It’s that time of the year again, the time where we pretend like the previous year never happened and we can just start fresh. But it did happen. We did eat all those chocolates in one sitting even though we said we’d only have one. However, it's a new year and there are a plethora of opportunities to make some change in our lives. I think the most common one is to really try and create a fitness routine that we can stick to for months, perhaps becoming the dreaded New Year Newbies at the gym, huffing and puffing away as our fit counterparts glance over casually in judgement.
That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but that anxiety is always with me when it comes to embarking on a new workout routine. I’m sure many people are like me and are a bit nervous about putting these ambitions out there, but I’m here to say that you’re not alone. I too look at Fitspo and feel somewhat annoyed at myself, but I’m also realistic and know that my lifestyle won’t allow me to have legs like a gazelle. Nor do I really want an insanely muscular physique because that’s just not me. What I aim for is something natural and achievable, just enough to help me release stress in the long run. Who’s with me?
WHAT STOPS ME FROM FEELING MOTIVATED
I think it’s important to address a few of the things that stop me from really feeling motivated to achieve certain goals I set. Sometimes the expectation I set is silly, but sometimes I am just plain lazy and that is a habit I would like to break this year, both with regards to fitness and to my hobbies (this blog included). The main roadblock I encounter is convenience. I used to run a lot on the treadmill in my parent’s basement, but now that I’ve moved out I no longer have access to good cardio so effortlessly.
And the last thing I want to do is step into a gym full of strangers watching me (social anxiety?), so I opt to run at a typically empty track near my apartment during the summer after work. But during the winter I don’t feel that the indoor workouts always cut it for me. First because of space, and second because sometimes I’ll get annoyed at the Youtube instructor trying to motivate me through the screen . Irrational? Yes. Is that realization enough to knock me to my senses? Not really.
I’ve noticed, however, that the main roadblock is myself and the mentality I go into my workouts with. Sometimes, it feels like a chore, and sometimes it feels like I need to treat myself afterward because I did something good. Both those ideas are problematic when I physically have to will myself to get off the couch on chilly winter days. I think that a lot of the time we focus on the end goal of a fitness challenge and that seems very overwhelming, but taking it day by day would make things a lot less stressful and…perhaps….even fun.
Below I’ve decided to outline a few things I will be doing/ saying to myself to maintain some motivation as we remain in the winter months. My headspace and mental wellbeing is more important to me than any physical aspects, so it’s important to cater to those first and work on changing my perspective. I think these can be just as helpful to anyone else going through the same tumultuous relationship with working out as I am.
1) You will always feel better if you stick to your goal instead of doing what feels good short term (ie. Eating chips and watching true crime documentaries)
2) It’s okay to let people know you don’t feel good at the place you’re at and are planning to better yourself
This is not a weakness, but rather shows strength in being able to admit that sometimes you need to improve yourself.
3) You will always have the option to do something different; it won’t go away because you are pursuing this path instead
I definitely suffer with FOMO now that the online world is at our fingertips, so I find that I will skip doing something that makes me feel mentally and physically good just to keep up with social media so I don’t miss a beat.
What will you be doing to stay motivated this year?