If you already have a fitness program in place and want the flexibility that home exercise equipment can give you, go for it. But don’t assume that you’re going to start exercising now that you’ve bought an expensive home gym or cardio machine. If your exercise “habit” has not been established, simply having the equipment available will not change anything. I know, it seems like it should open a whole new world of fitness possibilities for you. It should, but it doesn’t. The same excuses and justifications will still apply.

Likewise, don’t assume that the guilt of spending a lot of money on equipment is going to compel you to use it. True, guilt can be a very powerful motivator, but it’s a negative one and tends to result in avoidance. And before you know it, you’re trying to not look at that treadmill, elliptical trainer, etc. because it reminds you of what you’re not doing. The offending machinery ends up in the closet, basement, under the bed…or serving as an expensive clothes rack.

I’ve heard people say that the greatest “workout” they got from their purchase was carrying it into the house. Only to be followed by the second greatest…carrying it out to the front lawn for their garage sale. Establish a solid exercise habit before you complicate matters by spending money on expensive equipment.

A side note: if you want to get a good deal on equipment (and you have a plan to use it), don’t buy it in Dec/Jan. That’s when all the ‘resolutioners’ are buying. Yes, the stores will be having good deals…but probably not as good as the deal you’ll get on Craigslist/classifieds/ebay/garage sale starting somewhere between March-May when the sparkle of New Year’s resolutions has faded and everyone’s trying to make back some of the cash they lost.