Chances are if you set New Year’s resolutions this year, some sort of fitness goal was on it. It’s the time of year where gym memberships spike and Lululemon stock probably rises from those buying new athletic wear. In my opinion, it’s a great time of year to make those goals because after the rush of the holidays and all the food you consumed from gift exchanges, fitness can take a back seat to your daily routine. There’s no better time to jump back into, or even begin, a fitness routine that meets your lifestyle and helps you feel better about yourself.
CREATE A WHY
My biggest challenge with fitness is to always remind myself why I am working out. Having a goal or dedicated why is a great place to start when making fitness goals because you should have something you are working towards. My main goal for this year is strengthening my arm back to its strength before the accident. If you are new around here, I broke my arm back in May of this year in three places and had to get surgery where I got a plate and 12 screws. I was in physical therapy for six months and when I started physical therapy I couldn’t bend my arm straight or lift my arm more than 35 degrees from my waist. This was an incredibly challenging past year and I still struggle with my arm strength. I am about 90% recovered and am hoping to reach that last 10% by April.
My why also includes living a healthy lifestyle, I want to workout to give me that mental high I get from a good workout. I workout for my mental health as much as my physical health. If your goal includes loosing weight or getting back into that one pair of jeans those are great goals, but don’t let them be your why. Your why has to be bigger than being skinny you have to think about how working out can affect you mentally.
These things might seem silly when considering working out as a big picture, but when you really focus down on the tiny details, getting motivated is one of your first steps. You can have all the fitness goals in the world, but if you don’t even get to the gym or go on that run how are you making strides to meet them? That’s why you need to find what motivates you. Is it that when you finish working out you can treat yourself to some dark chocolate? Maybe rewarding yourself is what really gets you moving and that’s great!
If treats aren’t your thing maybe, its a new workout set, for me, this is absolutely what motivates me. I am addicted to workout clothes so much to the point that I forced myself not to buy a single sports bra or pair of leggings for a year last year. Luckily, there are great alternatives to some of the luxury workout wear brands if those aren’t in your price range! I wanted to roundup a few of my favorites (other than Lululemon) that can give you ideas on where to find workout wear. I am rounding up some of my favorites below. You can also view my full list of all workout essentials from Amazon here.
Maybe you don’t need treats or cute workout clothes your biggest challenge is getting yourself to the gym. Great, that’s one of my biggest struggles sometimes too! There are a few things that I have found that have really helped me get through this. First, you can pack your workout clothes the night before and bring them to work and force yourself to change into them and go straight to the gym from work. While that was working for me, my new routine consists of getting home from work and before I sit down the very first thing I do is change into my workout clothes. Now when you sit on the couch, you’re already dressed to go and have no reason not to make it there.
The absolute biggest thing you need to remember is that this is not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take work and hours of training to get to where you want to be. I still sometimes feel like I could be doing more and am not doing enough, but I remind myself I can’t think that way. That kind of mindset diverts me from my why and creates a negative connotation with working out.
When it comes to starting small, you’ll need to create short-term and long-term goals. This will help increase your confidence along the way when you are able to achieve short milestones. If you can’t run a mile on a treadmill yet, start even smaller than that and just walk and increase the distance or pace that you walk everyday until you feel strong enough to run. Getting out there and moving has to be enough for you to feel accomplished.
Part of working out consistently also comes with living a healthy lifestyle. Find ways you can implement healthy active habits into your life. One of the things I have been doing to support this is taking the stairs. Park in the back of the parking lot and take those extra steps every day. By creating these tendencies, you are training your body and your brain to support a complete healthy lifestyle.
DON’T OVERDO IT
Part of stating small also entails not overdoing it. If you haven’t worked out in months and are planning on starting Whole 30 or some insane diet plan and forcing your body to workout every day you’re going to become a crazy person. Don’t take on too much at once this relates back to the short and long term goals. If you eventually want to be on Whole 30 and a consistent workout routine you need to start in small dosses or you’re going to get discouraged once you break either of those habits.
DON’T GET DISCOURAGED
The second you miss a day you are setting yourself up to miss tomorrow. On days that are your break days, encourage those healthy lifestyle habits if that’s following a tighter diet that day or taking the stairs. In that same respect, don’t beat yourself up too hard over missing a day if you get back on schedule. We are all human and you aren’t going to be perfect at meeting your fitness goals right out of the gate, but that’s okay as long you are committed to making an effort to keeping a healthy lifestyle routine.
Keep yourself accountable. If you are going to miss a day that’s not a break day, force yourself to pay a “fine” to yourself just like those workout classes have when skipping a class. Text a friend when you really don’t want to go and ask them to come with you or they will encourage you to go and you’ll be happier for it.
Keep yourself active on your days off. On my days off, I like to go back to those healthy lifestyle choices and go on a walk instead of working out or take a yoga class.
No matter what your fitness goal may be this year, continuing to live a healthy lifestyle will get you back in the gym tomorrow. Starting small and implementing healthier lifestyle choices is great start to motivating yourself to meet those goals.