We are to that point in the year (already!) where the enthusiasm over New Year’s Resolutions begins to wane. The goals that started out as great intentions, a fresh start, a new outlook, just don’t seem so bright and shiny and exciting anymore. Or maybe you are one of the 8% who is hanging tough, working toward your goals. (Yes, just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions!) Will you be one of them?
I have a great group of runners in my Online Boot Camp that started January 1. We’ve been talking about what we can do to stay motivated. Often “I just don’t have the time” becomes the mantra. And, sometimes, it’s true. We need to step back, rest, relax and spend time with family, rather than pile on more “stuff” to do. Only you know if that’s you. Chances are, a little clean eating and a bit of exercise will improve your outlook and energize you.
If you, or someone you know, falls into this category, change your mantra to find success. Here are some things you can do to change the mantra from “I just don’t have the time” to “This lifestyle is a priority.”
If you are a morning exerciser (or want to be) here are some things you can do to get off on the right foot:
- Set out your workout clothes (some people who have difficulty getting up even sleep in them), shoes and any gadgets and gear you need.
- Meet a friend. Plan to meet a friend. (You wouldn’t bail on someone who is expecting to see you, would you?)
- Text / FaceTime / Skype / Call. Having trouble getting out of bed? How about asking another early riser to make some noise by forcing you out of bed to communicate?
- Set the alarm across the room, preferably next to your shoes.
- Rely on your calendar. This one is so simple, it seems cliche, but it has saved many a workout for me. If the workout is important, get it on the calendar. I have a masters swim class I like to attend twice a week at lunch time. I kept missing it because I was scheduling lunch dates during that time. Now, it’s on my calendar where I won’t forget.
- Know the workout you will do. Don’t waste time trying to figure out what exercise you will do. Get out of bed and get it done. I use Final Surge to schedule workouts for my clients, and each night, they receive an email with the next two days’ workouts. Wake up. Follow the list. Log the results. (They have free athlete accounts, and there’s even an app)
Chunk it up:
- Use a checklist. Know the workout you want to complete for the day. Then, check off each piece as you complete it throughout the day. This works great for body weight exercises. Let’s say your list is: 2 sets of 60 second planks, 25 squats, 30 lunges, 50 push ups. You could knock out the planks before you leave for work, the squats during a conference call, the lunges on the way to your car for lunch, and the push ups to break up the monotony of doing dishes or laundry at night.
- Think in 10s. What can you do with just 5-10 minute increments? If you are starting a walking or running program, walking a few times a day for 5-10 minutes is a fantastic start. You are not locked into a time consuming workout just because the magic number of 30 minutes has been drilled into our heads, or because your friend is logging 6 miles a day. Think about a 5-10 minute walk around the building during your break. Walking the stairs for 10 minutes over lunch, if you work in an office building, 10 minutes of body weight exercises while you help kids with homework. It CAN be done, if you find ways to work fitness into your life in little chunks of time.
Get the family involved:
- Exercise with your family. Of course, the best way to make fitness work is to exercise as a family. Everyone’s involved. Everyone has similar goals. It’s a built in support system. But in the real world, that doesn’t always work: different schedules, different abilities. different commitment levels, different paces.
- Include them in your plans. At a minimum, include your family and friends in your plans. Tell them about what you’re doing and why it’s important to you. Ask for their support in achieving your goals. Once they understand your fitness goals are important to you, hopefully they will help you find ways to make even more time to exercise.
So much of our success is dependent on the stories we tell ourselves. Change the story you tell yourself to:
I can do this!
I want to be fit!
This lifestyle is my priority!
I am good enough!
I did my best today!
What are your tricks for making exercise a priority? And what mantras should we add to the list?
If you want more help staying focused and motivated, join one of my Online Boot Camps. The next one starts February 15, 2015.
Kim Peek is a running coach certified by RRCA, USATF, Lydiard and Newton Running. She offers one-on-one and online group coaching. Visit her site at www.PowerOfRun.com or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PowerOfRun