I have been getting an unusual amount of questions lately about how to stay motivated, or what to do to get on track after repeatedly falling off the “fitness wagon”.
FITNESS CRAZE SEASONS
It seems fitness crazes are, for the most part, an annual event. Which means that slacking off your disciplined fitness program is also cyclical. Typically, the biggest fitness booms – diet and at-home exercise equipment infomercials, as well as gym membership sales – skyrocket after the holidays, around the start of the new year.
This lasts for about a month or so, until the initial enthusiasm wears off and “regular” life starts to creep back in. Then Valentine’s Day rolls around and healthy snacks are replaced with heart-shaped chocolates. Then there’s Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and so on. So the next big fitness craze cycle comes shortly after Easter, when the realization hits that you didn’t stick to your New Years’ resolutions again and summer (swimsuit season, eeeek!) is approaching fast.
How does this keep happening?!
STOP THE MADNESS
Now that I have painted the picture, can you see how you might have slowly gained a few extra pounds year after year after year?
Even if you go through weeks or even months of dieting and exercising, then go through periods of eating like crap and not exercising at all, it can cause you to gain a few (or more) extra pounds a year. Not to mention the long-term damage this can do to your internal health, physically, mentally and emotionally.
So … how can you stop this madness? Here are a few ways to keep yourself accountable all year long, without continually falling off the fitness wagon:
1. Get Rid Of The Wagon
You’ve heard this many times before, but it must be a lifestyle change, not a temporary diet and exercise fix. By adopting life-long healthy habits, you eliminate the wagon all together. Therefore you have no wagon to get on and off of.
2. Stay Away From Extremes
Extreme diets and/or exercise programs are one of the best ways to ensure failure. You freak out because you gained weight, then you react with desperation and an unrealistic program that no human could continue for a long period of time. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to a healthy, long-term fitness program. You won’t get results over night, but nothing worth-while ever comes fast or easy.
3. Rely on Self-Discipline, Not Motivation
When it comes to working out, I am rarely motivated in the general sense of the word. I don’t get pumped up or excited or fired up often. Most days I don’t make a big deal out of going to the gym, I just go. Some days, I procrastinate or maybe even have to talk myself into going. But I always end up going and always have a good or maybe even great workout. I would say that 90% of the time, I rely on self-discipline, not motivation, to get me to the gym. Motivation is a fickle, fleeting thing that will not be there as often as you’d like, or even when you need it the most. But self-discipline will get you there every time … as long as you are self-disciplined enough to use it, lol! For more about this topic, read the past Tip Me Tuesday: It’s Self-Discipline, Not Rocket Science.
4. Find Accountability Or Support
It may not be easy or even possible for you to stay on track by yourself, and others are most likely in the same boat. Find some kind of buddy system or support network or even a coach or trainer to help keep you accountable and on track! Many of us have no problem letting ourselves down, but wouldn’t dream of letting someone else down.
There are so many past blogs and vlogs on this site that touch on this topic and could help turn a light on for you if this is something that you struggle with. Here’s a great vlog Nicole did last year before the Holiday season – Strategies & Tips To Stay On Track.
Tip Me Tuesday: Work That Muscle
Tip Me Tuesday: Happiness Leads To Success
Tip Me Tuesday: Give It A Rest
Tip Me Tuesday: Health Before Fitness
Tip Me Tuesday: Focus On Action For A Better Outcome
Tip Me Tuesday: Fight The Fear
Tip Me Tuesday: The 4 Cs
Tip Me Tuesday: Are You Really Hungry?
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.