Anyone who knows me, knows that I go through fitness phases. I get really motivated, join the gym or dedicate myself to a workout program for months and then somehow, I lose my mojo, fall off the wagon and won’t do anything for weeks, months, worse case scenario even years. It’s definitely a bit of a struggle – always has been, probably always will be. Luckily my metabolism has always kind of combated my laziness but recently, with old age, it’s been letting me down. So I had to step up my game.
‘Join a sports team,’ you might say. Well, let me stop you right there. I have never been one for team sports, I lack the necessary sense of competition. Where girls, back in school, screamed at each other and sometimes even attacked each other over a ball, I was more at flight risk. Truth be told, I am more of an activity loner. I am the snowboarding, tennis playing kind, and I prefer go to the gym alone, so no one will try and compete against me.
Working out doesn’t come naturally to me ,but for the last three months I have managed to motivate myself enough to stay on the ball (pun definitely intended). I have convinced myself to work out three plus times per week. And because I KNOW the struggle is real, I wanted to share my motivational tricks with you. And not just the one where whenever I feel like having chocolate, I check back on that heifer-like photo of me on my fiancé’s facebook wall (oh the shame!!) – it certainly keeps the Timtams away from my face.
Before I get started though, let me remind you that before doing anything, you should make sure you educate yourself on nutrition and the right exercise for your body type.
Done? Good, hand me a green smoothie and let’s get motivated!
- Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.
We all have different lifestyles and you might be someone who enjoys working out in the morning to get it all out of the way, like me, or you might prefer to go to the gym straight after work. No matter what it is, consider your daily routine and find a time and day(s) for your workouts/gym sessions/runs that fits and try and stick to it.Write it down, put it in your diary and lock it in – the same way you’d stick to meeting your friends or watching your favourite show on TV. If you can get yourself into a routine, you won’t feel like you are forcing yourself to work out.
- Do something you enjoy!
You might be the competitive type, unlike me, and a team sport is just what you need to get in shape. I mean, I do get it, it’s a great feeling to bond with people over a mutual goal. Or, you might be one for classes, when I first started working out and had absolutely no clue what to do, I loved going to all the different classes at my gym – especially the ones that would really exhaust me within 30 minutes.If the gym gives you social anxiety or is simply too pricey for you, there are plenty of home workout programs you can try, BBG by Kayla Itsines is a great one, so is Emily Skye’s F.I.T. program. And if you want to do yoga at home, then you might want to give Yoga with Adriene a go. No matter what your chosen activity, make sure you enjoy it, otherwise the likelihood of you throwing in the towel is that much higher.
- Have realistic goals and celebrate your results.
Change doesn’t happen over night, I’ve been at it for nearly three months and I didn’t clean up my diet straight away (it was Christmas after all), so it took at least seven weeks for any changes to show. And that’s ok, try not to get frustrated if you don’t see a difference within just a week. If you feel healthier and stronger that’s all that matters. Whatever you do, don’t give up.
This kind of ties in with the above. Make sure you document your journey! We look at ourselves every day so you might not see how much your body has actually changed over time. It helps to take photos of yourself along the way, so you can document your progress much better – and see how far you have come.
Photos are also great for inspiration. My mother for example used to try and motivate my dad to step away from the fridge by pinning photos of a sparsely dressed Lance Armstrong on it, her endavour kind of failed but more due my dad’s lack of Armstrong appreciation than anything else. Jokes aside, by all means use Instagram for inspiration, but don’t take photos of other people too seriously, all bodies are different, so don’t pressure yourself by looking at something that’s unattainable.
- Invest in some fancy activewear!
Being healthy and active is all about the right mindset and if you feel good and confident while you’re at it, you’ll probably enjoy it much more in the long run (oops, I did it again). You don’t have to spend a fortune on your gear but get something that you’ll enjoy wearing and that makes you feel good about yourself.
These are my five tips. I am sure there is much more you can do to motivate yourself, like knowing you have an event, a marathon or beach holiday coming up. Or, maybe your main motivation is not to look any different but to feel different and be much healthier. Whatever it is don’t give up and feel free to share your motivational tips in the comment section below.