A student climbs up a rock climbing wall.

Stick with Your New Year’s Resolutions: Getting Physically Fit 

Looking to improve your overall fitness? An overwhelming number of students said their New Year’s resolutions for 2022 are related to physical fitness and health. Charles Burroughs, a fitness instructor at the University Recreation Center, offers guidance now on how to get serious about getting in shape.

A man squats with a dumbbell.
The weight room area of the Recreation Center offers individual weights, machines and more.

Set Specific Goals

It’s easy to quickly pick a goal, but the hard part is being specific with your goal. Burroughs suggests making your goal tangible, with milestone steps that will help you see the progress you’re making. If your goal is to lose weight, create a timeline.

“Instead of ‘I want to lose weight,’ make it ‘I want to lose 10 pounds by March 1,’” said Burroughs. “Being specific makes your goals tangible, gives you something to measure and promotes focus on achieving success.”

Be Consistent

On average, it takes approximately 28 consecutive days to create a habit, with consistency being key. With the New Year, attendance at UA recreation centers will rise and it’s important to make a plan that you can stick with.

To better plan, Burroughs suggests creating a schedule to help you stay on track. In his experience, UA’s recreation centers reach peak attendance after 3 p.m. The best time to go is 5:30–7:30 a.m. or 10 a.m.–noon, he said.

“It’s always wise to have a backup plan for your workout,” Burroughs said. “If a certain machine or piece of equipment isn’t available, make sure to have some ideas on how to replace it with another option.”

Chose Progress Over Perfection

In a world filled with photoshopped advertisements and other influences, it’s easy to get bogged down when you don’t reach a target goal. This comes down to mind over matter and the choice one can make when framing their resolutions.

“Time and time again, I see people fail in their fitness goals because they are entirely too hard on themselves,” he said. “Mistakes will happen, you will miss a workout or cheat on your eating plan; however, the most successful individuals are those that can rebound from those instances rather than beating themselves up.”

In addition to its on-campus facilities and classes, University Recreation offers at-home workout videos and tutorials for those who may need online options through YouTube and InstagramPersonal trainers are also available who can work in person or virtually with you. 

Need a starting point? Check out this at-home workout. 

About the Stick with Your 2022 Resolutions Series

At the end of Fall Semester 2021, UA News Center surveyed students asking what their 2022 New Year’s resolutions are. We gathered the top responses and spoke to UA faculty and staff experts to bring you practical tips and advice to help you stick with your New Year’s resolutions. Find more advice on nutrition, mental health and wellness and making friends while getting involved


Caroline Gazzara-McKenzie, UA Strategic Communications, caroline.mckenzie@ua.edu