Why do people sign up for the gym?

About 20% of American adults have a fitness club membership. It’s a $30 billion industry for something people can do at home. People are paying for something humanity has done for ages for free.

I read a story once that Steve Jobs decided that Apple wasn’t in the business of selling computers, it was in the business of selling inspiration and creativity. Likewise, when people go to the gym, they aren’t looking for weights or treadmills. They’re looking for accountability and discipline.

Less than 10% of people who make new year’s resolutions report that they succeeded. After a few months, they lose their motivation and commitment and don’t do the things they promised themselves.

"In my 10 years of experience evaluating what creates long-term health-and-fitness success, the single most important factor is having a support system,” says Wayne Andersen, MD. “We are social animals. We seek the company and positive reinforcement of others, especially when we are doing work.” People who join gyms are 14 times more likely to reach physical fitness goals than people who don’t.

Culture matters. You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If you want to improve your business, you should spend time with people who want to improve their business. 

As Jonathan Fields (a former gym owner himself) says in “To Succeed at Anything, Do This,” you need 5 kinds of people:

  1. Co-strivers and parallel playmates

  2. Champions

  3. Mentors or guides

  4. Accountability partners

  5. Community

So yes, as you think of what you want to accomplish in 2019, it’s equally important to think about who you want to accomplish it with. Of these 5 kinds of people Fields recommends, who do you have and who do you need?

If you want to want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. - African Proverb