Written by Spotloan

“How long did your New Year’s resolution last? 7 minutes? Sounds about right!” At this point, it’s a running joke to talk about New Year’s resolutions failing by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around. But this is one common cliche that’s thoroughly backed up by statistics: half of Americans made their 2021 New Year’s resolution to “do more exercise” or “improve my fitness,” according to Statista, and other studies show that the failure rate of New Year’s resolutions on the whole sits at a whopping 80%, with over half of those happening before the end of January each year.

This doesn’t have to be you, though! If you’ve made staying in shape your New Year’s resolution, there’s no reason that it needs to be forgotten by spring time, and there’s no reason you need to break the bank with costly gym memberships in order to do it. Here are just a few cost-effective tips for helping you build (and keep) a healthy workout habit in 2023:

  1. Set the right fitness goals

Far too often, the failure of fitness habits are not caused by a lack of motivation or effort, but instead boil down to problems with setting realistic, attainable goals. Often, our goals are far too vague and completely unmeasurable (what does “getting in shape” even mean?), giving us no benchmark for completion. Because so much of our motivation comes from being able to see the finish line, if we don’t have one, we’re more likely to lose that motivation and fall out of a habit. 

So for 2023, make your fitness goals measurable, and also attainable. For example, if you’ve never run a mile in your life, a marathon may not be realistic, but a 5K or 10K later in the year could be the perfect end point to shoot for that gives you that motivation to lace up and hit the streets day in and day out without giving up hope.

  1. Find an accountability buddy

Try as we might, humans are just not all that great at internal motivation. When it comes to getting things done and maintaining habits, external motivation tends to be a much stronger driving force. Think about it: How easy is it to get out of bed early when you know you have a meeting you need to attend vs when you just “want to get a jump-start on work” that morning?

When it comes to staying in shape, finding a like-minded friend or family member that can work out alongside you and push you to keep going every day is one of the easiest and best options to ensure you keep your resolution this year. Not only does this add external accountability to keep us moving, but it also makes the entire habit feel more social, more fun, and less like work. So grab a buddy and hit the gym; we know it’ll help you perform your best!

  1. Take advantage of “free” amenities

Gym memberships are a pain; there’s no getting around it. They’re often expensive, you can find yourself locked into contracts you don’t care about, and they make it as hard as possible to cancel if you need to. But the gyms themselves are often a huge motivating factor for us, from the high-quality equipment to the useful amenities and social atmosphere they provide.

So how can you take advantage of all the benefits of a gym without paying? Start looking in unexpected places! Does your apartment have a workout room you can use? Maybe your office complex has a gym for workers to use during their lunch hours? Maybe you even have a local community center in your neighborhood that offers a free or significantly reduced-cost fitness space for you to do your training. These are often amenities you’re paying for (whether through your rent or your taxes), so take advantage of them rather than shelling out for that gym membership.

  1. Invest in versatile equipment

If you don’t have a workout space you can regularly use, however, you may need to find equipment on your own. Fitness equipment has a reputation for being deeply expensive and overly bulky, and they end up collecting dust in the corner, but with some smart planning, you can avoid all these pitfalls. 

Rather than ponying up for the newest all-in-one home-fitness machine you saw on late-night television, set aside a little bit of money for a well-kept set of basics: Some free weights, resistance bands, a nice mat, and maybe a bench. You can often find this equipment second-hand, and if it’s in good shape, it’ll give you years of service. And the best benefit? These can be adapted to handle just about any workout you need, rather than only being usable for one specific movement or purpose. You’ll find it’s not only far more affordable than some spendy “home gym” machine, but it’s what the best trainers use as well.

  1. Explore fitness apps

Yes, we know that in an ideal world we’d all be able to afford a regular session with a personal trainer, and when you’re beginning your fitness journey it can be helpful to have even one consult with a professional to make sure you’re doing the right workouts and doing them correctly. 

But for those of us without deep pockets (or just a proclivity to keep to ourselves), there’s a world of apps–many of them cheap or free–to help you stay on top of your daily workouts from the comfort of whatever space we have without breaking the bank. From running apps like Strava to general fitness apps like Nike Training Club, there’s something out there to make keeping your resolution easier than ever before, no matter what type of training you prefer.

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No resolution is a guaranteed success, and fitness resolutions are some of the most common to fail. But by using these tips to build a habit and reduce the cost associated with staying in shape, you’re far more likely to maintain the healthy lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of.

Of course, no matter how much you save on gym memberships, sometimes we just need a little help. At Spotloan, our simple online application process can help you qualify for the money you need, even if you have bad credit or need a loan quickly. All you have to do is go fill out our application to see if you qualify, and you could receive a decision within minutes. Fill out our application now!