Welcome to March. If you are still on track for your New Year's fitness resolution, then congratulations as research shows more than half of the population doesn't stick to their goal past Feb! If you have fallen off the wagon already, then don't despair as there is plenty of time left in the year to achieve your goals if you start today. To keep you on track (or get back on track) here's a few short ideas to help inspire you to keep moving forward and ensure you can get through all the speed bumps along the way.
1. Find Your Why
The saying "he with a big enough why will overcome any how" rings true here. Motivation can rise and fall depending on mood, then adherence to a plan will follow suit. Having a real clear understanding of exactly why you want your result will help you to maintain the discipline of consistency even when you aren't motivated. Whether you want to reduce your blood pressure to live longer, want to get fit enough to see the sights on an overseas holiday or if you want to improve your body shape to enhance the way you feel about yourself, whatever makes you get out of bed in the morning needs to be compelling enough to make long term change. Everyone will have a different answer, there is no right or wrong, only what truly drives you to keep moving forward.
2. Exercise made fun gets done
The type of exercise you actually enjoy is the one you will most likely continue long term and get sustainable results with. If you dread the thought of walking on a treadmill for example, then find a different way to get your cardio in. There are a multitude of different types of cardio that can be effective that will actually enjoy. Looking forward to your sessions will mean more likely you will have a positive feeling about exercise and therefore a healthy relationship with exercise
3. Track your progression
One of the major reasons people stop exercising is that they weren't getting results and were plateauing. You need to find as many ways as possible to measure your progress (it's not just the number on the scales!) then celebrate the small steps forward. You can record the amount of weight lifted on a certain exercise, the distance ran in a session or a week, the amount of water drank in a day, the hours of sleep each night or even just the number of steps you take each day. Seeing yourself getting better each session, day, week will keep you moving forward. A simple solution to help here is to purchase a wearable tracker such as a Garmin or Fitbit, which can record a multitude of statistics and give you live feedback on your health.
4. Follow the plan
Although this may not sound exciting and fun, simply sticking to the plan you have over a long period of time will get great results and therefore inspire you to keep going. Often, we look for short term or instant gratification, when we haven't actually given the plan, we have created enough of an opportunity to get a result. Not every workout may be exciting, fresh and new, but results come from an accumulation of small marginal measured gains. looking back to the first point, achieving your long term goal and driving "why" will keep you more inspired than that one short fun instance.
5. Have a refresh
Every now and again it is healthy to change it up and do something completely different. As long as it's not contradictory and could cause issues, then trying something brand new and different can be a positive then to mentally refresh and put your body under a different training environment.
6. Recovery is key
Following on from points 3 and 4, planning for rest and recovery is actually majorly beneficial to keeping motivated, progressing and remaining injury free. Not every session should "smash" us, in fact most sessions should be quite controlled and slightly progressed from the previous. If we don't plan our recovery, there's a higher chance we won't recover as well and either get injured or being to plateau, both of which will cause in instant drop in your motivation to train
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.