After the indulgences of the holiday season and the start of a new year, it's common to feel a little down or in a funk. Especially when it seems like everyone else is on a bandwagon and overcrowding the gyms.
But don't let that hold you back from reaching your fitness goals.
Most people find themselves in a fitness rut every now and then. Sometimes they seem to last forever! This is completely normal. But, it's important to get your motivation back to continue making progress.
At this point, yeah, I know! -- but, how do you do this?
Avoid THE single biggest trap that no one ever talks about (but everyone falls into).
Here's the cycle everyone (yes, everyone) falls into at some point in their life. Especially when it's something new.
It's called the cycle of misery. It goes:
Frustration. Overwhelm. Depression. Quit.
It begins with lofty, unrealistic expectations (e.g. "6-week 6-pack"). And then, (to no one's surprise) results don't match what you hoped for. Naturally, you become frustrated. Nothing seems to work. The effort you're putting in, doesn't seem to add up. You get overwhelmed, because you think "how could I do *even* more than I'm already doing?" Because you can't. Then, it's simple. F-this. I quit.
Notice how this cycle has nothing to do with fitness.
It has everything to do with the results expected.
But, who can blame you?
With every Instagram hottie and Tik Tok superstar flexing online, it seems like it should be easy. Why is it easy for them and not for me?
Ask them! Everyone's fitness journey is different. Lift the veil to get the information you need to be successful (not just the story you want to hear).
Don't ask about their diet or routine (you can Google those). Ask more pointed questions about how long it took to get results. What mistakes did they make early on that they would change if they started over. What they do when they don't "feel like it."
After a few rounds of this you'll come to find a common truth among those who chase results vs. people who have them:
Abs or not, for year-round gym-goers, fitness is a top priority.
Not a want.
Not a hope.
Not a prayer.
This means saying no to things that don't improve your health and yes to things that do. Everything else can wait until after your workout, run, or healthy meal.
And if that sounds tough -- it is, only if you *expect* it to be.
Truth is, you can prepare yourself mentally.
List the obstacles to prioritizing fitness, and brainstorm solutions. For instance:
Break out your day in hourly chunks and look for time. A healthy fitness journey can start with 20 minutes 3 times a week.
Don't go it alone. Join people at the gym instead of happy hour at the bar. This can provide healthy competition and motivation (and make it more fun too).
Hate the 'work?'
Instead of thinking of it as a chore, view it as "me" time. If you're having fun, you'll be more likely to stick with it.
Create a playlist that will pump you up. And, if you're swimming, try some underwater gear!
Worried about injuries (future or current)? Have no idea where to start? Feel like you need help?
Consult a trainer (like me).
And so on...
Remember, it's okay if you're not great at a new activity right away. But do yourself a favor and set yourself up for success with the right expectations. It's never too late to start.