5 pro tips to revive your fitness resolutions from a fitness instructor

Make fitness a non-negotiable part of your day can lead to improved energy levels and overall well-being. Picture: Leon Ardho /Unsplash

Make fitness a non-negotiable part of your day can lead to improved energy levels and overall well-being. Picture: Leon Ardho /Unsplash

Published Apr 2, 2024


As the confetti settles and the festive cheer of the New Year fades into the rear-view mirror, Colleen Petersen, a seasoned fitness instructor and proud owner of CrossFit AniWaya in Ruimsig, Johannesburg, shares a familiar observation as the fiery determination to stick to health and fitness resolutions often cools off quicker than a January gym membership.

“By February, many people's New Year's resolutions start fading, and come March, we've often slipped back into our old ways, leaving our resolutions in the dust," Petersen laments.

Enterprise Apps Today paints a rather sobering picture, with statistics showing that a mere 9% of resolution-setters manage to keep their pledges throughout the year.

In fact, most people tend to abandon their New Year goals by the second Friday of January, a date that has almost become an unofficial holiday for good intentions gone awry.

Prioritise time to exercise. Picture: Eduardo Romero/Unsplash

Petersen has seen it all, the initial rush of adrenaline, the first signs of struggle and the eventual surrender to the comfort of old habits.

"Over the years, I've seen the hurdles first hand, both in my own journey and in the experiences of my clients and friends. Time constraints, waning motivation, you name it. These barriers can feel insurmountable," she shares.

Here are my 5 tips to turn excuses into actions and reclaim your fitness journey.

Not having enough time

It’s easy to play the "too busy" card, especially when it comes to squeezing in some exercise. "I don't have time to exercise“, are all too common excuses that fitness enthusiasts hear often.

The truth is, that we craft our schedules around the things we truly value. If getting fit and staying healthy is high on your list, you'll shuffle things around to make room for it. Challenging the age-old "not enough time" excuse.

Being too tired

Prioritise time to exercise - whether it's waking up 30 minutes earlier or squeezing in a short workout between meetings. It also doesn't need to be at a gym, it could be a quick workout video online.

Making fitness a non-negotiable part of your day can lead to improved energy levels and overall well-being.

Lack of motivation

Sometimes, the hardest part is getting started. As people, our innate nature is to be social beings, which is why sometimes exercising by yourself can get monotonous.

This is where finding a supportive community can make all the difference, whether it's joining a running club or finding a workout buddy who will keep you accountable.

“Another tactic to get out of your own way is through the 5-second rule. Author Mel Robbins describes this rule as ‘The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move or your brain will stop you.

“There's one thing that is guaranteed to increase your feelings of control over your life: a bias toward action.’

“So, if today is the day you have determined that you want to reclaim your fitness, the minute you think about it, you must physically do one small action, even if that means researching what you are going to do next.”

Fear of looking silly

Depending on your fitness journey, it is easy to fall prey to your own mind where you feel like you will look silly exercising, especially in a gym or training environment.

The fear of judgement can be paralysing, but it's important to remember that everyone starts somewhere.


“Many people view fitness as a luxury rather than a necessity. We need to start changing the narrative and categorise fitness as a top priority because investing in our health is one of the most valuable investments we can make. I

“t doesn't have to break the bank either; there are so many cost-effective training activities that you can participate in.”

Petersen adds, “One way to start is by finding someone who has a fitness platform online, follow them, and start doing their home-workouts. When you are ready, investigate what fitness options suit your needs and find an environment that matches that, within your budget.”

“Fitness can be as simple as spending 20 minutes playing ball with your children or taking a brisk walk in the park. Remember, every step, no matter how small, brings us closer to our goals.”