New Year Equals New Me

This isn’t the typical New Year’s Resolution post declaring my New Years Resolutions.

This also isn’t the post to say I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions. I do have New Years Resolutions, but that is for another post. 

Start on January 1

I’m actually indifferent towards people who want to begin a new life journey or goal on January 1st.  Honestly, I’m excited for anyone to make positive changes in their life.  Every year I hear friends declare they are going to go to the gym more.  They plan to do X, Y, and Z.  That’s exciting, and I’m happy for everyone, no matter what their goals are.

Sadly, I also hear other friends publically wish resolutioners would get out of the gym or out of their way.Sure, having more people at the gym can be an inconvenience because there are fewer machines available.

The reality is everyone at the gym is paying for the same membership.  No one is more entitled to a piece of equipment because you have been a member for one day or 1000. If a person “getting in your way” annoys you, purchase your own damn gym equipment and stay at home.

Every year on January 1st many people begin a journey to better themselves.  New Year’s Resolutions include anything from fitness goals to life goals, work goals or even chasing your dreams.

The majority of the population makes a resolution or goal to achieve in the new year.  According to studies, only 8% of people keep with their New Year’s resolutions.  The facts are that is still 8% more than last year.

While people make many different resolutions, this post is focused more on the fitness and gym related goals.

This post is about the people who join a gym each year to achieve their goals.

This post is about the people judging those that are new to fitness programs.

Each year I see my “in shape” or fitness oriented friends complain about their gyms being crowded.  I have even seen posts about how dumb having a New Years Resolution is.  I’ve seen everything from posts about how silly new people look at the gym to even taking hidden photos of someone trying to workout.

Please remember that if someone has not given you permission to include their photo on your blog or social media, you shouldn’t.  It is never appropriate to take a picture of someone without their permission, especially to make fun of them.  Take a step back and realize how upset you would be if you found out someone was publically shaming you for trying something new. 

Here are just a few complaints about resolutioners at the gym I’ve seen:

The gym is crowded. No space for me! (sad emojis)

Someone took my elliptical (or any piece of gym equipment).

I hate how busy it is; I hope these people leave soon.

These people are wasting their time. (You are wasting your time complaining)

Those statements are rude and it’s even ruder to post.  Every single person from an elite marathoner to a star quarterback started their fitness journey somewhere.

Who knows where someone started, maybe it was with a New Years Resolution?

Judging someone based on their fitness level is both pathetic and sad.  When people first begin something, they are the most self-conscious.  New people (anywhere) fear being judged the most. It reminds me of people that won’t follow someone on twitter or facebook because they have five followers. It’s superficial.

I can remember the first time I went to the gym.  I was 18 years old, and I was nervous the rest of the patrons were judging me.  I tried every machine in the fitness center in 10 minutes.  I had no idea what I was doing.  Slowly but surely I found things that worked for me.  The first few months I was hyperaware of everything and everyone.  To be honest, I would still be mortified if I found out someone was publically shaming me at the gym!

Was that person laughing?  Must be at me…

Are those people chatting? They must be chatting about me…

So as you ring in the New Years, remember that a New Years resolution might not be your thing but some people are trying to better themselves.  Sure, some people might fall off the wagon, but many people will succeed.

I encourage you to think about when you were first beginning your fitness journey.  Do not be upset with others for attempting to begin their fitness journeys or using a machine typically in your routine.

Question for you: When did you start your fitness journey?


  1. I have been guilty of complaining. But, if I take some time to actually think about the bottleneck that occurs during new years, it actually has more to do with organization than crowds. For example, many people, both newcomers and regulars, ignore sign-up sheets for machines, which leads to people being more pissed off and longer wait times. And, when it comes to strength equipment, it tends to be the beefy guys who hog a bunch of benches/machines at once while they go through their circuit, leaving it empty yet not allowing anyone to use it. If people all just try to get along, I think the crowds would be less of a problem.

