January and February are hard. I mean, it is so easy to lose the new year buzz and get lost in the cold weather and post-holiday blues. I don’t know about you guys, but for me one of the hardest things to do is stay motivated to exercise. The gym can be overcrowded, the weather is not necessarily the best for exercises outside, and quite frankly I just go through a bit of a motivation slump during the first part of the year. Because I know how hard this time of year can be, I want to share few tips and tricks that I fall back on when I am feeling a little less than motivated to keep my body moving.
- Be realistic
If you read my productivity post this tip looks very familiar. Being realistic with your goals and your schedule is one of the most important things to do when trying to stay on top of a habit. Instead of forcing yourself to pretend you are going to workout on your longest work day, be honest with your current circumstances. Recognize that working out on Wednesdays just might not be in the cards for you, and instead plan around it. I know this sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised at how often we tend to set ourselves up for failure when trying to add a new habit into our lives.
2. Buy something new
It might sound silly but sometimes investing in something new is just the motivation you need to get moving. Whether it be a new pair of sneakers or a reusable water bottle, get something that will add a little excitement to your current workout routine. Of course this isn’t a for “every time” tip
3. Find a workout buddy
Everybody needs a little encouragement from time to time and having someone to help you stay on track with working out is no exception. It can be hard to find a gym or exercise buddy because of differing schedules or geographic distance, but you don’t have to be in the gym with someone to be a support system. Find a friend who is also trying to stay moving this winter and make it a priority to keep each other accountable. Just having someone to lean on makes a world of difference on the days that you are just not feeling it.
4. Try something new
If you are burned out on the treadmill or your normal HIIT workout, spice up your routine. There are a ton of different beginners classes from biking to yoga that are a great way to explore new options with the help of a trained specialist. Switching things up is not only good for mental motivation but it has also been proven to do great things for your fitness goals.
5. Focus on the right things
When you start a workout regimen on a shaky foundation it is only a matter of time before things fall through. Don’t focus on “get fit quick” schemes. Don’t focus on comparison or the progress of others. Focus on how working out makes your body feel. Focus on what your body needs to be strong and healthy.
6. Track your progress
Tracking your progress with a gadget or even just pen and paper is a great way to stay motivated. Write out your goals and keep an open mind that they will probably change and evolve as you do. Being able to look back at how far you have come is a great motivator for the moments you are feeling sluggish.
7. Take time off
Make sure you are deciphering the difference between un-motivated and exhausted. You don’t want to push yourself so hard that you end up with an injury or doing more harm than good. In fact, sometimes a little time off is actually the perfect form of motivation we need for getting back into the swing of things. Just stay in tune with your body and listen to