Sponsored - Every New Year, gyms across America see an influx of new faces, streets are filled with enthusiastic new runners, and living rooms get new fitness equipment. As the weeks progress, those once hopeful goal-setters lose motivation and living room accessories intended for healthy living become clothing racks, running shoes get pushed to the back of the closet, and the gym membership tag dangles loosely in the midst of jingling keys.
And yet, there are people who go to the gym and eat healthy consistently, leaving the rest of us wondering how they are able to stay motivated and on track and do this “fitness” and “nutrition” thing. Eating healthy and working out is not only physically tough, it is also mentally draining, to say the least. The truth is, those people are not always motivated as you may think…. The big misconception is that the fittest and healthiest people are the most motivated, but in reality, they have developed the best habits. It is not their motivation that keeps them on track, but rather their habits that continue to propel them forward. It is not what you do sometimes, it is what you do most of the time that will determine whether or not you will reach the goals you have set for yourself. The truth is, motivation does NOT create results. HABITS lead to RESULTS, which lead to MOTIVATION.
Here are some quick fixes to help you get back on track and create strong habits along the way.
- TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. Before we start with the habits, let me start by reiterating that your mental health is very important, and that you are not alone with your struggles. Most of the benefits of exercise are NOT what you see in the mirror, and statistics show that people who exercise just for the enjoyment or to de-stress, tend to have a more positive body image and stick to eating healthier longer. YOU ARE MORE THAN A NUMBER ON A SCALE, and the scale shows you nothing about your worth as a human being.
- GO TO THE GYM. This one seems simple, yet it gets overlooked so often. With resolutions, most people want to start out at 110. They try working out every day as hard as possible and eating super healthy with no mistakes. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works, especially if you are just beginning. There will be mistakes and mishaps. You will stumble and get off track from time to time. The most important part of creating a habit, is showing up. Show up to the gym, even if it is to come in, take a look around for 5 minutes, and leave. Just show up.
- DO WHAT YOU ENJOY. Do you absolutely hate running? Don’t run. Do you hate jump ropes? Don’t jump ropes. Do you not want to give up carbs completely? Don’t do keto. Rather, find something you do enjoy, and start there. Working out is hard enough, so the last thing you need is more unwanted stress, and a newfound hatred for the things you are already not looking forward to doing. Once you become consistent at going to the gym, and you have created the habit, then you can start doing the things you dislike to get better at them.
- THINK SMALL. Don’t go crazy at first. Workouts do not have to last 2 hours, and you do not have to be extremely sore the next day. Soreness is not an indicator of a good workout. In the same manner, if you eat the way you are eating now, but start by adding an extra serving of veggies at each meal, that is a win. When you have mastered that, move on by expanding from that place. The goal is to think small because small goals and small successes lead to BIG changes.
Remember, habits are created slowly, not all at once. They are what keep you going when you’ are not motivated or “feeling it”. Understand that you did not gain weight and/or get out of shape in a day, so you should not expect to get back in shape in one day. Get in the habit of living healthier and putting yourself first because it couldn’t be more worth it, not to mention that keeping your freedom of movement and pushing off preventable metabolic diseases that are plaguing the world are added bonuses to a healthier lifestyle.
If you are ready to take that next step, visit me or one of the other trainers at the Louisiana Athletic Club. We offer state of the art equipment, group fitness classes, indoor swimming pool, personal training sessions, and more. You can find out more at louisianaathleticclub.com.