On the 6th Day of Fitmas…
As cliche as it may be, Nike’s right.
I think one of the hardest things to do when you start a fitness plan is sticking to it. You start to get tired, lazy, unmotivated. You have one bad day and then that one day turns into two. Then you’re like, well hell, I’ve already messed up I’m just going to stop trying.
It’s happened to me.
But, even though you might have an off day or two or three, it’s important to still believe that you can do it. Sure it takes discipline and that might be something you haven’t mastered yet, but with practice and some strategizing, it’s possible to make staying healthy become a part of you.
Some things that have helped me:
Outlining a Plan—I knew once I started training for my marathon I’d have a day to day plan of what I would have to do. This reeeally helps me because I just look at the calendar and oh, it says I have 4 miles today? Sounds good! I just do what it tells me no questions asked. It disallows for negotiating. The calendar says 4 miles. That’s it. Do it.
This can work even if you’re not training for a race. Let’s say you want to work out at least 3 times a week. Choose three days of the week that work best for your schedule and just do it. It’s Wednesday, your calendar says it’s gym day cardio—go! I find it best to also have something specific in mind. Again, it prohibits you from having to think too much about it.
Tell Someone—A lot of moms in my online group tell me that the biggest reason they’ve been able to stick with it this time is because of the daily check-ins we do. There’s something about knowing you’ve said you were going to do something that makes you do it.
So, tell your husband, tell your best friend, tell your co-worker, tell anyone that you’re planning on working out later. The chances of you going increase because if you don’t go, even if they don’t even ask, you know that you didn’t keep to your word.
You can also tell that person to call or text you to see if you actually went. Or, ask them to go with you!
Have (realistic) Goals—Working towards something helps make sure you stay on track. For me, it’s fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes. You’ve seen glimpses of my closet; I have a lot of clothes. There is no way I’m going to let my wardrobe gather any more dust nor did I want to invest in any clothes not my pre-pregnancy size. To the gym I went. I’m pleased to say I’m exactly 10lbs away from pre pre-pregnancy weight (remember, I’ve had two kids in less than two years!). It’s taken a lot of work but I have this goal engraved in my head. I wanted to do it the right way, the healthy way, and I’m almost there!
Have Fun—When it becomes boring, monotonous, an inconvenience, sticking to a fitness plan isn’t going to happen. So, make sure to spice it up. Buy yourself some workout gear. Find a race to sign up for. Challenge a buddy. Do different things in your workouts so that you look forward to them. It could be as simple as using a new machine at the gym, mapping a new route for a run, making a new playlist—there are so many ways you can liven things up so that you’re always having fun.
This is going to sound weird but just the other day, to spice up a treadmill run, I used a treadmill on the opposite side of where I usually go. That was it. I had a different view and that helped spice things up for me that day.
At the end of the day, the most essential part of staying disciplined for me is allowing room for error. I know I’m going to have some rough patches; I’m a stay at home mom! But, knowing that tomorrow’s another day keeps me going. I might miss a workout or two here and there—that’s not going to ruin what I’ve started. The important thing is to actually start.
–What helps keep you disciplined with your fitness?
–Is this something you struggle with?