Thanksgiving is over. Christmas is coming – less than 25 days! Parties, shopping, travel planning… Things are getting serious. This usually means that we’re all a little more short on time and energy. When these things happen, it’s usually our routines that suffer, including our workouts. Don’t let it happen to you!
Instead, take 10 minutes out for yourself, and figure out how you can keep yourself on track. When we are in a routine, we tend to not think much about why we do what we do. Sometimes it’s because we need to (jobs and stuff), sometimes because we want to (Friday night pizza anyone?). Sometimes it’s because it’s just what we do. Most of our everyday activities fit into this category. Our brains create routine and habits because it takes way less brainpower to automatically do something than it does to make every single decision, every single day. Imagine trying to decide every day whether you should go to the gym? Not always a fun decision, right? But if you get yourself into the habit of going straight there after work, you’re going to do it without thinking about it. Less brain stress, better health.
When everything is out of routine though, you end up making those “should I?” decisions all the time. Remembering why you wanted to create your routine in the first place can make a big difference and keep you on track. When you’re low on motivation or struggling to fit in the workout you know you should be doing, think about why you wanted to (or thought you should) get it done in the first place. Some of these motivational tricks might help!
Use A Visual
Post a picture of your goal somewhere you will see it. Heck, post a bunch of pictures. When I was in high school, a cross country teammate of mine put his goal race time on Post It notes on his locker, his text books, the dashboard of his car, and all over the walls on his house. It took about four months for him to reach his goal, but he was reminded every day why he was working so hard.
Join A Group
Whether online or real life, being around people with the same interests or goals will have a positive impact on you reaching yours. You can share stories and information about what works, what doesn’t, how you make progress, and how you stay on track when you get discouraged. These are your people!
Find Your Inspiration
The most important question a coach can ask: Why do you want to achieve this goal? The people who do achieve their goals are the ones that have a solid reason to do so. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what the “why” is, but it’s worth the effort. Once you have the answer, it can become way easier to put in the work to get there.
You know that little voice in your head that tells you everything seems too hard and you’d rather just sit on the couch? Declare war on it! Prepare yourself for those days when it’s tempting to skip a workout by making a list of all the reasons you should be working out. Read back to yourself as needed.
Though none of these tips are a surefire way to stay on track with workouts (or any other habit or routine), remember that simply showing up will help improve motivation for your next session, and will definitely help beat holiday stress. And if they help you finish even one workout that you might have otherwise skipped, it’s already worth it.