‘This year I’m going to be the fittest version of myself yet’. Hands up who’s made this resolution. It’s one of our favourites too. However, mustering the motivation to get out and train during the cold winter months is nothing short of challenging. We’ve come up with some tried and tested tips to help overcome the hurdles and keep you on track to smashing your goals.
Set a schedule
The idea of a workout sounds pretty good. But when it comes round to actually getting ourselves out the door; whether that be getting to the gym or going for a run; central heating tends to lure us back inside. How many times have you, the night before, set your alarm to get to the gym, only the next morning to hit the snooze button 10 times?
The consequences of doing this in lieu of your workout is frustration and a year-old personal best. However, do this for work and you’ll probably get fired. This all comes down to priorities. Therefore, why not treat your workouts like an important meeting and mark it in your calendar. Electronic or paper, it’s whatever works best for you. The feeling you’ll have when you tick it off as ‘done’ will make prioritising your training totally worth it.
Make it interesting
Nothing kills motivation quite like the same mundane workout. Therefore, it’s important to mix things up and keep it interesting. For example, why not take a different route on your run, or give a new resistance exercise a try? Check out these workout ideas if you’re stuck in a rut.
Another way to stay committed to your training is to partner up with a friend; having someone to keep you accountable is one of the best ways to keep going when things get tough. Equally, it’s awesome to celebrate successes with someone else who understands how hard you’re working and what it’s taken to achieve certain milestones.
Even if you’re going at it alone, make sure you still talk to your nearest and dearest about your goals. Work colleagues, family and friends can help to cheer you on and will be more understanding of some of the choices you make; for example, choosing to go for a workout over a trip to the pub after work.
Extrinsic motivation in the form of social support and praise can be hugely effective. However, why not give yourself a pat on the back for doing well too? Nothing beats the intrinsic glow of knowing you’re sticking to things. However, it also doesn’t hurt to think of some rewards you can treat yourself to for sticking to your schedule. They don’t have to be big; for example, if you make it to the gym all four times you’ve schedule this week, treat yourself to a bundle of Swisse Me smoothies, or buy that foam roller you’ve been wanting to try.
Set goals and track progress
Last but by no means least, one of the best ways to stay motivated is to set a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timed) goal and track your progress towards meeting it. For example, a SMART goal may be to run a 5k in under 25 minutes eight weeks from now. Write this goal down and circle it several times. Now, track your progress towards meeting the goal; for example, by using a running app.
No question; being able to keep your training up during the cold winter months is challenging. However, the above tips and tricks are tried and tested ways to maintain motivation all year-round. See you at the squat rack!