Well it’s that time of year again. Everybody is starting over, and “this time is for real,” right?
I think that New Years Resolutions are kind of a sham, I mean you can decide to build a better you any day, so why the beginning of the year? But I do understand that shiny-blank-newness of idealistic beginnings. A clean slate. Full of opportunity.
The question is, how are you going to make yourself stick with it this time? And the truth is, most of my clients tell me that it is the motivation to continue that usually fails them.
So people ask me all the time, and here are a quick few suggestions to keep you coming back to the gym for more, to help ensure you keep building that better you:
1) It isn’t work. It can’t be. Or eventually (just like me and my mall job), you begin to hate it. This is the new you. And this is the time for you that you have to put in to get that new you. This is your new lifestyle. You will, and you must, enjoy it. Remember that it only takes a few weeks to build a healthy habit, and then you won’t want to stop because you will feel off when you don’t continue!
2) Pep yourself up. I get excited for gym time. I write it into my daytimer. I visualize my workout before I’m anywhere close to the gym. I think about the exercises I’m going to do, and I run through the reps in my mind. I imagine myself lifting more each time. I see myself as a beast (ahaha a little tiny one!) and I say “Yay gym time, let’s do this!” do a happy dance, grab my gym bag and my shaker, and put the pedal to the metal with a smile on my face.
3) Music. Not just any music, but music that gets you in the zone. If that’s loud and angry, build yourself a nice metal playlist. Rap. Whatever gets you in the right mind space. Get some theme songs going (Eye of the Tiger, anyone?) and have that playlist for the gym. Studies do indicate that people work out longer, harder, and with fewer distractions (ugh I hate this song, I gotta skip it!) with music (their own, not just gym music) playing.
4) Write it all down. Now you’re challenging yourself. What did I do last time? I better beat that. Make sure it’s always progressive or we’re just phoning it in folks.
5) Excuses. Throw them out. No time (make time, get a day timer), too tired (what did you eat? , make sure you get enough sleep, and drink plenty of water throughout the day). Find your barriers and address them. Don’t allow yourself excuses because it becomes a slippery slope.
6) Be an extremist. Tell yourself you’ll lose all progress if you stop now. You’ll gain back the fat, your biceps will disappear, you’ll only be able to lift 50% of what you’re used to, etc. Tell yourself these extreme lies to convince yourself you must go. It’s ok, it’s a white lie right? And it’s for the greater good.
7) Get a gym buddy. You can lift more with a spotter. You will show up because someone is expecting you. They’ll help motivate you. It’s really win win.
8) Eat well. No seriously. It’s so important to doing a good job. Maybe you don’t notice the difference of that junk in your system but you will for sure as soon as you go to the gym and you are just dragging your ass. Make sure you are drinking enough water, all day long, not just during your workout. Water makes all the processes in your body work! It can’t be emphasized enough how important these things are. Complex carbs, lean protein, water water water.
9) Drink coffee, (or a pre-workout). It works. I have a cup or two and then I’m always ready to rock.
10) Reward progress and tell yourself how awesome you’re doing, focus on your progress not the distance between you and the ultimate goal, and make sure you have lots of cute workout outfits.
And with that I’m off to hit Shoulders & Abs, yay gym time! *dance* go go go! What are your tricks for sticking with it?