Written by Amy Grimsey, Sports Development Officer
Fitness motivation is what pushes you to focus on your health and wellbeing. This motivation may come from reading a book/article, buying a snazzy new pair of trainers or talking with friends.
Ever had a conversation with your bestie that looks a little like this… “OK, as of Monday I am going to eat healthy and stick to an exercise plan!” At the time you feel pumped and excited about these lifestyle changes, but then a few days/weeks in you’ve had a stressful day with work or family and you just want a day off from this new lifestyle kick… Well, I feel ya and I can promise you, you are not alone!
Habit, The New Motivation
Whatever your reasons, there often comes a time where you lose your motivation to work out or stick to your healthy eating. Your inner demons and the stresses of life make getting up to work out harder and you just want to shove a stone-baked pizza in the oven and put your feet up at the end of the day.
This is why it is important to form healthy habits rather than just relying on feeling motivated to get you through healthy lifestyle changes. By creating habits, they form part of your routine so even when motivation is low, you’re more likely to stick to your goals.
Making Habits to Keep Motivated
Here are 4 tips to creating healthy habits in order to stay motivated and achieve your goals…
Follow a plan
Getting up early to workout can be challenging when you don’t know what you’re getting up for… Having a plan provides you with structure that you can build into your day – you’ll know what you’re doing and how long for. By doing your workout, even on the days you don’t feel like it, it will make you feel great by releasing 'feel-good' endorphins and can start to become second nature, thus forming a habit.
Goal setting is so important to staying motivated, and not just with exercise or healthy eating either! You want to be able to see change, see growth and development within yourself and this is such a powerful tool to staying motivated and on track.
Without goals, you have nothing to measure yourself/achievements against. So, set yourself weekly short-term goals (e.g. workout 3 times this week or eat 5 bits of fruit a day) and also longer-term goals that you can work towards (e.g. fit into that little black dress or be able to run 5km without stopping). Whatever your goals, when you’re measuring your fitness, I urge you to focus on how you are feeling and what you can achieve now that you couldn’t before.
Being accountable is another great way to keep on track and stay motivated. Try sharing your exercise routine with a family member or friend, maybe even encourage them to join you for some workouts! Having a workout buddy is a fab way staying accountable, whether you train with them in person or virtually over video chat, you can push and encourage each other.
Involving others in your healthy habits will ensure that you stay on track – whether they join in for a workout or not. They can encourage you (like your own personal cheerleader) and do check-ins with you to monitor progress.
This one is key! We all know that habit forming takes time and so does achieving long-term goals such as weight-loss or improved fitness levels, maybe even weight gain – so be kind to yourself – Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Set realistic goals and chose a healthy mindset. If you have a bad week, that’s perfectly okay, just straighten your crown and focus on what you can do better the next week. Putting too much pressure on yourself can make you feel defeated, causing a negative effect on your positive efforts. Aim for balance, not perfection – you’ve got this.