Having motivation to workout is easy at the beginning of the year or when you initially make any health goals. However, keeping motivation high as time goes on is difficult for most people. Making a long term impact on your health requires more than exercising for a few weeks, it takes constant long term dedication.
In order to keep your motivation after the New Year, follow these tips not just for the first few weeks but all year long.
Write your goals down
Motivation when you first start exercising is fresh in your mind. However, as time goes on, motivation for working out can grow faint.
Other time commitments start to become a stronger priority and making time for exercise can be harder.
Writing your goals down can remind you throughout the year of why you are exercising.
Whether its weight loss, a faster running time or increasing muscle mass, constantly remind yourself of why you need to keep exercise a priority.
Write your workout goal down and keep it somewhere you will constantly see. When temptation comes to not exercise, seeing your goals should give you extra motivation to stick with it.
Make it a priority
Exercise is a priority when you are motivated in the beginning. However, as the weeks and months continue on through the calendar year, exercise can get lower on the priority list.
A key to maintain workout motivation throughout the year is to keep exercise a high priority from January to December.
Schedule your exercise sessions and put them on the calendar. Set the standard in your brain that your workout time is just as important as any other meeting or priority.
If you do need to move it, reschedule it in your calendar. Continue this habit from the beginning of the year to the end, and going to work out will not be such a battle as the calendar year unfolds.
Don’t rely on your feelings
At the beginning of the year, you want to work out because you are motivated. However, as the New Year resolution high can wear off, you won’t feel like working out some days which is normal.
Don’t decide to work out based on your feelings because when you don’t feel like exercising you need to still be able to motivate yourself to go.
Instead of exercising based on your feelings or motivation level, decide to exercise because of your goals and because you are making this a priority.
Think of exercise as something you automatically do like eating, sleeping, working, yard work, etc.
You would do these things even if you weren’t “motivated” because we all have daily obligations to get done.
Exercise can also fit into the category of getting it done even if you don’t feel like it. Plus, after exercising, you will not regret it!
Just starting exercise can be the hardest part to overcome, so if you can get around this, your chances for continued motivation all year long can improve.
Have social support
Having a support system that can give motivation and encouragement when yours is low can be very helpful. Social support can be a constant motivation for exercise; if you know you are meeting other people for exercise, you will be less likely to skip when you don’t feel like going.
Other people can also help remind you of your goals and why you are exercising after New Year’s high wears off.
Having social support can encourage you when you feel like giving up or are frustrated you are not making gains towards your goal.
A key for reaching any goal is long term consistency. Losing motivation for exercise through the year can jeopardize your results even if it seems you are not making any progress to your goal.
Having a social support system can also keep you honest about your exercise habits and if you are being consistent. It’s easy to skip exercising just because you don’t feel like it, but if you have to tell someone you will be less likely to skip.
Maintaining workout motivation all year long is something many people need. Motivation for exercise is high the first few weeks after the New Year, but unfortunately after that exercise patterns can return to old habits.
In order to keep motivation high long term, start with writing your goals down. Keep it somewhere where you can see it on a consistent basis to remind yourself why you are exercising through the year.
Don’t expect to exercise only when you feel like it. Implement early in the year to exercise regardless of what you feel like. Keep your exercise routine a priority and if you need to cancel make sure to re-schedule on your calendar.
Lastly, have a social support system in place to give you encouragement, extra motivation and accountability. It’s easy to let exercise habits slide when you are only accountable to yourself, and it’s easy to get discouraged on your own.
Having people in your life you can share your goals with can help keep you on track to improving your health.