How to Keep Your Fitness Momentum Going This February
Did you make a lofty new year’s resolution in January? Perhaps you started out the year with the best of intentions, determined that this would be the year you’d get fit and reach your goals once and for all.
If your motivation is waning and your good intentions are falling by the wayside, don’t beat yourself up about it. You are in the majority! Research has shown that the vast majority of new year’s resolutions have failed or been abandoned by mid-February.
However, there are strategies you can put in place to keep the momentum going and capitalize on all the effort you’ve put in so far. Here are five of our top tips to help you stay motivated and stay fit in February and beyond.
Remember Your “Why”
Why did you want to get fit in the first place? Everyone’s “why” will be different and there are no right or wrong answers here. Perhaps you want to reduce chronic pain, be more able to run around with your kids or grandkids, or look amazing on your wedding day. What matters is that your “why” is something that really matters to you.
Every time you feel your motivation dipping, remind yourself of the reasons you’re doing this. You could even write a note to yourself and stick it in a prominent place where you will see it every day. Having a strong reason will encourage you to get out for your workout even on days when you really don’t feel like it.
Creating a system of rewards can help you to boost your motivation and give yourself an incentive to keep pushing forward through the February slump.
Why not pledge to treat yourself to some new running shoes, some post-workout recovery wear, or even a new fitness tracker if you manage to stick to your goals throughout February? You could also choose an experience-based reward, such as a spa day, getting a massage, booking a trip with your significant other, or going to see your favorite sports team play. The only thing that matters is that whatever you choose should feel exciting and motivating to you.
It’s best not to choose food-based rewards, as this can set you up to think of food in terms of emotions rather than as nourishment for your body.
Set Small, Achievable Goals
Achieving a goal can be incredibly motivating. For that reason, even if you are working towards one large overall goal (such as running a half marathon or being able to deadlift a certain amount of weight), small interim goals can give you the sense of achievement you need to keep going.
Your small goals should be the right balance of challenging yet achievable. For example, if you’re currently very sedentary, start by challenging yourself to go for a fifteen minute walk each day at lunchtime. If you’re training for a race, aim to increase your mileage slightly on your next run. If you went to the gym twice last week, go three times this week. And so on.
Team Up with a Friend
Many of us are better at being accountable to other people than to ourselves. Having a workout buddy not only makes exercise more fun, but can also help to ensure you’ll actually get those workouts in.
If you have a friend or family member who is also trying to get fit, why not agree to work out together and support each other? If you know you have someone waiting for you and relying on you, you are far less likely to snooze your alarm and skip your gym session.
Try Something New
One reason that many people struggle with motivation to keep up a fitness regime is that they do not enjoy the activities they are doing. If you don’t enjoy going to the gym, you will never keep it up long term no matter how hard you try. If you hate running, then this just means it is not the right sport for you.
Instead, try new things with the goal of finding a type of exercise you enjoy. Try out group fitness classes, have a go at dancing or yoga, swap running for cycling or swimming, or join a local sports team. Don’t worry if it takes you a few attempts to find your fitness passion. It is worth the time investment because, if you love the activity you’re doing, you will maintain your motivation without even needing to think about it.