I wrote this post 2 years ago about New Year Resolutioners and after reading all the moaning about resolutioners on facebook, it looks like it’s time for a refresher post.
When I see new people at the gym, I love that people are taking the first step to their resolution. The new crowd of people also annoys the old hardcore people who view the resolutioners as a temporary annoyance.
I get it. The swim lanes are all occupied during your usual swim time and you have to wait. Or there are people everywhere getting in your way when all you want is a few weights/machines and to be done. Or you have to park way down at the gym and walk in on cold wintery mornings. All the treadmills are occupied and *gasp* some by people who are slower than walk speed.
Why does one get put out of joint so much when there’s a crowd in your space? What makes my continued training any more important than the resolutioner’s new found interest?
Oh, it’s the non following of the “etiquettes” that bother you?
Why do you assume that all resolutioners are jerks and if they only cared more, they’d learn about etiquettes and rules?
Let me tell you – when I was entering that gym nervous and petrified (and not fit), all I wanted to do was disappear so no one would see me. Etiquette was the last thing on my mind! None of that confident strutting between machines, none of that brisk ‘get my job done’ and leave. I did not even ask the instructor how to use machines because I was too nervous! Even now, I will not move from my safe little corner of the gym. Sorry, not sorry.
So instead of letting the resolutioners bother you, how about you truly welcome them into your space; not just with an outward smile but also with intent in your heart.
Here are some things that you could do that might help curb your annoyance and help welcome new members.
1. Anticipate that people who might not know the proper etiquette.
Why not take this moment to educate them? If they are sitting on the machine doing nothing, the same machine that you have been waiting to use, why not ask them if they need help or if they are done so you can use it? This behaviour has nothing to do with resolutioners, IMO.
2. Be prepared to be slowed down or change your plans if you can.
It is super inconvenient, when you only have from 6:30-7:30am to spare or when you are trying to squeeze it all in the lunch hour. But why not tweak things a bit? Instead of waiting for the treadmill, hop on the bike or rower. Try some free weights instead of the machines. Maybe you will unexpectedly find something that you hadn’t tried before.
3. Don’t shame people. Don’t videotape or take photos to mock at people.
It is never ever funny to mock at people at the gym for what they are wearing or what they are doing. Leave them be and take your own selfie.
4. Don’t be that person who complains about resolutioners
What gives us right to judge someone just because they happened to start on January 1st? Why do we assume that just because they started on January 1st, they are likely to quit in a few weeks?
Hey – I started a clean eating body reset on January 1st encouraged by my awesome friend Carrie, my resolution is to stick it out for 30 days. Despise me all you want and go ahead and assume that I will not keep with it and that you will find me in March curled on the couch with an extra large bag of potato chips.
5. Treat resolutioners like you’d want to be treated if you were one
When someone shows up at the gym or laces up their shoes for a run, their intention is to get better or to a goal, not to mess around with your schedule. Unfortunately, most of the time this doesn’t happen. Even if that person you encouraged or said hello to quits in a few weeks, they would’ve had an experience positive enough to maybe try another time. Maybe on their nth try it will become a habit. Do everything in your power to give them the opportunity to succeed.
I was a new year resolution runner 7 years ago (except I started on Christmas Eve, close enough) and without the friendship and encouragement extended to me by some amazing people(Andrea, a new marathoner, Spurgeon the ultrarunner), I never would’ve continued down this path.
Who knows, you might be the one spark that keeps them there. One day they’ll pay it forward just like you are paying it forward now.
When did you start your fitness journey/re-journey? Were you a New Year Resolutioner?