“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going”
Today I want to talk about the ever important “m” word — motivation. When we talk about health and fitness, there is no escaping this word and it can mean different things to different people. The one thing that is great about motivation (especially if you’re a newbie), is that it can help to kickstart your healthy lifestyle. There is nothing more exciting than buying all new gym gear, stocking your fridge with wholesome ingredients and getting all your #fitspo images together. Motivation is that conversation between you and you friend about how “this time, we are going to stick with it”. It can leave you feeling happy, excited and ready for what’s to come. Then reality hits. You have a long day at work, you have an argument with someone, you’re tired, it’s raining, you just want a day off… Whatever the reason may be, there will always come a point where motivation wears off, and the realities of life make it more and more difficult to get out of bed and go workout.
Did you know that 50% of people who start a new fitness program quit within the first three weeks?
Whilst I think it is great to feel excited and ready to start something new, to want to challenge yourself and do better, don't be fooled by what motivation makes seem so easy. If you start a new fitness program or make new goals for your life, don’t expect it to be smooth sailing the whole way. As I mentioned earlier, there will be obstacles that may slow your progress or make you want to give up. Rather than giving in to these, and searching for that motivation that has fizzled out, it is important that you learn to rely on your habits.
This is one of my biggest tips and something that I think can help you to reach your fitness goals — create healthy lifestyle habits you can follow. This is SO much more important than motivation in my eyes, because there are going to be times where you don’t WANT to work out, but you just do it anyway because that’s a part of your routine. Making something a habit can help you stick it out, even though you may not be feeling like you want to at the time. This combined with a little bit of tough love never hurts. Sorry, just keeping it real, girls!
Here are my tips on achieving your fitness goals and creating healthy habits:
Just Do It
I totally understand there are moments in life where you just don’t want to do anything, let alone workout. While it is okay to give yourself a break when your body needs a rest, try not to make a habit out of not working out “because you don’t feel it”. The best thing about exercise is that it releases feel good endorphins, so that you almost always feel better after it.
“Wow! I really regret that workout!”
- No one ever.
If you are feeling a bit down or angry, you may be surprised as to how therapeutic a workout can be. Another thing about “just doing it” is that this can help make the habit stick, so exercising will eventually become second nature to you anyway.
Make Small Changes
One of the biggest problems I see is girls trying to change multiple aspects of their life (for example, their diet, training routine) and then giving up shortly after because they feel overwhelmed. The trick here is to start by making one to two small changes, and once you feel that it becomes a normal part of your life, begin to change something else.
For example, if exercise isn't a regular part of your week then start small by going for a walk once or twice a week. Once you establish this as part of your routine, try adding in a resistance session and so on. Don’t try to rush in and do everything at once because it may prove too difficult to maintain at the beginning!
Be Kind To Yourself
Following on from the point above, I’m sure that we’ve all heard the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. The same thing applies when you’re trying to establish healthy lifestyle habits! Sometimes bad habits can take time to rewrite, so it is important that you are kind to yourself during the process. If you have an off week, then that is okay! Rather than focussing on what you did “wrong”, focus on what you can do better next week.
This also highlights the importance of setting goals that are realistic for you. If you place too much pressure on yourself, then it can leave you feeling bad about yourself and your efforts if you fall short. The trick is to not to aim for perfection, but instead to aim for balance.
Beginning a new healthy lifestyle journey can be challenging and there will be ups and downs. While motivation is great to help get you started, it’s what you do when your motivation starts to run out that really counts! Start slowly and aim to establish a lifestyle that you are happy to sustain for as long as you live! And most importantly, be kind to yourself and enjoy the journey.Love, Kayla xx