Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. But what about once you have, and day one, day two, and day three are in the books? Maybe even week one, two and three? What if you have to miss a workout, or you really want a cheat meal? How do you keep the motivation going? To me, this is the hardest part, but here’s five tips to help you keep things moving in the right direction:
- Delay gratification – If you’re really craving sweets, or a particular food, think about how it would feel to eat it. Now, think how you’ll feel after finishing it. Notice the difference, then wait an hour. If you still want it, indulge for today. If not, you just beat the craving.
- Give yourself a cheat day – This may seem to contradict the above, but you should allow yourself a cheat day every once in a while. We only have one life to live – you can’t spend it avoiding the things you love for fear of putting on extra weight. The key here is moderation.
- Envision your “ideal self” – Whether you’re trying to convince yourself not to miss a workout, or to get through a tough one, try imagining that you look like what you want to look like. See yourself in your minds eye as having your ideal body already. Now, envision yourself- in your ideal body – finishing that tough workout. You know that it won’t come without hard work, now get to it!
- Promise yourself that you can stop after 10 minutes – When you’re feeling like lounging rather than working out, your mind does a really good job in convincing you that you can just make up for it tomorrow. Instead of letting that happen, make a deal with yourself – work out for 10 minutes only and you can stop. You won’t have to do any more. Nine times out of ten, you will do your entire workout.
- Remember how good you’ll feel AFTERWARD – This ties in a bit with delaying gratification, but try to recall how accomplished you feel after a good workout. Remember that the only way to get that feeling is to actually work out. Go for it and grab hold of that good feeling!
If you’re having one of those tough days where you find it hard to get out there and get your workout in, or you’re freaking out at the office over whether or not you should have that cupcake, think back to these five tips and keep things going!
~Martin Arroyo, CPT