Had a stressful day? Feeling a little rubbish? Feeling unmotivated? Skipping fitness sessions when life gets busy is something we all do from time to time, myself included. It's OK to give yourself a break sometimes but the secret to success when it comes to your fitness goals is consistency. Set a plan, prepare and if you achieve 80% your going to be a long way towards where you want to be.
Here's the tips and tricks that I myself use everyday that really help me stay on track when I am feeling life's pressures getting in my way.
1. REMEMBER YOUR WHY
It's sounds so simple and I am sure you've heard it before but how often to you actually stop to really think why you started? You might say something like 'I want to lose weight'. OK- but what do you really want? What will losing weight do for you?
'I'll be happier' - why? 'I'll feel more confident when I dress up to go out or in my swimwear on the beach' -
GREAT - we are getting closer. What will that mean for you? 'When I don't feel as self conscious I will relax and enjoy myself more and I will play with my children in the sea instead of staying hidden under a sarong'.
These why's and what's are going to be different for everyone but you get the picture. Break it down and get to the route of your reason and connect to the feeling you will have when you achieve it. As extra motivation, write that feeling you want down and then place it somewhere you will see it regularly, like in your purse.
2. FOCUS ON HOW YOU WILL FEEL
So you've had a long day and you feel pretty tired/rubbish/stressed. BUT you know from past experience that you don't feel like that at the end of your class. You feel much more relaxed after you taken your brain away from the stresses of the day even for just an hour. Making time for yourself in this way is very important for mental well-being. Your more likely to feel extra rubbish knowing you've skipped a planned session.
When was the last time you did a workout and thought 'I really regretted that?' I am going to go with a hunch and say never.
3. SCHEDULE, PLAN AND BE REALISTIC
Make Sunday evening your time to plan and book your classes or maybe a Friday but choose a time that you can stick with each week. Take a look at what time to really have available or where you could make time. Do you really need to watch a programme on TV or would life go on quite happily without it?
Be realistic! I see a pattern with new clients time and time again. They go from no fitness classes to something every night straight away. It's great to see their enthusiasm but it's often too much to change to their schedule at once. They miss a session, feel failure and the whole plan falls to pieces.
Plan to start with one or two session a week for a month, when you know you can fit this in you can add more if you want to. Or you could have a back up eg. I'll do Monday and Wednesday but if I miss one, I know I can go Thursday. Start small and don't over commit!
Book your sessions in for the week at www.up-fit.uk/book-a-class
4. TRICK YOUR BRAIN WITH VISUALISATION
I use this trick a lot for many situations in life, not just for fitness. Your brain is not as smart as it thinks it is. It cannot tell the different between imagination and reality and it hates to be proven wrong. If you visualise yourself in the class that evening your brain will take it as a given that it is going to happen and will make adjustments during the day to make this a likely outcome. If this sounds little far fetched, I promise you, psychological studies have proven it to be true. I am sure you have heard of athletes visualising their win or people using the 'power of the universe' to conjure their wants. You can use this same psychology to your own advantage on a daily basis. Personally I take a little time out each morning to write down how I want my day to go, visualise it happening and imagine how I will feel.
5. TELL SOMEONE YOUR GOING
Your partner, children, a friend, call your mum, send an email to your colleagues. However you want to do it doesn't matter. Following along the same lines as tip number 4, saying it is going to happen will make it so. You could even ask your friend,child, partner to help with keeping you on track. Having accountability goes a long way. I've even heard of people introducing forfeits into the equation or you could do the opposite and reward yourself for hitting a set number of sessions that month.
You can use me as your accountability partner if you like. We will agree a realistic goal and work together to help you stay on track. You know where I am.
6. GET YOUR KIT ON
This one is my favourite because it's so simple but works so well. If I have a morning workout planned I get my clothes an kit bag out the night before so I am already in the mindset that I will be getting up and working out.
For an evening session make sure you have your kit ready before you leave the house for the day. As soon as you return home, before you do anything else at all, put it on. You'll be less likely to slob on the sofa for the night when you have your 'get up and go' gear on.
I hope you find some of these tips useful for fitness and other areas of your life. If you have any others that work for you please add them in the comments. I am sure someone else will also find it helpful.