How to Motivate New Members to Stick to their New Year's Fitness Goals

What was your New Year's resolution for 2020? Did you stick with it? 80% of people fail to achieve their New Year's resolution, so if you did achieve your goal, congratulations; if not, welcome to the club.

55% of New Year's resolutions are health-related, and gyms and fitness businesses usually see a huge uptick in memberships around the New Year as a result. New Year's resolutions are a huge opportunity for fitness businesses to boost their membership programs, but it can also be challenging. Since resolutions have such a high failure rate, many new members will ditch their membership.

To truly make the most of the New Year membership boost, your fitness business will need to find ways to motivate new members to stick to their New Year's goals. That's not easy to do, but with the right tactics, you can turn your new members into loyal regulars. Here are some strategies you can use at your gym or fitness business to motivate new members to stick to their New Year's fitness resolution.

Get Information on Your New Member's Goals

Making a good New Year's resolution is difficult. In fact, most people do it wrong, which is why failure is so common. New Year's resolutions should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. When new members come into your fitness center, ask them about their goals to see if it fits the SMART criteria. If their resolution is missing any of those five requirements, help them fix that. 

Having a good understanding of your members' goals is incredibly helpful. First, it gives you insight into the changes they want to make, and the end result they want to achieve. Second, it allows you to help them come up with a plan for achieving that goal. Third, and probably most importantly, you ensure their goal is achievable. Many people become discouraged when they realize their New Year's resolution isn't possible and give up. By making sure your members' goals follow the SMART criteria, you help set them up for success.

Provide Access to a Free Personal Training Session

Personal trainers are strong motivators, and statistics show that they help their clients get results. A study found that 73% of participants who worked with a personal trainer every week demonstrated evidence of health-behavior change. Most gyms aren't in a position to offer all of their new members weekly personal training sessions for free, but offering a free session or two can be doable. 

This tactic works on a number of levels. First, the personal trainer will be there to guide them through their workouts. This is a great way to help them with their form, introduce them to the gym atmosphere, and set them up for success. Second, they have someone to hold them accountable, motivate them, and push them through their workouts. Finally, if they decide to stick with the personal trainer after the free session, that means more revenue for your business. Everybody wins; your new member will make progress to reach their goal, and you'll increase revenue.

Celebrate Progress & Milestones

A New Year's resolution isn't achieved in one day; it's a time-consuming commitment. Many people grow bored of their resolution because their goal seems so far away. To combat this, you can celebrate progress and smaller milestones. You could put up pictures of members who have met a certain goal, offer a membership discount, a custom water bottle, something to reward members for making progress. Rewards are great motivating tools, and while the long-term effectiveness of rewards wane as time passes, they can be successful in the short-term. 

Celebrating the small victories helps keep your members engaged and excited about their resolution. Additionally, it can help enhance the feeling of community at your gym. If you can get your members supporting each other and celebrating progress, it creates an environment of positivity and growth. With that kind of atmosphere at your gym, new members will think twice before quitting.

Encourage Group Workouts

Did you know that group workouts can improve motivation significantly? In a study, 95% of participants in a group weight loss program completed the treatment, and 66% of those people maintained their weight loss afterward. Only 76% of those who participated alone completed the program, and just 24% maintained their weight loss. 

Group workouts encourage accountability and motivate members to keep pace with the group. To encourage group workouts, you can offer membership discounts for referrals. Not only does that help promote group workouts, but it also helps you acquire new members. Additionally, you could advertise your group workout classes. The key takeaway here is that group workouts help motivate your members, so it's in your best interest to encourage them.


Make motivating new members at your gym your New Year's resolution; by following these strategies, you can help retain your new members. Are you looking to stock up on membership supplies? We offer custom membership cards, key tags, and combo cards to help boost your membership program. If you have any questions or are ready to order your membership supplies, please reach out to us.

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