As we roll towards the end of the year and near the Christmas period, a lot of people are already planning to allow themselves to eat and drink and be merry for a month and then to start a great new fitness regime in January. It has almost become a joke now; hundreds of gyms get an explosion of new members signing up at the beginning of January, riding off the back of a series of New Year’s Resolutions.
Come February, most of these new members have dropped off because life “got too busy,” or people weren’t seeing the results they wanted soon enough and so lost their motivation. And motivation really is the key. Finding that determination to turn your habits around and commit to improving your health, lifestyle and body image, is relatively easy for a few weeks.
It’s maintaining new habits and lifestyle choices that is the difficult part.
When you’re tired, don’t want to get up in the morning to workout or hit the gym after work, when you’re rushed at lunch or dinner and forced to eat on the run; those are the times that you need clarity in your goals. Planning is key. Take the time to make yourself a game plan to commit to achieving your goals. Try these few tips to help you create a lasting workout regimen for the new year.
Do Things You Enjoy
Fitness and exercise for a lot of people means going to the gym and running on a treadmill or doing squats. A lot of people drop off from using their gym memberships because they try to force themselves into doing something they don’t enjoy. To keep yourself motivated and consistent, find activities that you enjoy.
Not everyone is going to enjoy working out with weights at the gym, although some form of resistance training is recommended for healthy bones. Maybe you would prefer bicycle riding, sports like beach volleyball, crossfit training, or olympic weight training; if you’re doing olympic weightlifting or crossfit be sure to use good quality bumper plates to avoid damaging your equipment and floors.
Pinpoint Your End-goal
Sit down and take the time to figure out exactly what it is you want. How do you want to feel? How do you want to look? What do you want to be capable of? Write it down in your 2018 diary and identify the steps that you need to take to get there. Find motivating pictures of how you want to look, put those pictures in private spaces that you regularly look at each day – the bathroom is usually a good choice.
Try Finding a Training Buddy
One great way to keep yourself motivated is with a little friendly competition, someone to encourage you along the way, and hold you accountable. Try to find someone who is at a similar or greater fitness level than you, and who has your best interests at heart. If the two of you are able to encourage each other along the way, growing and developing as you go; it can be a great way to create some longevity with your new regimen.
Workout at the Best Time for You
The morning is probably the best time to work out.
If you rise and shine and hit the gym or go for a run, you will have boosted confidence for the rest of the day and you will be more conscious of the food you put into your body. It’s also a great way to ensure that other life-things don’t get in the way of your workout.
However, if you just can’t do mornings, then try after work or late and night. A late night session might not be ideal, but if it works for you and you enjoy it then go for it – it’s better than not working out at all and returning to square one.
Treat Yourself to Workout Clothes
Whatever helps you keep your motivation up is a good thing. Don’t go overboard but if buying some nice new workout clothes makes you excited to work out, then that is a good investment in your health. A new pair of running shoes, and some workout shorts and singlets is a good way to feel better about working out.
Spice It Up
Keep your workouts varied. Don’t let yourself get bored by the same old workouts day in, day out. Add variety to your repetitions, exercises and activities. If it’s a beautiful summer’s day outside, then try doing a HIIT workout at the park, going for a bicycle ride, or doing some laps at the pool. It’ll help your workouts and your overall attitude towards exercise if you allow yourself a bit of flexibility and enjoyment.
It’s not easy staying on top of new fitness goals. People and things are always going to do their best to encroach on your time. Building determination and self-discipline is a slow process, and it’s all about little steps. So do what works for you, and make 2018 your best year yet.