Goals Performance Self awareness Transformation

How not to be a fitness tourist

Why good intentions and shree willpower are not enough to create sustainable transformation

When we lived in Huntersville, North Carolina, I went to the gym twice per week before work. My schedule alternated from cardio to swimming to a good strength session with Mike, my fitness trainer. 

Life was good.

Except in January. 

Fitness Tourists

I remember going to the gym on the first working day in January, and the place was packed. To my surprise, my treadmill, the one I always used, was occupied by a slightly obese (I have to stay nice here) gentleman who I had never seen before.

“Fitness tourists,” Mike said.

I hadn’t noticed Mike had walked up and stood next to me while I was observing the place packed with people I had never seen before. Most of them dressed in brand new sports clothing, sweating like pigs (I’m sorry, but that’s the expression).

“Don’t worry, Erik, by the end of the month, they’re gone,” Mike continued.

Mike explained this was the same ritual every January. People following through on their New Year’s resolutions until they give up. 

Some within a week, some within a month.

Mike’s rough estimation was that out of every ten new clients, one would eventually follow through and build a successful fitness routine. The large majority gives up.

We’ve all been there at some point. Haven’t we? 

We’ve all been some type of fitness tourist at any point in our life: smoking, alcohol, losing weight, call friends and family more often, less screen time, less social media, less email, you name it.

And more often than not, we don’t succeed. 

Willpower alone is not sufficient to transform

Any habit guru, and we have many of them these days, will tell you that you most likely will not succeed by sheer willpower. 

The odds are against you. 

Creating a sustainable transformation, in this case, a healthier lifestyle, is a journey. It’s not sufficient to show up at the gym on January 2nd thinking that your life has changed now.

Bears on the road

Whatever change we’re trying to accomplish in our lives, we will always be confronted by obstacles.

Or, as we say in Dutch, you will most likely “meet a few bears on the road” towards your destination. 

Any transformation is the result of a deliberate and thought-through process. A process that will help maximize the chances for success, minimize the number of obstacles and overcome those obstacles you meet on the way.

10 golden rules for invaluable transformation

Over the past weeks, I worked on my 10 golden rules for invaluable transformation.

That’s the working title for now.

Let me know if you like it or suggest a better title. I love your feedback.

These 10 golden rules are my process of helping you to get the transformation you’re looking for. 

Signup for my weekly insights below and receive advance notice as I introduce these 10 golden rules over the next weeks.

Stay tuned.

Do more of what makes you happy. Also in 2021.


Get my Weekly Insights below
Get my stories, insights, and links to stuff I read and learn from sent to your inbox every Tuesday and Friday and receive my “Better Starts with Who” challenge.

Subscribe and get

By subscribing, you agree to my Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Your privacy is protected. Like you, I don’t like spam and will never share your contact data.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *