Are you just starting a new exercise program or healthy eating? Or are you starting again after a long break?
Here are my tips for starting and staying motivated!
1. Make Gradual Changes
If you are new to exercise, you don’t need to start exercising 6 or 7 days a week. Your body will need time to adjust to your new routine, and to prevent injury. When I re-started after an almost 4 year break, my goal was 3-4 days a week for 30 minutes. That was more than enough to make me feel great, and gave my body time to adjust!
If you are starting to eat healthier, the same idea works. It’s really hard to completely overhaul your diet all at once and not have any physical or mental side affects from it. Your mind and body also needs time to adjust to new foods and a new way of eating, so gradual changes over time will still add up to big changes.
Start by replacing one soda per day with a glass of water for a week. The next week, you could focus on replacing your not-so-healthy snacks with a healthier option. From there, focus on making healthier dinners, then lunches and breakfasts.
You’ll be amazed at how these changes will add up over time!
2. Schedule your workout into your day and treat it like a meeting
If you want to see changes, make your workout a priority by scheduling it like an appointment. Look at your daily schedule and see when you can sacrifice 30 minutes of time for exercise. 30 minutes of sleep? 30 minutes of TV at night? 30 minutes of mindlessly scrolling social media?
3. Think about why you started and how you feel when you’re done
It’s not always fun when you’re in the middle of your workout, sweaty, out of breath and feeling exhausted. But the feeling of accomplishment when you are done is amazing and for me, makes it all worth it. Try focusing on that “reward” when you are struggling, or on days when you just don’t feel motivated.
What was your reason for starting a new fitness program or way of eating? Use that reason as motivation to keep going. Visualize what it feels like to see changes and positive results – really think about how that will make you feel.
4. Find a Workout Program that you love
Nothing is more motivating that loving what you are doing. If you absolutely hate your workout, of course you won’t be motivated! I wouldn’t be, either! It’s so much easier to find something you love and look forward to doing to keep you going. Do you like dancing? Pilates and yoga? Weight training? Running or walking? Experiment until you find something you enjoy.
5. Find an Accountability Partner or Group
This is huge! It’s so much harder to skip days or slack off when you know there are other people waiting to hear from you. This can be as simple as texting your friend, asking them to hold you accountable to your workout at a specific time; or joining an online group of people who are supporting and checking in with each other. These people are also there to help you when you’re struggling or have questions.
You are doing a great job! Keep telling yourself that!