So, we’re into January. Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? Were they health and fitness related? How are they going so far? Research has shown that 95% of resolutions are fitness based but that only 10% of people think their resolutions will last after 3 months. Why is it that we fail only a few weeks in? Usually, it’s because we set ourselves too big a challenge so that as soon as we ‘slip up’ we feel we have failed. Why do we do this to ourselves? Let’s look at small tweaks that we can make to make our lifestyles healthier instead of wanting to climb the mountain in one step! These little tweaks, whether that’s getting more exercise, watching portion sizes or simply having a more positive outlook on life, are to make our lives better, to make us stronger, fitter, healthier and to enable us to live a more mobile life well into old age.
If you’re looking for motivation to start making these changes, then you might want to look at it a different way. Do you need motivation to start making changes? No, you don’t. Instead of thinking that you need motivation to get started and then you will get the results that you want, which in turn leads to more motivation, try looking at it like this. What if you started making small changes which are achievable on a daily basis such as drinking an extra glass of water, eating some fruit, going to bed half an hour earlier, parking further away from your destination and walking or getting off the bus a stop or two earlier, you would soon start to feel different, have more energy and sleep better and this is what will give you motivation to want and do more. Results are what will give you your motivation. If you are waiting for your motivation to get those results, you could find that you are waiting for ever and will never make those changes that you want to make. Motivation is not the start of the process, taking action is. Yes, that will require a little discipline and willpower but isn’t it worth it to look after your health and fitness?
Here are our 10 top tips for staying motivated.
Try these small changes in January and see how easy it is to build on them throughout the year:
- Drink an extra glass of water a day. I do this first thing in the morning so I remember!
- Eat a piece of fruit a day, and add in extra vegetables at meal times. This once can be easy – just buy one extra vegetable in your weekly shop (ie a different coloured pepper, or a courgette etc) and add it into one meal that week.
- Add in some physical activity daily. Physical activity is good for your body – it can help to manage weight, strengthen bones and muscles and improve your ability to carry out your daily activities, as well as being good for your mental wellbeing and your brain health. A brisk 10 minute walk is a great place to start. Easy ways to incorporate this are to park further away from your destination, get off the bus a stop or two earlier and take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Make the people around you aware of your goals so that they are able to support you. For anyone who doesn’t support your goals, it might be time to reevaluate that friendship – your loved ones should always want the best for you and your health.
- Check your portion sizes. We tend to eat much more than we need to. As well as quantity, look at how your food is split on your plate. Aim for 50% veg, 25% protein such as chicken or salmon and 25% carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, quinoa or wholegrain rice. Try to incorporate some protein into every meal. Protein reduces muscle loss, builds and repairs muscle, speeds recovery after exercise and helps to control hunger.
- Don’t buy snacks such as chocolate, crisps or biscuits if you know you’re going to binge on them. This doesn’t mean that you can’t eat these things but it is easier to control binging on these if they are not in the house. Instead buy a portion with lunch when you fancy them, or as a dessert when you eat out.
- Set small, achievable workout goals. Anything is better than nothing so aim to go to the gym once a week to start with. Think baby steps when planning your workouts. You can’t jump to the top of the ladder in one go – you have to climb one rung at a time and by doing that, you will get to the top! Hannah has set herself the goal of 1 strength training workout a week as since having Poppy her own workout have taken a backseat (she already teaches yoga, zumba, a fitness class and several PTs a week so often fitting her own workouts in with a toddler is tricky but this is an achievable start!)
- Look for variety in your workouts. Try a class that you haven’t tried before, go swimming or add in 5 minutes of cardio at the end of your strength workout.
- Find inspiration from watching fitness videos (you can find lots on our Instagram page!) or bloggers on youTube, and TikTok.
- Try to go to bed half an hour earlier. Make sure you turn off all technology half an hour before bed and try to do something relaxing such as reading or having a bath instead.
The chances are that you will miss a planned workout or eat a dessert just for the sake of it when you’re actually full to the brim and wish you hadn’t. This isn’t failing! This is life. Try to look at the bigger picture and the whole journey rather than just that one day. It’s all about balance whilst still enjoying your life. Don’t beat yourself up because you had a chocolate bar or an extra glass of wine – just have a little willpower and don’t do it every day! 😊
Take action now and stop putting off making those small changes until tomorrow. Remember, tomorrow never comes! Have a look at contacting us at W Fitness to see how we can help you incorporate those small changes into your life.
Caroline & Hannah xx