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'We Don't Speak January': What Equinox Got Right and What They Got REALLY Wrong

I'm sure we all can think of a New Years' Resolution we made that just frankly, didn't last past January 20th. As it is just as human to improve and succeed, it is also just as human to fail. Life gets in the way sometimes and sometimes it's just not possible to do EVERYTHING we have set out to do all at once. After all, we are only human. However, I'm sure that we can think of so many ideas, goals, and resolutions that we have made at the beginning of a year that we have accomplished.

When we started, these accomplished goals may have seemed scary or almost impossible. These goals and resolutions also may have been ones we had been wanted to start on for a long time too. What New Years' Resolutions offered us at that time was an opening or a doorway. The New Year gives us a socially celebrated time to start something outside of our comfort zone, that would allow us to feel less embarrassed if we stumbled or failed.

Over the last few years, though, there has been a large uptick of comedic social media posts that "poke fun" at how crowded the gym can get during the month of January because of New Years' Resolutions. Although these posts initially seemed light-hearted, they repeatedly devolved into frequent gym goers or fitness influencers mocking how newer gym goers have bad form or ignore the gym until January 1st all together. These posts now receive an incredible amount of negative backlash, with individuals who started their fitness journeys in January often commenting about their personal experiences with the negativity of gym culture. However, Equinox seems to have taken some inspiration from this particular type of humor for their new January 2023 campaign.

For the 2023 new year, the luxury gym Equinox started their "We Don't Do January" Campaign. This campaign specifically called out the new years' gym-joiners who decide to start their fitness journey on January 1st of the year claiming they [Equinox] "don't speak January." They have claimed that their idea is that fitness is a lifestyle rather than just something you do at the beginning of every new year. As a luxury gym, Equinox got one thing right with this campaign - everyone is not your customer and with this marketing tactic, Equinox has clearly established their customer base as high-end, consistent gym goers and NOT New Years' resolution-ers.

Equinox's campaign now is being called out for being offensive and exclusionary. While I can't necessarily say I personally take offense to the campaign and I do think the meant to exclude people, they directly ignore the fact that the New Year is supposed to be a time for change and that people want to embrace that change. With this campaign, Equinox is a well-known and professional gym claiming that there is a negative connotation behind starting your fitness journey in the New Year. That's what they got wrong. If fitness is supposed to be something that everyone is doing, it's a lifestyle as Equinox has claimed, how can it be bad at any time of the year? Equinox themselves states that one of their goals as a company is "to help people push the boundaries of what’s possible, for themselves and for each other." (Equinox) With their "We Don't Speak January" campaign, Equinox is claiming that yes you can push your boundaries and create change for yourself, but only sometimes at the right time of the year that's convenient for them.

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