Sometimes it feels as though just having that membership card in your wallet somehow means that you’re in shape, or will be sometime soon. You see fifty or a hundred dollars come out of your bank account each month and you get a small sense of satisfaction knowing that you are a member of a gym. You even talk about it in social settings, how much you love your gym, and which classes or machines you prefer, knowing in the back of your mind that it has been months since your last workout. If you are paying for a gym membership and not using it, it’s time to stop ignoring reality and face the truth: you’re wasting money and you’re not working out.
Stop wasting money
Giving the gym your money won’t make you fit. You’ve likely already paid an initial membership fee, why add insult to injury by continuing to pay every month for something you are not using? There is no point in giving away your hard earned money each month for something you “might” use in the future. Be real with yourself. If you haven’t utilized that membership in the last 12 weeks, ask yourself how likely it is that your life will change in any significant way that will either allow or encourage you to hit the gym anytime soon. Whether you are too busy, too lazy, or just uninterested, get over the denial and stop wasting your money.
Your intentions won’t make you fit
Again, just giving the gym your money won’t make you fit. Neither will your good intentions and neither will lying to others that you workout. You actually have to go, and, like, sweat. You were obviously interested in getting into shape at one point, so ask yourself what has changed. Maybe this particular gym isn’t your thing, or something changed in your life situation. Perhaps a different type of fitness and/or fitness environment would suit you better, like playing a sport, joining a running group, taking dance classes, or using a convenient home gym. Just because you have a gym membership that you aren’t using doesn’t mean you can’t explore other options that may help you successfully switch it up.
Or, just go already
The best solution to the problem of an unused gym membership, of course, is to just start going. Today! We know it’s hard to get back into the gym but you just have to get that first workout over with. The old saying rings true: “The hardest part is getting there.” So stop putting it off and just pack your workout gear before heading to work today. If the runners are in the car you are more likely to go. Tell yourself you are just going to start with an easy jog, or a quick circuit, or a relaxing yoga class; whatever helps you to avoid those overwhelming feelings that have been hindering your workouts up until today. If it’s a matter of time – again, just tell yourself that you are going to hit a quick 30-minute bike ride. Everyone has 30 minutes! Do whatever it takes to get you in the door for that first/returning workout. After that first workout you will be amazed at how much easier it is to get to the gym and to properly utilize that membership.
For some extra (cash!) incentive, consider using the GymPact iPhone app, featured in this past Hot Shop article.