by Angela Reed-Fox
Every year, gyms see people they've never seen before... Famously there tends to be an idealistic rush at the beginning of the year, and then a tailing off as the newcomers lose interest. But at all other times of the year too, there are newcomers who are obviously motivated - otherwise they wouldn't be there! So, how do you keep them? How do you ensure that they're getting results and staying motivated?
Help them make realistic and attainable goals
Check that they know how to set goals - an open-ended "I must go to the gym more" is not going to be as effective as "I'm going to go to the gym so I fit into that dress" - do you see the difference? The first is just changing behaviour with no specific goal (and therefore no incentive), the second is changing behaviour with a goal - and when it's reached? Set an even better goal!
Check it's realistic - realistic goal, realistic timescale, realistic with regard to resources available and the person's motivation to get there. Bigger goals do tend to be more likely to be achieved, probably because it requires deliberate effort to get there. Just make sure it's realistic, even if it's a biggie. If it's big - break it up into smaller milestones.
Every goal needs a plan. You've probably heard the cliche "if you fail plan, you plan to fail". It's true. Sometimes a goal might seem realistic, until you start to plan how you're going to get there, and then it's clear you're going to need to reset the goal.
Make sure the plan is realistic. A big goal is fine as long as getting there is realistic. Once you have your plan - go back and tweak it periodically. If you're getting closer to your goal (or even if you're not) you're going to need to make changes.
Plan rewards for the journey. Remember those milestones? You need to celebrate every single one.
Obviously for health-related goals, you're not going to want to suggest anything that involves calories! But something that's enjoyable and maybe a little luxurious should hit the spot.
If you're using the goal and challenge feature in MyZone, even just the satisfaction of winning the challenge is a reward in itself. MyZone is great for gamifying workouts.
A decent goal is a measurable one - and you're going to need to measure! How are you going to measure it? And make sure you shcedule time to do this - or for the client to do this if you're providing support online
Support and accountability
If you're using MyZone you'll be able to provide support via the messaging feature and leaving encouragement on workout feeds.
Think about getting active on Facebook and other channels by setting up groups that people can engage with - and encourage each other.
People do well in groups. Accountability is a powerful way of maintaining motivation - perhaps provide an offer if a client brings a friend - that could be a win for all three of you.
rather than in-person.
Keep your riders accountable, give them great support and great sessions - and help them celebrate their victories - no matter how small. Educate them to