Those in the fitness industry often refer to September as January 2.0.

New Year's resolutions send people to the gym, but September is also seen as a fresh start because of its connection to a new school year and the change in weather. 

Making the decision to focus on fitness is easy; staying committed is the hard part.

Here are some common excuses people have for not sticking with a fitness plan, and tips to help you avoid giving up before the leaves have changed colour.

  1. It’s hard to know where to begin
    Every GoodLife Fitness gym has personal trainers who offer free consultations, so take advantage of that. Expert advice on how to set up the initial stages of your personal fitness routine is invaluable, whether you decide to work with a trainer or not.

  2. It’s difficult to find time to go to the gym
    Most people aren't always motivated to work out, so you have to build discipline. Schedule your gym times like they're a meeting or an appointment. Put them in your day planner so they get that stamp of importance.

    Finding a friend to go with, signing up for a class or getting a personal trainer for a stretch of time will also boost your commitment.

  3. I can’t make it to the gym very often so what’s the point of going?
    Try not to get caught up in how often you should go to the gym. Ideally, it's a minimum of three times per week, but if you can only go twice a week, that's a great start.

  4. I feel guilty if I miss a day
    Guess what? Everyone has a bad day.

    For those days you can’t do your normal workout or even haul yourself to the gym, have a backup plan so you at least do some movement. If you're at the gym, forego your planned activity and stretch or take a yoga class instead. If you’re at home, do some stretches or go for a stroll around the neighbourhood.

    Do whatever you can do to clear your head so you're not just opening a bag of potato chips and adding damage to your down day.

    And, if you're feeling motivated the following week, add an extra session.

  5. I don’t think it’s possible to reach my goals
    Don't fixate on the big picture. If you begin a fitness plan with the goal of losing 50 pounds or running a marathon, you may set yourself up for failure. Instead, set incremental goals to achieve along the way so you see progress and aren't overwhelmed and want to quit.

    For example, start with a goal of losing four pounds in the first four weeks. If you want to run a marathon in the spring, focus on learning the training involved and work at smaller bits and pieces so you'll have success in stages.

  6. There must be easier, faster ways to get fit than going to the gym
    Too many people get caught up in fitness fads and expect amazing results. Remember that fitness and nutrition are about linking incremental changes.

    You need to look beyond trends and understand what you're capable of doing and what you're going to be consistent at doing, and then stick to that.

  7. I feel like I reach a certain fitness point and can’t improve anymore
    Hitting a plateau is common. If you think you can’t improve anymore or your body type won’t allow it, this is the time to talk to a fitness professional. They can look over your workout plan and make suggestions to keep it interesting and challenging.

  8. I’ll never look like other people
    Too often women, and a growing number of men, get immersed in social media and begin comparing themselves to others and start competing with them. They're putting too much energy into trying to be the best version of someone else.

    Here's a challenge: Get off social media for 48 hours and see how you feel. During that time, go to the gym and do what you want and what makes you happy.

  9. Going to the gym cuts into my fun time
    Don't fall into the trap of having an all-or-nothing mentality. Whatever fitness goal you're striving for, you need balance in your life.

    You know that day planner with your workout schedule? Make sure it also includes your next weekend getaway with friends, a vacation or even a night out to see a movie. If you don't make time for those pleasures, you could resent going to the gym and that will devalue all the hard work you're doing.