We’re reaching that time of year where for many people; the motivation from countless New Year’s Resolutions and fitness goals is starting to dwindle. The early January buzz is beginning to fade, and there’s the ever looming threat that your new training plan will fall off the rails.
So how can you stay motivated? How can you ensure your fitness goals stay on track this year?
Here are seven simple steps you can use to help you keep going, and achieve what you set out to.
1. Remind yourself of your initial fitness goal. Why did you set that resolution in the first place? Maybe it was to lose a certain amount of weight, or perhaps to increase your half marathon time by a certain number. Whatever your goal is, write it down and put it somewhere where you’ll see it every day – perhaps on the wall next to your bed. You can also share your goal with friends, and commit to keeping them updated on your progress.
2. Keep it simple. Remember that to make a new habit last, your goal has to be realistic and achievable. If you’re pushing yourself too hard and really struggling to keep up with yourself, your plan is not sustainable. It may sound counter intuitive, but the easier you make it early on, the more likely you will develop the habit and carry it on in the long run. Don’t be afraid to alter your goal to something a little smaller to start with, and then build upon it slowly when you feel comfortable.
3. Make sure to rest. Recovery is just as important as the training itself, if not more so. A lack of motivation can be a big sign of over-training, so err on the side of caution. I’ve done it myself, and it’s not fun. Make sure you’re taking enough rest days (at least one or two a week), eating a wholesome diet, managing your stress levels and getting enough sleep.
4. Get your family or friends involved. Having a training partner can be a great way to keep you focussed on your fitness goals. You feel more accountable, and are less likely to skip a workout if someone else is depending on you. Some training I prefer to do alone, but I love to run with and bike with friends – it keeps me motivated and gives me a chance to catch up with them.
5. Sign up to an event. Having something to look forward to and work towards can be a great motivator. Maybe sign up for a half marathon, a triathlon, or some sort of sporting competition – whatever interests you and gets you excited just thinking about it.
6. Switch it up. Try something new, something completely out of the ordinary. Go climbing, take a swim, try some body weight exercises. Making your training varied from time to time can keep things interesting, and help you break through any plateaus. You may find that you really enjoy one of the new activities, and it could turn into something regular.
7. Keep a record. It’s not always necessary, but some people find that keeping a training diary really helps. The only way you can really track your fitness progress is by keeping a record. It is extremely motivating to look back over a few months and see that you’re getting stronger or faster.
For more information on creating healthy habits and achieving your health potential, visit Health Room. Subscribe by email today to get free updates, and receive your FREE copy of his e-book: 10 Steps to Form Healthy Habits!