January signals a fresh start and a good time to set goals for the new year. It’s also the perfect time to boot-up your fitness routine and get rid of any holiday pounds you might have added. Here are 4 tips on how to lock-in your fitness routine, that are sure to get you in action and motivated to stick to your workout.
1. Start with the WHY
On the surface it’s easy to come up with the reasons behind our fitness goals and routine. We may want to lose or maintain our weight and look our best. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find hidden tools to give you more motivation. Can you see yourself in one of the 3 scenarios below?
Perhaps you’re a mom with young kids and are still trying to lose that pregnancy weight. But really exercise is much more than just weight loss. It’s a big stress reliever that helps you have more patience with your kids and sets a great example for them on the importance of exercise.
Maybe you’re facing middle age and your arms flap about when you wave good bye. If your goal is simply to have toned arms just know that those same resistive exercises that will get you sculpted arms are also building bone density to keep osteoporosis and painful wrist fractures away as you age.
Are you a grandparent and stay fit to keep those creaky arthritic joints lubricated? Keeping fit will enable you to stave off heart disease, increase your flexibility, stamina and lifespan so you can see your grand kids grow up or simply have a richer quality of life.
What is the WHY behind your desire to exercise regularly and to be healthy and fit?
Whatever the deeper reason may be, get clear on why your goal matters and connect with that on an emotional level as a motivator.
2. Yes, Set a GOAL
Now that you know the why, define your goal then write it down. Writing down your goals is more powerful than simply thinking about them or saying them. Including a picture to help you visualize the end result brings in your right brain and makes it more powerful. Make sure the goal is realistic, and then map out a few weeks at a time. These smaller actions or milestones will move you towards your goal. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and keeps you committed to your exercise program.
For example, maybe you want to run / walk your first 5K. Start by committing to a brisk walk 3 to 5 times a week, increasing your time and distance gradually. Next add some aerobic exercise and cross training a few days a week, while continuing to walk / run 2 days a week. You may find even more motivation if your goal is tied to raising funds for a social cause you’re passionate about. Knowing you are making a contribution to others can be the ‘why’ that keeps you moving forward.
Revisit your goal daily or weekly, along with the deeper why (from step 1). As you hit those smaller milestones you might notice a positive ripple effect into other areas of your life. Keep a log of your progress –just as writing down your goal is key, charting your progress helps with both motivation and accountability.
3. Plan for Success – Carve out the TIME
The only way any goal gets accomplished is by dedicating time towards achieving it. If your life is full and you fall back on the excuse that you don’t have time to exercise, then look at what you can remove from your week to make time. Building your exercise time into your weekly schedule is crucial. Look closely at how you spend your time and remove some of those time sucking activities that aren’t real productive.
Often committed exercisers find the best time is first thing every morning. Maybe this means getting up a half hour earlier to fit exercise into your day. Don’t leave it to chance or just trying to squeeze it in where you can. If morning doesn’t work for you find a time that does and book it. Go for a brisk walk after dinner, instead of hitting the couch to watch TV.
Exercising is just as important (remember the WHY) as anything else you must do in a day. If needed start small, with only 15 to 20 minutes daily, gradually increasing the time you commit to achieving your fitness goals. Carve out your exercise time a minimum of 3 times per week, put it on your calendar and keep your commitment to yourself. Once you get back into your exercise groove, your body will reward you with a lighter mood, more energy and better sleep. Make the time –the payoff is well worth it.
4. Include Variety, Fun & Friends
Add variety and fun into your routine to make your exercise more enjoyable and help you stay motivated. Mixing up your fitness activities will also serve as cross training so you’re working different muscles groups and getting both aerobic and strength building exercises into your weekly routine.
Whether you choose to head out for a solitary bike ride or to a Zumba class, include activities that you really enjoy. If lifting weights on your own is drudgery, try a sculpting or boot camp class a few times a week instead. The energy, music and motivation you’ll get from a group class can add the fun factor to propel you towards your goals faster. Once a week make your fitness activity pure fun, so you don’t even consider it working out. Go out dancing with your friends or sweetie, play a game of touch football, go skiing, roller-blading or do whatever moves you. Just move!
If you’re having trouble honoring your commitment to exercise, enlisting an accountability partner will definitely help you move towards your goals. This can be a friend with a similar fitness goal, a personal trainer or a fitness coach. We’re more likely to skip an appointment with ourselves then to let a friend down that we’ve promised to work out with. If you just can’t seem to get started or keep to your scheduled exercise, then you need someone who can provide support and encouragement.
As you get your fitness routine going remember to start with the ‘why’, then connect to a goal that’s meaningful and motivating. From there it’s all about execution. Write down your goal, book the time to exercise, mix it up to include fun and friends, log your progress to keep you on track and enlist an accountability partner, if needed. Just get moving and in no time, you’ll be craving exercise like you crave chocolate! Order our WAGs wrist support gloves online today, to help you alleviate wrist pain during your workouts and keep you going.