If you feel your motivation is drifting and you’re ready to toss your New Year’s resolution to the wind, you’re not alone. In fact, due to the surge of people known to give up on their 2019 fitness goals around this time, January 12 has been deemed as “National Quitters’ Day”. While we don’t typically associate one single day for derailing our fitness goals, if the temptation to quit isn’t properly addressed, our chances of failing will significantly increase.
If you find yourself in a stage where your motivation is low and the temptation to quit is at an all-time high, try these 5 techniques to get yourself back on course:
Establish a reward system
Similar to getting points for using a credit card or racking up member rewards for shopping at your favorite store, establishing an incentivized system for working out is a great strategy to get you off the couch. No matter your budget or reward item, it’s simple to pick a price and frequency of reward that fits into your lifestyle.
For daily rewards, after you’re done at the club consider rewarding yourself with your favorite post-workout protein shake, watching your favorite show or taking a relaxing bath. For other ideas, pick a set number or times you’ll visit the club or attend class each week or month and reward yourself with new workout apparel, a fancy dinner at that new restaurant you’ve been eyeing or a self-care day at the spa. When coming up with your own system, be sure the reward won’t set you back in your fitness goals.
Visual inspiration & pep talks
When life gets chaotic or stressful, slowing down to remind yourself of what you’re working toward is an absolute necessity. Having consistent visibility of your goals looks different for everyone, but you can’t go wrong by creating a mood board, setting an inspiring background on your phone or writing a handwritten letter from your future-self explaining how far you’ve come. If none of those ideas appeal to you, just whip out an old photo of yourself as motivation to get back to where you were when the picture was taken.
On days when self-talk isn’t cutting it, reach out to people in your close circle and ask them a few questions to help remind you of your potential. If it’s a close friend, consider asking them about a time you were at your best and why. If it’s your trainer, ask them about your progress and areas they think you’ve been growing in. Either way, soak up the responses and use them as fuel to keep going.
Redefine social hour by trying a new workout
Instead of scheduling a happy hour with a friend, consider swapping it with a new work out or fun activity. By choosing activity over consumption, you’re automatically bypassing the potential of overindulging in alcoholic beverages that can hamper digestive health, quality of sleep and metabolism. While it’s important to have a structured routine, mixing up your workout regime forces you to get outside your comfort zone and work new muscle groups. What’s more, remixing your fitness can help you break through weight-loss plateaus, prevent overuse injuries and is a great way to connect with friends and meet new people. If yoga, cycle or Pilates are you go-to classes, consider taking a dance class or going rock climbing. No matter which activity you choose, you’re guaranteed to get face-time with your friends and gain accountability partners in the process! For all of our Life Time members, here’s a friendly reminder to not let those buddy passes go to waste!
Measure progress over perfection
Nothing worth having comes easy, so it’s important to celebrate the little wins that will eventually lead to the grand prize. While it’s human nature to focus on our long-term goals and measure the changes in our physical appearance, if we fall short of our expectations too many times, we’re more likely to become discouraged and quit. To keep yourself energized and on track, be intentional about celebrating the micro wins such as drinking enough water for the day, running a mile without stopping or finally perfecting your push up. To help get you in the habit of celebrating these types of victories, write them down in a journal. Overtime, you’ll look back and realize a seemingly small win played a key role in all of the progress you’ve made so far.
Leverage wearable tech in a new way
While wearable tech is nothing new, knowing how to operate and maximize your gear can be a game changer. You may just look at your wearable gear as a gadget that analyzes heart rate, activity, inactivity, sleep and calories burned, but did you know you can use it to compete with your friends? Life Time Personal Training Manager Abby Thayer from the Target Center Club in Minneapolis always loves a good challenge and shares how she incorporates it into her routine:
“Each day you can gather points from your daily activity such as how many hours you stand during the day, how many calories you burn and how many minutes of exercise you get. The goal: beat your friend every day to take the victory at the end of the week! The hardest part is that if you fall behind just one day, it can make a huge impact and could make you lose the challenge! I love to use this way of staying accountable because I am pretty competitive myself; if I see I’m falling behind against my competitor, I will be up and out of my office chair doing laps to make sure I can win for the day!
Of course, some days motivation will be harder to come by, but with the right tactics the temptation to quit won’t stand a chance.
We’d love to hear from you on how these pointers help you stay motivated and what other things you do to keep the energy up. Let us know by sending our team a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Life Time Weight Loss Team