Congratulations! You’ve managed to successfully keep your New Year’s Resolution of going to the gym and getting in shape for three weeks. But the first few weeks are the easy part. The hardest part of any lifestyle change is staying motivated and focused after the initial thrill. You’ve had a long day in the office, you need to make dinner and the kids have basketball practice. It becomes so tempting to say, “I’ll just go to the gym tomorrow.”
Here are 5 tips from Annabelle, one of our Wellness Directors, on how to keep yourself motivated.
- Make it fun: Workouts don’t have to be a bore or a chore! Try a dance class, give yoga a shot, don’t be afraid to mix things up and add some variety to your routine. Doing something you enjoy can help take your mind off the workout itself.
- Track your progress: Use an app on your phone or keep a workout log to see how you are building your workouts. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you can actually see results. Tracking progress can also help tell you when it’s time to take your workout to the next level or when it’s time to try something new.
- Set a goal: Remember your SMART goals! But goals don’t have to “I will lose 10 pounds” or “I will run a 7 minute mile.” Buy a pair of jeans that you want to fit in to, or sign up for a fun run to give you a real, tangible reason to work out.
- Reward yourself: Do something for you when you reach your goal! Buy a new workout outfit, pick up a new gadget, do something you enjoy! You congratulate others when they achieve something; don’t be afraid to congratulate yourself!
- Find a buddy: The gym doesn’t have to be a scary or intimidating place. Bring your kids, significant others or a friend and deepen your relationships while you get healthier. And if you get on a fairly consistent gym schedule, you’ll even have a chance to make new friends and form new relationships with people you meet there!
Be sure to come and check back with us next week when we talk about some of the specific ways the YMCA can help you stay motivated and meet your fitness goals!