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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Maintaining new motivation for predictable resolutions

Perhaps one of the most dreaded and unoriginal resolutions of the new year, “working out” never fails to be revisited by tired adults everywhere in an annual attempt to get into shape. 

While the resolution itself might be predictable, your workouts don’t have to be. By trying something new, while being conscious of your motivation and money, your well-intentioned resolution doesn’t have to burn out by the end of February. 

Here are some tips for making sure your changes last long beyond when the snow melts. 

Taking advantage of UW

Studying at UW-Madison gives students the lucrative “college student” status that expires after four, maybe even five, years of struggling between paying bills, writing papers and balancing millennial social life. 

Conscious of your struggles, UW often makes things easier for your wavering resolutions. 

The SERF and Natatorium are two prime locations for working out on the cheap, without sacrificing too many amenities. 

There are full-service weight and cardio rooms at hours convenient to most students. Best of all, it only requires a flash of your student ID. Additionally, for $20 you can have full access to the “Group X” classes that give a little more structure to your routine, with scheduled classes ranging anywhere from spin to cardio. 

Digital accountability 

Jumping into the deep end of your goal is one of the first reasons you could be likely to give up in the start of a new routine. 

Our bodies and minds need time to readjust. Pushing this process along too quickly means we might get frustrated and then give up quickly. 

Pacing your workouts is the surest way to avoid resolution abandonment. While scheduling by hand or researching plans to grow your stamina might be helpful, they are often tedious. 

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Thankfully, there is a wealth of apps that are targeted to keep your workouts accountable, measurable and just more effective. 

Say you want to start running but have no clue how to start, beyond trying for a mile and being disappointed at the results. The app “Couch to 5K” takes you through a simple plan consisting of a nine-week program, requiring only three days a week of commitment. At the end of the program, you should quite literally be able to speed over the span of three miles.

The app “Nike+ Running” might be better for those with more workout experience, who want to keep a log and connect with the area online. 

Human accountability 

Another way to stay on top of your goals is to merely go the old-fashioned route. 

Ditch technology in favor of a friend or colleague who will hopefully hold you accountable to your resolutions. 

Admit your goals up front to each other. When the time comes to collectively ditch your workout in favor of staying in, you both are responsible for cheating your system. 

Better yet, invite a competitive friend that will keep you energized and fueled, either by potential hatred for their constant comparison or desire to just keep up. 

If you go the competitive route, just be sure your friendship will pass the test of endorphins-filled sweat sessions. 

New ventures

As evidenced by our capitalistic rat race, money might be one of the best incentives to get something done. Specifically, we are motivated by getting our money’s worth. Going to a nearby or off-campus gym in Madison might seem too expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.

Memberships at destinations like Cyc (spin classes), Inner Fire Yoga (heated yoga) or Pure Barre (pilates/ballet/etc) offer discounts for students and use services like Groupon. 

Check out Groupon’s Madison page to see heavily discounted offers for your first month or so of membership. 

Additionally, trying out new or specialized facilities that offer a new twist on the same old song and dance workout routine can keep you motivated. 

By keeping your interests up and diversified, there is a greater chance you’ll stick to that initial commitment. 

Despite the repetitiveness of it all, New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be something dreaded rather than welcomed. 

Your January-obligated commitment can last long beyond your first few new workouts and develop into an entire lifestyle change. 

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