It’s that time of year where motivation starts to dwindle. On January 1st, New Year’s resolutions were set, the gym was packed and so were our lunch boxes, ready for the week ahead. Now, it’s snowing outside and all you want to do is cosy up on the sofa with takeaway. Trust me, you’re not alone.
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr
Sometimes, it’s a challenge in itself to maintain our motivation, particularly at this time of year. Maybe you’ve been doing the same workouts for the past 8 weeks and you need to reengage yourself. Or, the goal you set yourself at the beginning of the year suddenly feels far too big and overwhelming. Whatever it might be that’s making you shy away from your routine right now, here are my top tips to stay motivated.
CREATE LASTING HABITS
For me, the biggest change in my fitness routine came about when I changed my attitude. Don’t put pressure on yourself to go 7/7 days of the week and let the gym become a chore. There will always be times when you’re smashing your routine week in, week out. And then other times, when you will have some time off working out, for whatever reason. That’s life. So instead, resolve to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself. By creating habits, you’ll find consistency and those times you find yourself digging deep to stay motivated, will become less frequent. Enjoy that hour you have to spend on yourself at the gym or go for a run; see it as a little luxury.
If you’re finding it difficult to stay motivated, instead of punishing yourself about it, do just the opposite. Treat yourself to a new gym outfit, a new pair of trainers, some headphones, or maybe a fitness tracker. This will help jumpstart your motivation and you’ll look forward to putting on your workout gear.
Why are you doing this? What’s your end goal? You might want to improve your overall fitness, or have a mores specific goal in mind such as running a 10k. Whichever goal you may have, break it down into smaller, processed based goals. For example, one week you might run 3km, then next 4km, or you might say ok, I’d like to increase my squat by 5kg by the end of the month. This way, you’ll find you’re reaching goals all the time, making it much easier to stay motivated and on track.
FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE
For many of us, working out is primarily for aesthetic goals and we measure our progress by the weight on the scale. But as soon as you break free of this mindset and start working out as a way to feel good, you’ll stop getting hung up on how you look in the mirror. There’s so much more motivation to be found in setting performance-based goals and seeing yourself get fitter and stronger. And the best part? Aesthetic progress comes hand in hand.
“Sometimes we whisper it quietly and other times we shout it out loud in front of a mirror. I hate how I look…Then we think, “I am so ungrateful. I have arms and legs and I can walk and I have strong nail beds and I am alive” – Amy Poehler
PREPARATION IS KEY
Whether that’s packing your gym bag the night before, or meal-prepping your lunch for the week, preparation is paramount! I always find it much easier to get out of bed for an early workout if I’ve laid my gym clothes out the night before. And if you spend an hour on a Sunday batch making some quick and easy, balanced meals for the week ahead, you’ll find it much easier to stay on track with your nutrition.
KEEP IT EXCITING
If you’re finding it tough to stay motivated in the kitchen, there’s lots you can do to resist the temptation of eating out, or ordering in. Keep yourself on your toes with new recipes, include different, seasonal vegetables in your weekly shop, change your sweet breakfast oats to try savoury ones. And if you’re feeling sluggish at the gym, then try something different! Our bodies are super resilient and can adapt surprisingly fast to change, so by using progressive overload, or continuously changing up your workouts, you’ll also be keeping your body on its toes.
IT’S A JOURNEY
This final point is so important to remember in our consumer-driven culture. As soon as you realise that everyone is on their own fitness journey, it becomes much easier to stop comparing yourself to others and enjoy your own. Those girls on Instagram that can do 10 pull ups in a row? Once upon a time, they couldn’t even manage one. You’ll get there. And remember, we cannot all be perfect, all of the time. Take each day as it comes and just do your best; that’s all anyone, including yourself, can ask of you.