It’s the beginning of January, and I thought I would share with you my own personal story of resolutions. Five months ago, I decided to take my physical fitness to a new level. I met with a personal trainer who helped me discover a new enthusiasm for resistance training.
After a month-long introductory trial, my motivation was still high, and I wanted to keep this change going. The only downfall? Classes with a personal trainer come with a heftier price than the standard gym membership. I was faced with a dilemma – how do I keep working toward my existing goal of maintaining my budget and incorporate something new?
The practical part of me thought, “This is plain and simple. Stick to your budgeting goal. Forget about resistance training, there are more affordable ways to get in a workout.” The more research I did, the more compelled I was to listen to this voice. After all, the average American spends $55 per month on a gym membership, according to ClubIndustry.com, and I would be spending well over this if I chose to continue to work with a trainer.
The problem-solver part of me thought, “You deserve some affordable luxury, let’s make this work.” I started looking at where I could cut back, and low and behold, found the extra money needed for resistance training classes if I cut back on fast food lunches. To me, this was an easy sacrifice – goodbye Subway sandwiches and hello personal trainer!
Five months later, I am really happy with the decision I made. I learned a lot about what motivates me, and how to make lasting change. I am also aware that my spending is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to what Americans are spending on exercise and weight loss. Marketdata Enterprises, a market research firm, reported that Americans spent $26 billion on weight loss in 2011. This spending could be on services or products as inexpensive as a can of diet soda, or as expensive as bariatric surgery.
I encourage you to make your spending count: ClubIndustry.com also reports that $39 of what the average American spends on their monthly gym membership is wasted on under utilization. If motivation to use the gym membership you invest in monthly escapes you, it may be helpful to speak with an EAP counselor to help you clarify your goals and strategize a plan toward change. The EAP may be one of the best affordable luxuries – it is absolutely free.
Kate N., MS, CEAP, joined Empathia in 2005 as an EAP counselor, then became a performance specialist in 2012. Kate has a master’s degree in Educational Psychology. Kate is devoted to helping individuals determine how to make lasting changes. Prior to joining Empathia, she worked in the social work field as a case manager for Child Protective Services. Kate enjoys baking, yoga and escaping to the woods of Northern Wisconsin.