Keeping up your fitness motivation
Last week I went to New York for a few days with some lovely friends of mine. It was the first time I’d been to the USA and I am happy to say that it lived up to all of my expectations. It was hectic, exhausting, amazing, exhilarating, exciting. I think I went through every emotion during my visit to this amazing city. I’m already thinking of booking another trip there, this time with my other half, and know what places I would like to visit next time. Back in the UK, back to reality I got a dose of the post holiday blues. Don’t we all?
In preparation for my New York trip. I’d upped my fitness training. Reasons? Well I wanted to wear a pair of shorts with confidence and look passable on any photos! Very shallow of me I know but I think most people like to look good for their holidays; it was after all what originally sparked off my desire to lose weight and reassess my diet a couple of years ago (read my post How re-thinking my diet led to sustainable weight loss).
So back home and the thought of getting back to the Gym or out for a run was the furthest from my mind! It was tempting to say I’ll start next week but I’ve done that before and it’s made me realise how easy it is to lose your motivation and get out of a routine. So I allowed myself a couple of days off; jet lag and getting kids sorted for back to school, getting myself sorted for back to work. So no excuses, alarm set time to get back into it.
It’s hard to keep motivated to keep fit. It’s hard if perhaps you are at that stage where you are seeing no results, you are maybe trying to maintain your weight or like me you feel you’ve achieved your goals so what next? So what can you do to keep motivated?
Reward yourself not only at the end but along the way
I’ve done a couple of things to get me back into training. Firstly, I’ve booked my family holiday to Cornwall. 10 days of beautiful beaches, Boardmasters Festival 2016, surf school and evening BBQ’s on the beach. So that’s my something to look forward to in 8 weeks time. Along the way I’m going to reward myself to keep my motivation going; new running trainers are on the list and maybe other bits of training gear.
Set realistic fitness goals and achievable timescales
I am going to commit to running twice a week and training at the Gym 3 times to build my strength. Setting these goals are realistic and achievable for me as I have a couple of days free so if I miss a run or training session it’s easy to re-schedule in the week. Also it’s roughly 8 weeks until my holidays so I’ve got time to up the intensity of my Gym sessions. Remember, if the goals you have set seem to easy you can always re-evaluate them but setting unattainable goals can leave you wide to feeling de-motivated and you are less likely to keep going. Write them down then track your progress!
Inject some fun and variety into your fitness programme
Looking back on my training schedule prior to my new York Trip I’d noticed that it had got a little bit samey. Monday leg day, Tuesday run, Wednesday upper body …. you get the picture? Where was the fun? Do something you enjoy, maybe try a new class or take up a sport. Maybe throw in an activity that you would not normally do. I’ve set the goal of being able to do 10 unassisted pull-ups by the time I go on holiday. Not only will I work on my strength but I will have to train slightly differently. You are more likely to stick to things if you enjoy something, mix it up so it doesn’t become routine.
Enjoy the journey as much as the end destination!
A bit of a cliché, I know, but I think it’s something to think about. Training, running, fitness classes; whatever you do to achieve the fitness goals you have set but enjoy the process of getting fit. I try to not think of an exercise class or workout as a chore; something to get through. Try and enjoy the fact that your are getting fitter such as making you stronger, making you more toned, improving your cardio. Enjoy focusing on what you are actually doing to make these differences.
Do you struggle to keep motivated to train or exercise? How do you keep motivated?