It’s nearly the end of January and gyms will have had the new year rush of new members. I love this, and I always hope they enjoy, and continue to enjoy, the good feeling that exercise and moving well gives them.
Motivation is high at the beginning of a new year, feeling bloated and unfit after all the Christmas food and drink, makes it easy to plan hitting the exercise at least five times a week come January 1st, whilst just eating salad, salad and more salad. I’ve been there, done that many years over, and I don’t particularly like salad in the winter either.
In reality, come the cold and dreary January mornings, the school run is back and work looms ahead, all motivation can easily slip away, and you are very hungry!
The problem here may lie in the fact that all the motivation towards the end of last year resulted in making too many changes at once. It is unrealistic to expect to successfully quit sugar, go paleo and maintain a five times a week gym schedule all within the space of one month.
So, instead of waiting for the motivation to kick back in, the solution to the problem is to focus on taking the smallest possible step in the right direction today.
Making the smallest changes consistently, is far more effective than huge changes done intermittently.
Of course, there will be times when ‘life happens’, and you can’t go the gym or eat how you want to eat. Learning to ‘roll with it’ is an important skill, but success also has to be planned for.
Spend some time prepping healthy lunches for the week, carry your own snacks with you so you can resist temptation, should it arise. If you choose to eat something else, that’s ok, just as long as it isn’t because you are unprepared.
If you have a week where you can’t do what you want to do exercise or food wise, don’t just throw the whole towel in. Pick up and carry on where you left off. It will all be just fine, it’s just a blip!
Being new to exercise, just a small increase in activity will make a difference relatively quickly, and small changes here and there with your food will give you enough motivation to encourage you to carry on.
I remember my early gym efforts where I’d go all out. This plan of action, more often than not, always used to result in me catching a cold, and that would stop me in my tracks, and yes, I’d be guilty of giving up.
By making big and drastic changes quickly which you struggle to sustain, you can easily ‘fall off the wagon’, maybe even thinking that what you want to achieve just isn’t possible for you.
It is possible, it’s very possible. I know this because I did it. Competing on stage was a very big thing for me, something I thought was impossible. I know this isn’t about me, but it just goes to show you. You just have to plan and prepare. It won’t just happen without a little bit of effort.
Making just one small change each week makes everything more manageable, it becomes a habit change and you no longer feel overwhelmed by everything.
Going the the gym can be daunting if you are new. Feeling intimidated isn’t uncommon. It seems like everyone else in the gym knows what they are doing but you, and you don’t want to look like you are using a bit of kit the ‘wrong way’.
Whilst no-one is actually paying you too much attention, it’s a hard feeling to shake off, and after all these years, I still get that feeling sometimes. If you feel like this every time, all you are likely to do is hop on the nearest cardio machine, when what you really need to be doing is heading for the resistance machines or the weights area.
Unfortunately results don’t come from staying in your comfort zone.
You need to find the right intensity for your exercise to bring results, be out of breath and sweaty. Once you’ve done your gym session you shouldn’t want or be able to do a minute more!
If you’ve made the decision to really get fit in 2018, make it work for you. Find and make an achievable plan that fits in with your lifestyle, don’t give up when ‘life happens’, just keep chipping away at it.
You’ve decided what you want, you obviously want it, so make a plan, be persistent and consistent and it will happen.