We are now getting stuck right into January and the new year, and with the first proper weekend behind us, this is when a lot of us tend to give up those good intentions and settle into our old habits. In fact, a study by Strava says that 19 January is ‘Quitters Day’, the day most people ditch the healthy habits. So to stop you becoming one of those statistics, here are five motivational tips to help you stick to your new healthy routine.
Keep your goals small
One of the main issues people have at the start of the year is setting big goals, which is fine, but they then seem unattainable in the first few weeks. For example, if you want to get a six pack in 2021 and you’re not seeing any progress in the first week, you may feel disheartened. However, if you set yourself the goal of doing 20 sit-ups a day and not focusing on the results, that can seem much more doable. Break your big goal down into smaller ones!
Measure your progress
One of the best recipes for success is to measure your progress, however small. It doesn’t have to all be about weight loss either, a smart watch can track your resting heart rate and sleep patterns while nowadays you can get an app on your phone to track your home workout reps. Progress is progress no matter what.
Accept the bad days
Not every single day is going to be a rip-roaring Arnold Schwarzenegger-like pump session which will leave you feeling full of endorphins. You simply have to accept that. Exercise, especially in these cold winter months can be a real grind, and some days you won’t want to do any at all. Some days you will want that chocolate dessert. Accept and enjoy these days, this is a long journey not a short sprint. As long as you are bringing healthy, maintainable habits into your life, it is a positive step.
Make it a routine
Try to make your new exercise routine a habit. The simplest way to do this is to allocate a time every single day to do whatever workout you are doing. Obviously, none of us can get to a gym at the moment but if you can perform your workout in another space away from your living room, like the spare room or the garage, your brain will begin to associate that room with working hard. That can be a really positive move as nobody wants to work out in their lounge, where they are meant to relax. Early-morning workouts are the toughest but the best, as then you can relax and enjoy the rest of your day.
If you have done your daily workout, give yourself a metaphorical pat on the back. Lie there and enjoy that feeling of accomplishment. We’re not saying treat yourself to a bag of sweets every day, but if you achieve a big goal, why not buy those trainers you have been after? Have you met your goals for January? Then get straight on that online retailer’s website and treat yourself. These rewards, if you can set them in advance, will give you something to drive towards and make you feel more motivated during those tough times.