Motivation: How To Keep It.
When the resolution months begin to fade it can be hard to keep to those new year goals. Many will admit that the motivation to keep to that new routine takes a back seat to old habits. So how do we get that motivation back?
1. Setting Yourself Up for Failure: You may be setting yourself up for failure right out of the gate if your goals are unrealistic and too aggressive. No matter what your goal may be, if your plan begins with hitting the gym every day and eating perfect you will fail. An overhaul of every "bad" habit you have will only place a crazy amount of pressure on yourself and lead to an early burn out. Set small goals, start with short workouts multiple times a week, and eating more veggies or drinking more water. Keep it attainable and progressive.
2. Be Loud: Shout your goals from the rooftop! Sharing your goals AND progress with those who are close to you will help with accountability during the journey. Think you can skip this step? If sharing your goals turns your stomach maybe you need to reevaluate your goals. If the fear of sharing is overpowering then do you really believe you can achieve them? It might be a step outside your comfort zone but having a cheering section will pay off for the highs and lows that are inevitable in fitness.
3. Learn How to Cheer for Yourself: We are our own worst enemy. It is time to shift that inner dialog to more positive feedback. Miss a workout or binge on some sweets... instead of scolding yourself change the subject to forward thinking. Those negative thoughts impact more than just our motivation, but can deter our entire mood. Cheer for your highlight and learn from the low times.
4. Know that it is going to suck: Each and every day is an opportunity to better yourself and make steps towards those overall goals. This does not mean that everyday is sunshine and high energy. The fitness journey can simply suck and some days you just don't want to do it. We encourage you to do it anyway or take the time to reflect and change. Some goals will need to be altered to fit circumstances. Life throws a curve ball and we must recognize when we need to take steps to better our overall wellness.
5. Be flexible: Speaking of the curve balls... There is a lot that goes into getting to and maintaining a fitness goal. Fitness is all encompassing of health (mind, body and soul). Although your overall outcome picture might not change, the path to get there needs to be flexible. Skipping a workout to get more rest, taking a step back on intensity for the benefit of recovery, changing nutrition because you hit an unexpected plateau are all examples of keeping the course while keeping an open mind. Doing this, and knowing it will be a process, will help to steer clear of burnout and that feeling of defeat when things take an unplanned turn.
In short, no one else can motivate you. In the end, the will power to press through a workout or choose celery over cake is all within you. During the times of "I just want Pizza and stay in bed", reflect on the "why" to that thought process. Are your goal attainable? Realistic? Are you bored? Motivation comes from many different aspects and isn't always that high energy feeling of positivity.