Every year, millions of folks around the world promise themselves that they will do everything within their power to get into better shape. But by the end of January, the majority will have given up and returned to their old ways. Gym memberships will go wasted, running gear and sports water bottles will go untouched for months.
You may have already had the same experience- starting off your workout resolution with gusto and losing steam a few weeks down the line. How do you keep your momentum from fizzling out prematurely? How do you sustain your drive to work out through the challenging days so that you get to enjoy the fruits of your hard work? Here are some tips you can try.
- Set Goals
As you set your life goals for the year or the next five years, make your health one of them. Failing to prioritize health and fitness is a key reason why many are unable to stick with diet plans or workout regimes. Setting financial goals probably comes more naturally to you than fitness goals.
Noble as it is to prioritize providing for your family materially, neglecting your wellbeing in the process is actually counterproductive to such objectives. You need to be at your best physically and mentally to be most productive at your workplace or business. For this reason, you need to factor regular workouts into your timetable and stick to them.
You also need to set particular targets for yourself as you work out to motivate yourself to stay on track. Your goals don’t have to be the same as others; you could set your mind to dropping 20 pounds every month or to be able to fit back into your favorite dress.
Resisting the temptation to give up on those low-energy days is easier when you have an achievable goal in front of you.
- Make it A Daily Routine
When you’re drafting your weekly schedule of activities, make sure you dedicate an hour- even 30 minutes- every day to workout. This should be the first step towards making your workout a daily routine. Don’t peg your working out on having spare time after you get home or after you’re done with chores and the kids are off to bed.
Set a fixed time in your daily schedule for your workout so that, come what may, you won’t excuse yourself from exercising. You can even program it into your Google calendar so that you get a reminder when the time comes around. This will keep you from letting that meeting eat into your precious workout hour.
In addition to setting aside time to work out, write down exactly what activity or exercise routines you will be doing on any given day. These should all tie into the goals you set out initially.
- Find A Workout Partner
Having someone to work out with is ideal for a number of reasons. If you share similar fitness goals, your partner can push you to keep going when you feel your energy or motivation flagging. On those days when you would rather be a couch potato, your workout partner will drag you to the gym.
There is a reason why people who have workout partners or belong to a fitness group lose up to three times more weight than those who go it alone. You don’t have to look far for a workout partner; you could recruit your spouse or a work colleague.
- Try New Things
Having a workout routine that you have mastered and no longer challenges you physically can have two adverse effects. One is that you risk plateauing and failing to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Exercise is only effective when you’re pushing your muscles to stretch and strain in different ways.
Besides increasing your weights and varying your movements in the gym, you can incorporate other kinds of exercise that add different elements to your workout and make it more fun. You can trade one of your aerobics sessions for a jog in the park or a swimming session.
If you will be incorporating outdoor exercises into your schedule, make sure you have the right gear for them. Good running shoes will keep your feet comfortable and your joints safe from impact. A pair of snow prescription sports sunglasses will protect your eyes from flying objects when you’re out cycling or skiing.
- Have a Playlist You Like
There’s nothing like a succession of high-tempo tunes to help you maintain your rhythm and motivation during grueling workouts. If the piped music at your fitness center doesn’t quite move you, you can invest in a pair of sweat-proof earbuds and an armband for your MP3 player or phone.
Eye On The Prize
While varying your routine and having your favorite tracks in your ear offer great workout motivation, the most important factor is setting your goals. Having something your striving towards or can measure your effort up against will power you through the dreariest of sessions. Set your target and you will find the inspiration to get there.