Did you know that almost 80% of people who make New Year’s fitness resolutions experience a slump by February? January sees considerable increases in gym memberships, while February sees an 80% decline in attendance. (We don’t notice that dramatic decline at Fit because our members are total rock stars! We see the dedication you have for being your best self!) But if you are struggling with motivation, here are some tips to take back that fire to change you at the beginning of the year!
- Make your workouts fun! Exercise shouldn’t be a chore. It should be something you WANT to do. Reframing your workouts as time that you invest in yourself helps! Adding different activities is a good idea, too. In addition to gym days, try out a new sport or activity. You can also make a new playlist or work out with a friend. This is part of why having a community is helpful for long-term success. Working out with a community of motivating people you look forward to being around is more fun!
- Create a new short-term goal. Most people create New Year’s resolutions that fall more into the “big picture” category, like losing x amount of weight before summer or fitting into an old pair of jeans. Not only does focusing solely on losing weight not generally generate the motivation to create a lifestyle change, but it also gets frustrating when you aren’t seeing the progress you want to see as fast as you would like. Instead, focus on something more tangible and take less time to achieve. If you must focus on losing weight, set a goal of 5 pounds instead of your end goal. You could also set a goal about the frequency of physical activity (which can include things other than gym time!) or goals surrounding gains, like adding a five lb plate to your bench press!
- Think of your goals from a different perspective- instead of “having” a goal, focus on “being.” Having a goal works for some people in the long term, but what usually works best is instead thinking of being something- being healthier, being more athletic, being less stressed, being someone who values their physical and emotional well-being. Reframing your goals from attaining something to a mind and lifestyle change makes it easier to focus on the bigger picture! Exercise isn’t something that you do for a few months, meet your goal, and never do again. It’s a part of a healthy lifestyle that you will reap the benefits from for the rest of your life!
- Journal your progress! And not just the weight, frequency, and intensity of workouts (although tracking these will also help you keep on track). Write down how you felt after you exercised! How were your mood and stress levels after a workout? Start associating your improved mental state with your new fitness lifestyle, and it will get easier to get yourself out of a rut and motivate yourself to keep going!
- Don’t downplay the progress you’ve made already! No one is perfect, and no one completely changes their life in a month. You may experience setbacks and challenges, but you powered through! Celebrate those small wins because every day you try to be more physically active is a big step in the right direction!