Danish) after your workout. Find something about it you love and concentrate on that. Weight loss and fitness will come along naturally once that workout is a habit.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Man arrested, charged in connection with stabbing at Langford Lanes

Twenty-year-old Austin Bonner has been charged with aggravated assault

Community rallies behind Langford man battling lymphoma

More than $20,000 has been raised to help Mike Gordon

Victoria painter splashes some colour on a dreary situation

Six-week long James Bay construction project gives Teresa Waclawik an impromptu canvas

B.C. Transit to reduce service for spring

Route changes come in to effect April 9

Group calls for limited access to backcountry roads near Jordan River

Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association says closures would limit misuse of woods

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

City of Victoria seeks artists to contribute to upcoming public exhibitions

Submissions for Commercial Alley gallery, bus shelter project due by April 9

Alberta budget plans for Trans Mountain expansion

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says expected revenues will be factored into budget forecasts

Plane filled with smoke lands at Nanaimo Airport

WestJet flight came in from Vancouver

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Rescued Comox canoer credits those ‘at the right place, at the right time’

James Milne was rescued in a hypothermic state Sunday near Goose Spit

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

Most Read