Given that we are almost 3 months into the New Year, lots of people have already forgotten or forsaken their New Year’s fitness resolutions. Now is not the time to slack off, ladies! Bikini season is just around the corner.
If you started the year off with good intentions, but you’re having a hard time staying motivated, then this post is for you! Here are 10 secrets to keeping your motivation on point year-round:
1. Give yourself some wiggle room.
When you expect too much of yourself, you often fall behind, get discouraged, and ultimately quit. To avoid this ugly trap, you’ve got to be realistic and give yourself some wiggle room.
For example, I would love to be able to work out six days a week, but I know there’s no way I can realistically keep that up, 52 weeks a year. Maybe I could pull it off for a week or two, but then life would inevitably get in the way and I’d get discouraged at my inability to achieve my goal.
Wednesdays are a tough day for me to get a workout in because the kids are home most of the day. Sundays are also pretty packed full between church, birthday parties, and the likes. With these two busy days in mind, I’ve set a goal for myself to workout 5 days a week.
I’ve found that by leaving myself some wiggle room, two off days in my case, I’m more consistent in my workouts than if I had an unrealistically ambitious goal.
2. Get your workout in as early as possible, preferably first thing in the morning.
This has been said a thousand times, but I’m going to say it again: working out in the morning is one of the best things you can do to set the stage for your day. Once you get your workout it, you will go into your day feeling energized, alert, and ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead.
Besides feeling invigorated, it stands to reason that the earlier you get your workout in, the less likely you are to skip. As the day rolls on, the more likely you are to feel too tired or too busy to make it happen.
Personally, I’ve noticed that if I haven’t gotten my workout in before 3pm, I am much more likely to skip it.
If you workout from home, set your alarm early and get your workout in before the kids wake up. This might be tough at first, but after just two short weeks it will become a habit and you’ll come to love the feeling of getting a good sweat in before those little feet hit the floor.
Working out before the kids get up isn’t an option for me due to the fact that we live in an apartment. The sound of me doing burpees and handling free weights would likely wake the kids and infuriate my downstairs neighbors! Given as much, I try to workout right after school drop-off.
If you can’t workout in the morning, try to get it done during your lunch hour. Don’t leave it until the evening when you’re likely to be exhausted from a long day.
3. Have your workout clothes laid out, or better yet, wear them until you’ve gotten your workout in.
Pack your gym bag the night before and have it ready to go. Or, if you workout from home, have your clothes laid out and ready before you go to bed.
If you’re a stay-at-home mom or a work-from-home mom, throw on your workout clothes first thing in the morning and wear them until you’ve gotten that workout in.
By wearing your work out clothes, you signal to your yourself and to others that you are going to work out. With so many things pushing you to skip a workout, already being dressed and ready is half the battle.
This is a big one for me and definitely key to my ability to be consistent in my workouts. Since I usually work out after dropping the kids off at school, I often take them to school in my workout clothes. Now, I know this might be kind of normal in America, but in France, it definitely makes me the odd mom out. You may remember the reaction I got from a French mom the first time she saw me drop my kids off in gym clothes! I’ve decided that a few odd looks is a small price to pay for ensuring that I get my workout in.
4. Keep your workout equipment in plain sight.
Invest in a few free weights, a kettle bell, and an exercise mat. Rather than hiding them behind a closed door, leave them out and visible in a prime location in your house. Try to pick places where you spend a lot of time!
Having your equipment visible will keep exercise at the forefront of your mind when you have so many other things begging for your attention.
5. A light workout is better than no workout at all.
In today’s world where CrossFit and super intense training is so popular, it can be easy to think that a light workout is equivalent to no workout, but that just isn’t true. There will be days when you can’t fit in a full out, butt-kicking workout. There will be days when you can fit it in, but you just don’t have the energy to do so.
On those days, remember that it’s better to do a lighter, shorter workout than no workout at all.
Whether it be turning on a quick 10 or 20-minute workout video or just doing a series of push-ups, dips, crunches, and squats, go ahead and do something. You will feel better knowing that you’ve at least gotten your blood flowing and your heart rate up. Plus, by making time for even a light workout, you are less likely to get discouraged or out of the flow.
When I’m intimidated by the thought of an hour-long sweat session, I’ll start with just a short video or some squats and push-ups. 9 times out of 10, once I get moving, I keep going for longer!
6. Never skip a Monday workout.
Lots of people tend to over eat, over drink, and under train over the weekend. If you are one of those people who tends to indulge or slack off in the workout department over the weekend, then it’s especially important never to skip a Monday workout.
How you start your week will set the pace for the days to follow, so go ahead and knock that Monday workout out of the park.
7. Never go more than 2 days without a workout.
When you go more than two days without working out, it’s easy to get in a rut. Once you hit the three day mark, it can get tough to get back on track. Make sure you never go more than two days without getting a workout in.
8. Mark it with an X.
If you’re struggling with being consistent in your workouts, hang a workout calendar somewhere where you will see it multiple times a day. Every day that you miss a workout, mark it with a big, red X.
Seeing those X’s accumulate when you miss multiple workouts will be a visual reminder that you need to get it in gear!
9. Find someone to keep you accountable.
If you have a friend who’s also looking to stay consistent in their workouts, check in with them regularly. Ask how they are doing with their fitness goals and ask what’s working for them. Have them do the same for you! If you don’t have a friend you feel comfortable doing this with, ask your partner to keep you accountable. Let them know that you really want to be consistent and tell them you need their help.
When it comes to running, my husband is great about encouraging me to get my shoes on and go. During the winter, I have a hard time talking myself into bundling up and heading out for a run. If I start saying things like I’m just not in the mood or I dread going – maybe I’ll just go tomorrow, my husband is great about giving me that friendly nudge I need and reminding me that I’ll be glad I did it when it’s over.
10. Mix it up.
If you find yourself dreading your workout routine or getting bored, don’t just skip it. Instead, mix things up!
If you tend to go heavy on the cardio, try adding yoga or weight training into the mix. If you’re a runner, try alternating between sprinting and jogging for a more intense sweat session or check out a new running route. If you usually hit the elliptical or treadmill for your cardio, try a kickboxing class or a spin class instead.
Though I tend to return to the same source for my indoor workouts (see this post), when I find myself in a motivational slump, I know it’s time mix things up. Sometimes, I’ll head to Be Fit channel on Youtube or do a TIU routine. Other times, I’ll do an Insanity workout or a yoga practice.
When I start getting bored with my running route, I take a different running path or I simply reverse my route to keeps things interesting! Sometimes all it takes is finding a new music playlist on Spotify to give me the extra boost I need.
By changing things up, you can easily combat boredom and thus stay motivated and consistent in your workouts.
I dare you to give these a shot and see if they make a difference in your consistency and motivation levels. I’d be willing to bet that you’ll see a noticeable change in no time!
What are your favorite tricks for staying motivated? Leave them in the comments below! I’d love to hear.