You have probably already thought about the changes you want to make in your life come the 1st January 2013, but do you make the same New Year’s resolutions each year only to give up in the first week? Unfortunately, most of us fall into this category but with more planning than just stating at midnight ‘I will give up...’ this year can be the year that you finally improve your lifestyle. The most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight/ get ripped and if this is your aim in 2013 you need to stay motivated.
Identify Potential Obstacles
You need to be committed enough to your New Year plan to sit down and make a plan which takes longer than 5 minutes. You need to consider the realistic obstacles which you will face which have the potential to derail your lifestyle change. If you are finding it difficult to list these, think of all the reasons which have prevented you from achieving your goals so far and start from there. The more prepared you are to face these challenges head on, the less likely you are to admit defeat and continue another year using the obstacles as excuses for not being as fit/healthy/successful as you could be. The first few weeks will be the hardest so once you are past this point you will find yourself going from strength to strength both mentally and physically.
Find What Works For You
Whether its music, incentives for good behaviour or being able to fit into those amazing jeans you bought, find something which works for you and fully commit. For the majority, immersing yourself in your favourite music to keep yourself pumped and focused will make you work harder during workouts and make them a more enjoyable part of your day.
First of all, you can’t expect to see drastic improvements straight away. Improving body composition and health through fitness and nutrition is a long and difficult journey which you need to be prepared for. If you keep track of your progress, it will help you to stay focused and positive about your goals and new lifestyle. Setting yourself both mini goals and long-term goals is also a better idea than setting one large and daunting goal. Keep records of your progress and continue to challenge yourself by setting new and exciting goals. There are endless ways to keep track: a heart rate monitor, tape measure, pedometer, photographs and training records are all great ways to remind yourself of the progress you are making and deepen your commitment to your resolution.
As well as the obvious safety aspect, there are many reasons why having a training partner is one of the best things you can do to stay motivated. When you have a constant training partner you can share your journey with them. As you learn more about the other person’s training style, you will adapt to help motivate them. For example, some people thrive off of positive encouragement and some prefer a more negative, challenging vibe when pushing themselves to the limit during training.
A training partner will also hold you accountable to turn up to training sessions when you feel less motivated or to stick with your healthy diet when the junk food temptation is too much to bear.
It can also be beneficial to have a little healthy competition by your side. Having someone on par or better than you in training will encourage you to take chances, learn more and physically push yourself harder to increase your performance/health. Physically witnessing someone else achieve something you are striving towards makes it more possible in your mind which helps you progress towards your goal at a heightened pace. Without a competitive streak, some of the most amazing achievements in history would never have happened.
Think Positive, Stay Focused
Having a mantra/idol/ quote which was a key motivator in your decision to change your lifestyle is important to many people. There will be times when your progress slows, you reach a plateau or you just have a terrible day/training session. Keeping this physical motivator close at hand will help you remember why you began this journey in the first place and help you to stay focused on the task ahead.
Conquer Perceived Limits
You are only confined by the walls you build yourself. Don’t let anybody or anything stand in the way of the thing you want most. You can find ways in your training to prove to yourself that you can go beyond perceived limits. For example, doing as many reps as possible in your final set or sprinting until exhaustion at the end of your cardio training.