With winter now (mostly) gone it is time to start focusing on the warmer weather ahead. Winter is a notoriously difficult time to maintain a high level of motivation towards nutrition and exercise, but with the warmer weather should come a renewed sense of motivation and drive towards finishing the year with a bang! Below are some tips that can help you get over the winter hump and set yourself up with summer health success.
Create a short-term goal that is very motivating
Lot’s of time we like to focus on the long-term when we think about goals and this is fantastic. The key to getting up and moving as quick as possible is to think about the immediate future (this is why we break down our long-term goals into shorter, more achievable chunks). Using the seasons is a great way to do this. In 12 weeks time it is going to be summer.
- How do you want to look/feel when summer starts?
- What size do you want to fit in to?
- What can you do now to set yourself up for success?
- What are the top 2 areas of my life I need to work on to make this happen?
Answer these questions and you will have an incredibly motivating goal. The fact that we are only dealing with the short-term as well means that you have an immediate deadline to work towards, there is no time for messing around. Making a commitment like this means that you are giving yourself no choice but to act on it. This means that you will be out of winter-mode really quick!
Develop a no matter what attitude
You have set the goal, but the only way to ensure that you achieve it is to develop a ‘no matter what’ attitude. This means that no matter what obstacles throw themselves at you day-in-day-out you commit to achieving your goal.
- Committed to doing 5 hours of exercise p/week? That means it has to happen rain, hail or shine
- Committed to reducing your alcohol intake each week? That means that no matter what social engagement pops up, you understand that what you want to achieve is more important than an extra drink
- Committed to re-establishing a winning nutritional plan? That means that no matter what you need to make the correct choices when difficult decisions present themselves.
The single best way to establish a new routine is to ensure that you commit to it 100%. It only takes 3 weeks to create a habit, and the first 3 weeks of a new program are crucial to this. Also it is very important to understand that you do not want to slow down. The death of the ‘no matter what’ attitude is the giving in to the inevitable drop in motivation. Motivation levels rise and fall all the time, the ability to recognize this means that you can power through and stay on track to achieve your goals.
Find your reason ‘why’
If you develop a strong ‘why’ to your goals you will create a level of motivation that will be really hard to break. It is all well and good to set a goal, but if you can attach a really motivating ‘why’ with it, it means that you can almost be unbreakable. What is this ‘why’? This is the reason deep down that you want to achieve something. This means that you need to be quite honest with yourself and really think about why your goal is the goal you have set.
- Is it because you want to be able to enjoy summer with your kids?
- Is it because you have never done it before?
- Is it because you have been there before and want to get back to that shape?
- It is because someone told you that you couldn’t do it?
Finding the ‘why’ and using it as your motivation and the reminder about why you are doing this can be the single biggest impact on whether or not you achieve it. Get honest with yourself and find the reason!
Don’t be afraid to try something new!
New things are exciting, they allow for a fresh level of thinking and give you a new level of fulfillment to work towards. If you have set a really motivating goal, you have found a really compelling reason why you want to achieve it, why would you want to go about it the same way you always have? This means that you know what to expect and naturally you will lose the excitement levels a bit easier. This could be as easy as:
- Trying a new training method
- Asking someone with expertise in the area to set a program for you
- Getting outside instead of staying inside
- Trying a whole new sport/activity that will get you out of your comfort zone
Getting out of your comfort zone can be difficult, but it can also be really fulfilling. What a wonderful way to get fitter and healthier than ever before, by trying something new!
Re-educate yourself with nutrition and try new recipes
Trying new things doesn’t have to be just with the exercise, it can also be a great time to do the same with your nutrition. The colder weather is now (mostly) gone and with it a lot of the winter foods should be as well. Start looking at new recipes, things that you haven’t had before. Learn to cook in different ways so that you don’t feel like you are eating the same thing all the time. Soon there are going to be a whole host of new, fresh foods available in supermarkets, so take advantage of them! Commit to 1-2 new recipes a week for 2 months and you will have totally transformed your nutritional intake.
Join in a class/find a training buddy
Travelling a journey on your own can often be quite lonely. The best way to get into a new exercise routine is to do it with other people. Joining a class means that you are surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals. You are automatically building in a layer of accountability that allows for a greater chance of achieving your goal. If you have other people that are relying on you it also means that you will not want to let them down, which makes it a bit easier to do the exercise when you are not feeling up to it! Find someone, or a group and link up with them, you will never look back!
We have got exactly 3 months until summer is here, and 4 months until the end of the year. Are you going to use this as an opportunity to finish it in the best shape possible or are you going to finish the year tired, exhausted and wondering where all the time went?
The choice is yours…
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