Ok, I have to confess there definitely should be more than just one 'again' in the title. The world is not ready for how many times I have uttered the words "my healthy routine starts again tomorrow". I feel it is a habit so many of us fall into, we complete one week of our healthy routine beautifully, then head into a drunken night out with a friend and before you know it you find yourself sat up in the morning wondering why you even bothered starting. Sound familiar? Or....Alcohol might not be your relapse, in fact, if you're anything like me, all it takes is a night in on the sofa watching Dr Foster and already you've polished off the entire packet of chocolate digestives, more appropriate?
Look I'm not saying that starting your healthy routine for the 100th time (in my case) is going to be easy, in fact, its really not but, it is going to be worth it. Pause for this cheesy motivation quote….
Yep there it is, and as cheesy as it may be it definitely is accurate. I began my healthy kick for the umpteenth time about one month ago and safe to say this is the furthest I have ever got. I thought I would share with you what I have been doing differently and maybe some of these tips will help you get the furthest you have ever gone too.
We’re all in this together, so why not help each other out.
TIP ONE - SHOPPING
Ok ok, maybe the title is a bit over the top, unfortunately, this is not just a free pass for a day shopping (although I'm all up for that). It's more specific than that, a great way to kickstart your motivation is to buy some new workout gear. I know it might sound weird but I always feel so much better when I have kitted myself out in new gear. It's almost like "new gear, new you", as cringe as that may it, it really does work.
If you have already splurged our on a monthly gym membership and are finding yourself on a tight budget, make sure you check out shops like TK Maxx, their selection of workout gear is so impressive with big-name sports brands in there such as; Stella McCartney, Elle sportswear, Nike and so on.
TIP TWO - FIND YOUR FITNESS TRIBE
This might sound like an excuse for a social, but honestly, I feel so much more motivated when I am working out with someone. By working together you can continue to push each other that little bit further than when alone.
If you and your friend are members of the same gym great, go sign yourselves up to some classes together. But, if like me you are not a member of the gym, no problem. My friend and I recently signed up for British Military Fitness (BMF) classes which take part on our local common and we are loving it.
Believe me, it makes it all so much more 'doable' when you have a friend to help you along the way, not to mention your guilt level rises from 30% to 90% if you miss a class and they didn’t. A great way to keep you on track. From CrossFit classes, to run clubs, to yoga groups, there honestly is a fitness squad for everyone. Find a workout that makes you feel good and surround yourself with people that help build your confidence as much as your strength.
TIP THREE - TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR TECHNOLOGY
Yep, This is going to sound like a weird one but, use your phone to set calendar reminders of scheduled workouts. Make sure the alert title is something that is going to get you motivated when it flashes up on your phone, so you don’t just turn it over and pretend you never saw it.
For example, our BMF classes start at 6:30 am (which for me is pretty much the middle of the night ) and I found it super hard to get up and find any motivation, so I started setting my alarms with titles like "Get up and get your summer body". I found that this way I couldn't just turn it over and ignore (I mean I definitely needed more than one snooze but eventually it got me up).
TIP FOUR - TRACK YOUR SUCCESS
You don’t need to go out and buy a specific "health book" I just simply use my everyday diary, an old notebook or your phone will do the perfect job
A month ago, I weighed myself and took my basic measurements (Chest, legs, waist, arms) and then every last week I did the same. There is no better motivation than to see your progress, it makes it all seem worthwhile and urges you to continue pressing on. My aim is to weigh/measure myself each month. If you don’t know how to measure yourself, see link here.
Another great way of tracking your success, yep this sounds crazy. But I use coloured highlighters, Green are the days I stayed on track, I worked out as planned and ate as planned, and then red is for the days I either didn’t work out or didn’t eat as I wanted. The first month has been really interesting to look back over, safe to say the first two weeks contained A LOT of red (self-confession time), however, now the green is really beginning to outweigh the red.
TIP FIVE - MUSIC
So this final tip has got to be for me, one of my best motivators. When I was running the London half marathon last year (bear in mind had never run more than 7 miles) I carefully selected songs which reminded me of particular phases in my life to give me a crazy boost of motivation to keep going. For example I am sure Ed Sheeran "thinking out loud" is not on the average persons running playlist, but for me it was our first dance song and so when it started playing at mile 10, I instantly got a zap of motivation as it made me feel like Joel was cheering me on, Sounds weird right? But honestly (for me) it works so much. When I am off out for a run I always load up my phone with my "motivation" songs, and off I go.
If you have the time and are doing a run/workout which really challenges you. I suggest strategically placing your most motivational songs into your playlist when you think you will need them the most. For example for me it was around 9-13 miles during my half marathon, so when you feel like giving up your "motivation" songs come on to give you a burst or energy and keep you determined.