Every New Year’s Eve, millions of people around the world make decisions that will make the year ahead better.
Health and self-improvement are at the very top of the New Year’s resolutions categories, which means the majority of people decide to start working out at the beginning of the year.
However, many of these people doubt they will be able to persist in their resolutions. This doubt comes from experience – after all, many of us started with some kind of exercise program we haven’t been able to stick to for some reason. Lack of motivation is one of the factors. So, if you’ve decided to start and keep working out, here are a few tips that will keep you motivated.
1. Make a commitment
A New Year’s resolution is hardly something that will keep you warmed up after a couple of weeks when all sorts of temptations drag you away from your goal. You will need something more concrete to prevent you from giving up. Signing a “contract” in front of your friends and family can be of great help here. You can raise the stakes higher by promising that you will give $10 to a selected person every time you skip a workout.
Make sure the conditions of the contract are realistic. If you are aware that you won’t be able to work out seven days a week, don’t pledge to do that. Instead, say you will exercise four days a week, 30 minutes each.
2. Choose a comfortable environment
Some people don’t enjoy jogging outside, especially when the weather is cold. Others dread crowded gyms, particularly now when we are facing a dangerous pandemic. This is why you need to find a workout environment that suits you best. For many people, that environment is their home. However, this requires adequate space, equipment, and tutorials. Elliptical machines and recumbent bikes are perfect for a home workout when it comes to cardio. For strength exercises, you will need weights and dumbells, but many great exercises can be done just with your body weight.
3. Create a support system
The buddy system is a well-known way to stay motivated to be physically active. When one exercise partner is down, the other one is there to give them a boost. You can keep track of the results and compare diet plans and workouts. But, like a lot of other things, even the buddy system is compromised by the pandemic. You might be unable to work out together, or perhaps you prefer to exercise alone but would like a buddy for support outside of the gym. Still, you can communicate over the phone or have a shared Pinterest board for motivation.
4. Write down your goals
If your goal is to lose weight, for example, you may end up feeling disappointed if you don’t reach it within a couple of weeks. Write that goal down, but also write down some easier goals, such as: to eat veggies every day, to run longer, to keep a routine. This way, you will have many smaller victories to motivate you not to give up on the big one.
5. Follow a tailored program
Not all of us have the same physical capabilities or the same preferences when it comes to exercising, and this is completely normal. A program that is tailored to your current abilities and designed for achieving your goals will help you stay on track and see the results much faster. For some people, hiring a personal trainer can be helpful. Having one-on-one time with an expert who can guide you and correct your mistakes makes you accountable to someone else and gives you a fantastic stepping stone for success.
6. Make a schedule (and stick to it)
Don’t look at exercise as something that you should squeeze in between your other chores. Make a schedule you can follow and stick to it. If your free time varies from week to week, try making a new schedule every Sunday evening, and adapt it to your work hours.
7. Play that funky music
Several studies have proven that listening to music while working out can improve the quality of a workout and put you in a better mood. More specifically, the studies show that music can improve athletic performance and ensure a higher level of endurance. That’s why you need to find a beat that pumps you up and songs that motivate you to keep going. Always have them ready to play when starting your workouts.
Deciding to start working out is commendable, but it’s only the first step. You need to make a habit of it and keep yourself going.