Staying motivated and adapting how you exercise over the last few years has been tricky and has changed how we move our bodies, myself included.
A positive of that is now exercise is more convenient than ever with great options online, I personally have never been more consistent. Whether you are training in a gym, at home or in a studio you may still struggle with consistency, planning a routine for the year or even where to start. Now more than ever it is important to look after your mental and physical health and I hope these tips will help you prioritise your well being this year. I challenge you to think more about the process than the outcome and more about how you are feeling than how you look or perform.
- Set Goals and Be Clear About What is Driving You to Achieve These Goals.
First of all, what is driving you to set this goal? Maybe it is being more active with your kids , feeling more confident, prioritising yourself this year. Whatever it is, remind yourself of this regularly.
Do not put too much pressure on yourself. The more success you have in your fitness journey, the more you will stay with it. So keep this in mind when setting your goals.
You don’t have to change everything in January. I prefer to think of it as making small changes that make you feel good. You have the rest of the year to layer more goals or go deeper into the same goal. I like to do this on the first of each month to make it more manageable and to reflect on my progress.
Another common mistake is taking on too much at once. Trying to change your workout regime, your diet, get more sleep, stretch more, reduce alcohol and the list goes on. I suggest sticking to 2-3 core goals/habits.
It is great to have big goals and dreams but in day to day life it can be hard to navigate how to get there. Try something for me when setting goals this year, think about the process, not the outcome. If you want to get fitter this year, try not to focus on your performance, results or how you look. Instead set small goals that most importantly will make you feel better and inevitably will get you to that goal, without the outcome being the sole focus. The goals/habits are achievable and easy to follow. For example Instead of “I want to get fitter” we focus on the process and set targets like: this week I will complete 3 workouts and improve my nutrition by eating less processed foods to give me more energy.
- Try Something New
Just like anything in life, variation is key! This is especially important when you are starting out, getting back into a regular fitness routine or wanting to be more consistent than ever this year. Trying new forms of exercise or mixing up the routine will allow you to learn more about your body, get better results and ultimately find the combination that best suits your goals – which is different for everyone.
If you are happy with your choice of exercise, play around with the intensity or the order in which you layer your workouts each week. If you have struggled to get back into it, focus first on getting started with something familiar then slowly introduce new forms of exercise. Reducing boredom will also increase the chances of creating a healthy routine, long term.
Mixing it up will help to reduce injuries by challenging the body in different ways and will allow you to stay active, without overdoing it.
I encourage you to find a fitness routine that leaves you feeling energised, rather than depleted and excited to prioritise yourself and your fitness. For me that is a mix of Pilates and nature walks but I am forever mixing up what type of Pilates I am doing (one week it could be more strength Pilates focused, the next more stretch focused) Following the weekly schedule is a great option.
- Reflect on Your Previous Habits
Change/improvement shouldn’t be a chore but sometimes it can feel like it is. Instead you want to be focusing on goals/habits that will improve your quality of life and make you feel your best.
Looking back on your previous habits can help you realise you may have been setting unachievable goals, going too hard too fast or making no plan at all to achieve those goals. You may see a common theme of losing interest or struggling by going it alone. Therefore you might be better this time to follow a designed challenge, schedule the sessions into your weekly calendar or get a training buddy.
This also applies to the goals you are currently working on. Along the way (maybe that’s weekly or monthly) reflect on what has been working or what you could improve on. I love the theory of marginal gains – just try to improve a few things by 1% each week and over the year you will be in a completely different position.
Evolve or repeat is a great reminder here. I don’t suggest making drastic unsustainable changes but small achievable improvements will go a long way.
Remember if you can focus on the process not the outcome, you will have a more positive experience and be able to adapt and change your goals as you go. I encourage you to find a fitness routine that leaves you feeling energised, rather than depleted and excited to prioritise yourself and your fitness.
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