We’re a week into 2015 now, and for a lot of people, this is the time where their resolve to stick with any life changes starts to falter a bit. It can be hard to keep up with your New Years resolutions – especially if you’re trying to get fitter, so staying motivated is important.
Whether you’re planning to lose weight, or want to run a marathon from a standing start this year, you’ve already taken the most important step in your journey by simply committing to it. Setting a goal is the first step to achieving it!
Of course, it’s not as easy as you planned. A week into a weight loss diet, you’ve probably not seen any visible signs that you’re losing weight (although you probably are), and a week into a running plan you’re probably still struggling to get past that first mile without losing your breath. The fact is that everyone is in the same boat as you, and staying focused on the goal is going take time, but you will start to see the rewards.
Staying Motivated to Lose Weight
With most weight loss plans, you restrict your calorie intake by around 500 calories per day. By doing this, you’ll generally see weight loss of about 1lb per week. That might not feel like much, and you’ll probably be eating things that you don’t want to eat and gazing at the sumptuous meals that your friends are eating.
Your goal might be to lose 2 stone, which would take around 14 weeks at 1lb per week – although. That means you’ll hit your goal weight in early April. Set yourself a reward – a few days away, and buy an outfit that will fit you when you’ve lost the weight.
Keep a diary of what you’re eating, and weigh yourself no more than a couple of times a week. Track your weight and key measurements – waistline in particular, and you’ll see better progress over a longer period of time as you get to your goal.
People around you will notice change quicker than you will, and you can be pretty certain that by the end of January you’ll already be getting compliments about your weight loss! Look forward to them, and enjoy them when they start.
Staying Motivated to run Further
At this time of year, it can be tempting to sit in your favourite armchair and hide from the bad weather rather than putting in the time you need to build fitness. But that’s not going to do you any good. Sure, if there’s two feet of snow on the ground, running is the last thing you should be doing, but on a cold, or miserable day, a run is actually quite enjoyable.
You’ll soon warm up when you get going, and when you get to the end of your run, you’ll find that you’re sweating just as much as you do on a hot day. Also, you’ll often find that the roads are quieter which means that you don’t need to be self conscious about who might see you while you’re out.
If you can find a running partner, you’ll enjoy the training more, and be able to keep each other going when the times are rough.
It’s also great to keep a good diary of your progress – you’ll soon look back on your early performances with pride. Track how far you went and the time you did it in – don’t worry too much about how much you ran or walked: the time will tell you that! Also measure some of the other benefits – weight, waistline etc. You’ll see improvements everywhere.
Staying Motivated at the Gym
Usually Gyms get pretty busy at the start of January, and it can be frustrating going if all the machines are busy. Of course, not everyone is as motivated as you, and it’s about now that some people start giving up. Don’t be one of them. Find a gym buddy so you can support each other, and enjoy your trips together.
Reward yourself for maintaining a streak of getting to the gym on each day, and give yourself a variety of different work outs so you don’t get bored. Keep notes about what weight you lifted, how far you ran or cycled, and set goals each week to improve. You’ll soon see great progress in your fitness, and you’ll quickly find that you become more and more self motivated by your progress as you improve each week.
Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. One of the biggest reasons people fail in their new years resolution is that they set an unrealistic goal. Don’t be afraid to change what you’re aiming to do.
If you managed to lose 10KG rather than 20KG, it’s still a great result, and if you get to the end of the year, and you only ran a half marathon rather than a full one, don’t be disappointed: Millions of people didn’t even do that.
By keeping to your goals, you are achieving them. By staying motivated, you are improving your life, 1lb, 1 mile, or one set of weights at a time.
Keep it up!