How to stay motivated
Any exercise habit needs a driver. A personally meaningful driver will get you in your trainers even when you would rather veg out on the couch. Your big ‘why’ might be a social event, sporting event, holiday or your health. In each case, exercise is tied to something that is important to you and motivating for you. A new exercise and healthy eating regime will reward you with benefits that you’ll see and feel. We thrive in situations where we can see the results of our actions.
Staying on track
Having a plan is important, and when everything goes to plan it’s great. But what happens when a curveball comes along like having to work late and not getting to the gym, or being without your food and having to grab something on the run? These deviations from the plan are going to happen, and you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve so you’re not sent into a tailspin.
Here are my top tips:
1. Keep Yourself Accountable.
Tell your friends + family that you’re working towards a goal so if you decline a glass of wine or a cheeky muffin you’re not being rude, you’re just making sensible decisions to help you along your way. Yes peer pressure will come in to play, it always does, I’ve followed specific programs at various points over the past few years where I needed to focus on my training and nutrition for a short period of time, people around me get used to it, and they respect my dedication. I’m not saying you have to say “no” to everything, but it’s a word which will come out a lot more in the short term. What you’ll find is that people will react to it because it makes them look at themselves, and sometimes they don’t like what they see.
2. Focus on Performance
As I said above, you need a personally meaningful driver. I find that when I focus on aesthetics my head can get a little fuggy about my goals, that’s not a strong enough motivator for me. It’s easy in fitness to get lost in the rock hard abs, rounded butts and toned arms, but in reality there is so much more to being fit than how defined your stomach is. Instead, set some performance related goals – sign up for a race or set a strength goal e.g. squat your bodyweight. A natural bi-product to all your hard work will be a trimmed down physique, which is now a bonus instead of being the sole driver.
3. Stay calm. It’s only 1 workout that you missed or 1 meal that you had to eat something not 100% clean and prepped by you. Acknowledge it happened, and move on. Move on to the next time you can be active as quickly as possible or to the next meal, don’t write off the day.
4. Clever ordering. If you have to eat out unexpectedly or you tried to talk people into going to the place with amazing salads. Look for the cleanest item on the menu with some protein, veggies / salad, and good carbs if possible. I opted for a Quiche + Salad, and said “no thank you” to the bowl of chips ordered for the table.
5. Try your best. Your best is all you can ask of yourself and be mindful that you’ll also be your toughest critic, which will help to keep yourself on track. Just make sure you’re having a check-in that you’re looking after yourself and not running yourself into the ground. Changing your lifestyle is a process which takes a while, just try your best every day and you’ll get there.
I hope these tips help, make sure you share any of yours in the comments below too.