As a fitness instructor, I love January. Enthusiastic faces in all the classes. The pool and gym are full of people doing their bodies good and the “SPARK” is all around. The spark of New Year’s resolutions that fill people with that push of hopefulness and the feeling of encouragement that only an inner goal can provide.
Then 2 weeks later…
” I pulled something”
“I have a work project deadline”
“My kid has the flu”
Life happens and usually the first thing we drop from our schedule is the one thing we need more of: Health Workouts become further and further in between. We push it too hard right away and need time for recover. Life gets in the way of time.
How to do stay motivated when things come up? How do we keep that spark all year long to achieve a truly healthy lifestyle that balances exercise, nutrition, family, self care and work?
We need to look at some key points to remember and incorporate so that we find that spark when life gets in the way
Find that why and keep coming back to it when you find yourself making excuses or are sidelined. Make sure you see the big picture and aim for a healthier life and not just a short term goal. Find your “why” such as “increase cardio to better my heart health” or “walking each day to ease back pain” or even “lifting weights to stop bone loss”. Look at the bigger picture and realize that being healthy and deciding to take necessary steps to ensure you are healthy in the long term benefit your mental outlook.
FOCUS ON SMALLER, NARROWED GOALS
Break down your long term goal into smaller, achievable goals or steps. This is closely tied into that “WHY” reason. It’s great to have a long term goal but have some way to track goals in daily or weekly measurable steps. If you are tracking number of minutes walking with the long term goal of losing weight/lowering cholesterol and decreasing inflammation then track your minutes every day but then also look at your weekly accomplishments.
SET YOURSELF FOR A WIN
Think about the things that make your want to be more healthy and what doesn’t. If you aren’t a morning person, then don’t try to schedule a 5 mile run at 5am. You may be excited the first day or two and then excuses will appear pretty fast. Work your schedule to your benefit and know yourself.
Also find things to get you moving that you really enjoy. You will not stick with something if you dread it ahead of time. I like walking on the treadmill but I also love my tv…so I combine the two and catch up on shows with my tablet.
LOOK FOR A SUPPORT SYSTEM
Some days are hard…that’s when we need some sort of support. For some that support is a gym atmosphere and for some they need a group exercise class to give them that extra boost when they are low. And for some they just need supportive family that helps to keep their workout dates. Whatever it is for you, find it and right away in the beginning so when life happens or injury, then you already have that support system to fall back on.
At some point things happen like illness, work, or injury. Realize that it’s not the end all be all if you miss a workout or eat a large meal. But remember that you need to find your motivation and focus on the end goal and come right back to it.
MAKE A PLAN & SCHEDULE
Make a realistic weekly plan and then schedule your days around when you are going to workout. Make sure to move throughout the day while at work too. Your circulatory system and heart will thank you.