June 14, 2021

To Retain New Members, Teach Them the Art of Habit Creation

January is a great month for the fitness industry. The holidays are over, and everyone feels like crap. And because people feel like crap, they’re motivated. They want to get fit. They want to feel better. So they join your studio. Yay! It’s great for their health, and it’s growth for your business. Win-win. But all of this New Year’s excitement tends to wear off quickly. In fact, did you know that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February? What this number could mean for your studio is that most of those new members that you acquired in January might not stick around very long. To combat this reality, it’s your studio’s job to help these folks turn a resolution into a habit. 

January is a great month for the fitness industry. The holidays are over, and everyone feels like crap. And because people feel like crap, they’re motivated. They want to get fit. They want to feel better. 

So they join your studio. 

Yay! 

It’s great for their health, and it’s growth for your business. Win-win. 

But all of this New Year’s excitement tends to wear off quickly. In fact, did you know that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February? What this number could mean for your studio is that most of those new members that you acquired in January might not stick around very long. 

To combat this reality, it’s your studio’s job to help these folks turn a resolution into a habit

Resolutions are mostly short-term. They (like we showed you above) lose their luster quickly. 

Habits, on the other hand, are long-term. They are ingrained parts of what you do every day. It doesn’t take much willpower or self-control to maintain a habit—once the habit is properly established, that is. 

To keep your new members enrolled in your studio, you’ve got to illuminate the path to habit-creation. Show them how

How do you turn a desired behavior into a lifelong habit? 

Here are three ideas on how you can teach your clients about habits, thus significantly increasing your studio’s retention rate:


1. Teach a mini-course. (Hey teachers: this one’s for you!)

To teach a course to your members, you first need to develop the curriculum. Use a book like Atomic Habits by James Clear or The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. 

Once you have the curriculum, you can start enrollment. The course can be in-person or virtual. It can be free or paid. It can have one instructor or several instructors. Find what formula works best for you and your studio. 

Just remember: The reason you’re offering a mini-course in the first place is to retain your clients by teaching them the art of habit creation. Let retention be your guiding light as you create your course. In other words, show your members how to create a habit that keeps them coming back to your studio. 


2. Send a daily habit email during the first six weeks of the year.

If a mini-course seems daunting, send a daily habit email instead. 

Again, use a book like Atomic Habits to help you create the content. Keep the emails very consumable. They should be short and sweet. Give your members the best nuggets of wisdom that deliver the most impact. Like this one from James Clear’s Atomic Habits

“This is why remaining part of a group after achieving a goal is crucial to maintaining your habits. It’s friendship and community that embed a new identity and help behaviors last over the long run.”

This is a perfect quote for the purpose of retention. With these words, you’re showing your clients how crucial it is to keep their membership. Because if they leave your studio, they’re leaving the community. And to maintain a healthy habit, a community of like-minded folks is key.

3. Host a habits workshop.

In between the mini-course and the daily email lives the workshop

The workshop is a one-time, in-person or online event. It should last about 45 minutes. And it should cover the basics of habit creation—how to create habits, how to maintain habits, and how to eliminate bad habits. 

Tip: No matter how you decide to teach your members about habits, make it FUN and INTERACTIVE! No one’s interested in long lectures. 

And also: Retention matters all year long. So if you’re well past January, this is still a very worthwhile endeavor. 

Cheers to new member retention!

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