So you've made the decision to make fitness an important part of your life. But what now? How do you stay on track to make sure that at the end of the year, you're still exercising regularly and kicking some fitness butt! Let's look at how we can make this achievable.
During the many years I have been involved in the fitness industry, the New Year relatively remains the same. Fitness centres see a lot of highly motivated people come through the doors. They can be motivated by a new year's resolution, they bounce off the energy the new year brings-it's like a fresh start. They exercise a lot in the first month or two. Then they might have a busy week at work, or feel too sore, or get sick, or the kids go back to school and the routine changes. Then instead of exercising 3, 4, 5 times a week, it starts to drop to 1-2. Then it might be two weeks before they come back....which then leads to a three week hiatus...and then the excuses really kick in (see the Excuses blog to combat that). Then that person is never to be seen again. It's not a crime! We've all been there! But how do we overcome it happening year after year after year. How can you change your mindset from an “I'll start Monday” person to a “Today was a hard day but I will still get this workout in” person?
Some of the things I'll talk about, I'm sure you've heard before. But there's a reason for that....they have a high success rate. So taking the time to maybe do some of these suggestions, may just help you to stay motivated.
1. Goal setting.
Firstly you need to identify that goal. For some that's easy. I want to lose 10kgs, I want to wear that outfit I haven't fit into in years, I want to compete in a 5km/10km/half marathon/marathon. The list is endless. But for some of you, what it is you want to achieve is a mystery. My recommendation is to create a vision board. Whether it be words, pictures, a combination of both. Start with words. Don't think, just simply write down what comes into your head when you think about goals. Don't limit yourself. If you think of something, say a marathon, and immediately you doubt whether you could actually do it, then you're not going to write it down. Dreams are big for a reason. All this exercise does is to get you thinking.
Then study that board. Add pictures to it. A goal will become clear. There will be a pattern in your words and pictures that will help to identify what it is you want to achieve.
Exercise number two (puffed out yet??) is to then think about why that goal is important. Think about achieving that goal and how that makes you feel. When I was training for my first half ironman, every session whether it be a swim, ride or run, I would think about what it would feel like crossing the finishing line. If your goal is to lose bodyfat, how would it make you feel wearing a different size of clothing? If it's important to you, if the emotion you feel thinking about achieving that goal is overwhelmingly positive, then you will more than likely remain motivated.
Then put a realistic timeframe with the goal. No one starts training for a marathon three weeks before the event. Or the old one workout in “Am I skinny yet????”. If you're not sure how long realistically, you should take to achieve the goal, ask a professional. Losing 10kgs a week might be achievable on reality TV, but in the real world it's a lot harder.
Goals don't have to be epic. They can be, but they don't have to be. Can be as simple as I want to work out three times a week because I like how it makes me feel and I want to maintain that. There has to be a purpose as to why you are exercising.
Alongside setting goals is to also recognise what has also held you back in the past to achieving them. Were you too busy, did you have kids and life changed, could you simply not be bothered? Whatever it is, if you recognise it, you can put in strategies to help combat them if they rear their ugly heads.
2. Make it FUN! If the idea of walking on a treadmill for an hour fills you with dread, DON'T DO IT!!!!! There are so many ways to exercise out there. Besides for FIT360, there's aqua, walking, running, biking, swimming, Zumba, dancing, gym, cardio machines, group fitness, personal training, hiking, playing sport. Actually the last one is interesting, playing sport is probably the most popular fitness of choice. Why? Because it's FUN! You look forward to playing! So if you want to stay motivated, then find something that you look forward to doing! Or the feeling you get after you've done it!
3. Schedule it. Make an appointment in your diary or calendar to exercise. Take the time to workout when would be a good day and time to workout and schedule it in. If it's visually in front of you, if you receive reminders that you have to exercise, then you will do it.
4. Workout with a mate. Or a few mates. When you have committed to another person that you will exercise with them, then you will! You don't want to let your mates down. And there's many bonuses of working out with friends. You get to hang out. You get to encourage each other, especially on those harder days. It makes training more fun. Winning all round.
5. Recognise your progress. This is a vital one. When you have committed to exercising regularly, it's become fairly habitual, but you have one of "those days" or "those weeks" where the self doubt creeps in, or the body seems to resist against you. That it all seems too hard. Look back. Think back. Feel back. Remember the first days/weeks. Remember what it was like to start. How did it make you feel? And then look forward from there. Recognise all those achievements along the way. Like can you do pushups on your toes, have you got faster (it's why I love fast feet at FIT360, gives you a measurable score right then and there), can you jog 5kms without walking, are your clothes fitting better. List them down! Things that can seem small, put into the big picture are huge! And that right there can motivate you to push on because hey let's face it, we all like the wins!
6. Use social media to your advantage. Follow people who make a positive difference in this world. I'm not talking about the ones who take 7 million #halfnaked #myabsaremorerippedthanyours #youwannabeme #youcantbeme selfies. No I mean people who are truly making this world better. Watch their videos, find motivational quotes that are pertinent to you, be inspired. When you have an attitude of gratitude, when you are inspired to do better and be better, you stay motivated. It means you can take the knocks with a better attitude. No why me, poor me, pity me. Social media is FULL of the pity party people (and a quick word of advice here, their parties suck). But social media is also full of some very amazing, positive people that are worth your social media time.
7. This is the BIG one. Be kind to you. Reward yourself. Keep your self talk positive. Focus on your achievements, not how far you have to go. Show yourself some serious love. You are worth every step. You are worth it. You will always be worth it. Be kind to you.
So there's just a few suggestions to help you kick some serious booty this year! Enjoy!
In fitness and health