Once you’ve got the motivation, how do you keep it? This is the question we’re all asking ourselves. We’re no stranger to a health and fitness New Year’s resolution. Let’s face it, we’ve all taken on a fitness program at some point, only to give up mere weeks (sometimes days) later. This year we intend on keeping our promises-to-self! And here’s how…
The new year is all about a new you… right? Sure! But don’t go getting too ahead of yourself with high expectations. The first big mistake is rushing into eating healthy and going to the gym seven days a week without any kind of plan… this is not the way to go. Sometimes large or longer-term goals can be overwhelming and you don’t want to fall at the first hurdle, do you?
1. Take it steady, planning is key.
Start by exploring exercises that you’ll enjoy, this helps take the strain out of the health kick. For example, if the idea of running a mile a day makes you feel weak at the knees, don’t go for a run! Pick an exercise that you know won’t fill you with dread and stick to it. If you’re a beginner, start small. Maybe just a power walk around the block on your lunch break, or a half an hour cross train in the morning. Once you begin to boost your motivation, you can turn it up a notch. One lap should lead to two laps, fifteen minutes turns to half an hour and before long you’ll find you’re ready to break a sweat!
It’s important to remember that boredom is motivations killer. Switch up your routine regularly to keep your willpower in check.
2. Team Up.
It’s the perfect time to get a gym buddy, and stick together. It’s proven that if you have a regular partner who is on board with your personal goals and praises all of your hard work, you’re far more likely to succeed and remain motivated to beat your personal goals. So, choose wisely. Perhaps you have similar goals, or perhaps their strengths counteract your weaknesses and vice versa. Remember, this is not a competition, you are each others support system and you should want them to succeed just as much as you want to succeed yourself!
3. Think Happy Thoughts.
A positive mind and uplifted attitude will make you a lot more likely to finish what you start. Try not to focus on how hard a certain exercise is (no pain, no gain), instead kick those negative thoughts and think of what you’ll get out of it if you persist… more energy? Check. A slimmer physique? Check.
Give yourself a little pat on the back after each and every workout, even if you only managed ten minutes it’s still better than kicking back on the sofa in front of Netflix (although some down time is still important to rest those sore muscles!). With each self-praise, you’ll get a little pick me up, which will keep your motivation moving along nicely.
4. Inside and out.
As for the eating part, there are plenty of apps out there to keep you on track and guide you into becoming a connoisseur of healthy foods. Never think of yourself as ‘on a diet’, this immediately means that you’re ignoring what your body is telling you and you’re more likely to crash and burn by giving into sweet temptations. Instead, think of your goals as a long-term health-kick. Eat fresh as much as possible, and make sure you get a balanced diet. When those naughty sugar cravings creep in, opt for fresh fruit, or treat yourself to a couple of squares of chocolate. By banishing certain foods for good, you’ll only want them more. If you’re willing to consume the ‘bad’ things in careful moderation, then no harm will be done.
5. To me, love from me.
So, you’ve not strayed from your plan and you are feeling fab – go you! Now it’s time to reward yourself for all of that hard work and determination. Your reward could be anything, but we still suggest that you don’t binge on fatty foods for the weekend – you’ve come so far, you wouldn’t want to ruin it all!
Treat yourself well in other ways, maybe that new bag you’ve had your eye on for a while. Rewarding yourself is the key to staying motivated, and it’s those little things to look forward to that’ll keep your next goal in sight.
6. It’s never too late to start.
January is the most influential month to start, granted. Your Instagram feed is full of gym selfies and #NewYearNewMe, but being healthy is an all year round mission. So, if you’ve spent the first few days of the New Year raiding the last of the Christmas Quality Streets, don’t feel too bad. You have another 50 weeks of the year to get motivated, and keep motivated!