One of my January Goals was to get back into a fitness routine. I had fallen out of habit towards the end of 2016 and was desperate to get back on track.
I am someone who genuinely enjoys exercising, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t often lack motivation. There are definitely mornings that I struggle to get to the gym and days where I just can’t bring myself to be healthy. I try not to let those “off” days get to me and I remind myself that it is okay to get a little off track here and there as long as I am making a genuine effort most days.
For me, being fit and healthy requires a lot of mental preparation as most of my struggle is internal rather than external temptations/obstacles. So in order to get myself back on track at the start of this year I took the necessary preparations to help re-adjust to a fitness routine:
- Create a plan: I don’t mean a plan in terms of weight loss or calorie intake, but a plan of when you want to work out, how many times a week you want to work out, what exercises you will try, what dietary changes you will make, etc. For me, my plan was to start out with 4-5 mornings a week (a little less than my typical 6 days a week), cut back on sweets/eating out, and incorporating new cardio (something other than running everyday).
- Prepare yourself: If you get your gym clothes and gym bag ready ahead of time and set an alarm or reminder (I set two alarms to get to the gym every morning) it will make it a lot easier. Getting there is the hardest part. Prep ahead of time and you will be more likely to get out the door.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself: Its ok to take days off and occasionally eat junk food and sweets. In fact, denying yourself those things isn’t really helpful. So if you do take an unexpected day off or go a little crazy with your meals, just remember that one day isn’t going to hurt you as long as you are making an effort every other day.
- Tell your friends/family: By sharing your plans/goals with others not only do you have people to hold you accountable but you will have a support system. Explain to them that this is something that is important to you and you need their support, guidance, and understanding especially if this is a major lifestyle change that you are making.
- Be patient: Its unlikely that you are going to become a super motivated, fitness machine overnight. I have been running and going to the gym fairly regularly for over 4 years and I still slip up and back track. Just be patient and know that being fit is an on-going lifestyle, there is no end to it so don’t rush yourself. Just be patient and know that you are making progress.