    1. That is true about organization. I do agree that if more people got along it would just be a better situation.

  2. I started going to the gym when I was 17, and I remember that I did exactly 10 minutes on every piece of cardio equipment too! I didn’t have a clue about strength training at that point, so I just stayed out of that section of the gym. I was SO self-conscious, but the gym was literally all that allowed me to leave the house at that point in my life. I was coming out of a year shut in at home, a prisoner of my agoraphobia. Going to the gym was what allowed me to eventually branch out and go to college for one class per week, and then progress to being a full-time student before moving on to University. If even one person had made a sarcastic comment, let alone posted photos of me on social media, I would have gone scurrying back to my house, heartbroken, and likely never left. Now, I had already been doing fitness DVDs for a year, and I had some idea of what I was doing on the machines, but that’s not the point. Unless someone is going to injure themselves then there is no reason to intervene, let alone laugh at them…that is absolutely awful 🙁 I didn’t join the gym in January, and I don’t make resolutions, but each to their own on that front.

    The only thing I will say is that sometimes new people do not have proper gym etiquette. At all. We’ve had huge problems at my gym with new members turning up for classes without booking and refusing to leave when they’re full. It got to the point where the manager had to come in with a register and physically remove those who weren’t supposed to be there and wouldn’t own up to not booking for the class. On that level I do dread January and the gym being busy…I do know that’s partially my problem though as I find it so difficult to be in a room full of people with very little concept of personal space.

  3. Good stuff! Love your point about 8% being more than last year. Keep up the good work and kick butt in 2016. Happy new year!

    1. Thank you so much and thank for you stopping by. I hope you had a happy New Year as well!

  4. totally! i started running bc of a New Years resolution to run at least a mile a day… while i do get frustrated when my favorite trails and whatever work out area is busy, thats mostly bc i hate people 😉 im happy when people are making positive changes!!

  5. I love love love this post! Honestly I love that it’s sort of “trendy” for people to get healthy in January because I know at least some people are making a lasting change!!

  6. I’m with you! While I don’t really love that the gym gets so crowded in January, I also don’t really mind. I’m just happy people are TRYING to be healthy! I also hate it when people post pictures of other people too. Especially if it includes their face or some obviously identifying feature! I’m so with you on this whole entire post! Love it.

    1. Agreed Lis, I don’t love the gym us crowded but I’m so happy for people giving their fitness a chance!

  7. I just found your blog, and this is a great first post for me to read! I was one of those resolutioners a couple years ago, and I dreaded going to the gym. I’d have anxiety attacks at the idea of having to go alone, or doing anything other than running on the treadmill. Rather than shaming people, we should be encouraging those who have taken the daunting step to get healthy!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ali and I’m glad you enjoyed it. I can completely relate to anxiety attacks. I actually suffered pretty moderately from anxiety and panic attacks in college. I’m so happy you enjoy going to the gym now 🙂

  8. Love love love this post! I think about this a lot when I see someone at the gym working hard at a goal. I’d love to go over and just subtly acknowledge, but that can be awkward. If there’s ever an appropriate time, I’ll strike up a quick conversation in the locker room and pay them a compliment on their hard work.

    1. I agree that it could definitely be awkward. I’m glad you enjoyed it Chuck. I hope all is well with you!

  9. Great post! I don’t make new year’s resolutions (why wait until a new year to make a change?), but if this method works for folks, then great; I can’t wait to see what they accomplish. And it’s especially since being around this atmosphere at work when we get the people who are just starting to run–that’s what makes it all worthwhile. 🙂

  10. So true. And it’s usually the same people who complain about “fat people” in aeroplanes or taking up space in hospitals. Everyone has the right to be there. You simply cannot judge someone else’s life. You have no idea what their story is.
    I still get anxieties that people are laughing at me or talking about me at the gym and I’ve been there for like 3 years!!

  11. I’ve worked in a (more than one) fitness facility for the last 10+ years. I’ve seen it all. Sure, it is frustrating to not be able to get on equipment but we all need to remind ourselves that we have to start somewhere and yes, many of those people won’t be here in a few months (maybe a few days!), but that doesn’t mean they aren’t entitled to use equipment! And it hurts my heart to see people being judged or shamed for trying something new. I had one woman quit her membership because she said that she was overweight and she felt like people were staring at her. She said she knew that she needed to make the change and would workout at home until she felt comfortable enough to come in again. We all love fitness, we should WANT people to find that same love for it that we have! Thank you for this post, it is a good reminder for us all!

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