Originally posted on Sixtyandme.com
With the new year upon us, it’s time to think about how you’re going to stay motivated with your fitness routine. Looking for a few tips? Well, look no further! Here are five tips to keep you motivated and set yourself up for success this year with your exercise goals:
1. Set small fitness goals and keep track of them
First, create a list of small goals you want to accomplish over the next year. Then put your list in front of you and set a calendar reminder to check in on them every few weeks. You can use these reminders as a way to celebrate any achievements along the way so that you stay motivated! Example goals could include:
- Making it through an entire Pilates class
- Walking 2 miles without stopping
- Attending your exercise class 2x week for the month
2. Find an exercise program that FEELS good for you
The benefits of finding an exercise program that feels good for you are immeasurable. It’s important to find a routine that will help keep you motivated and on track with your goals throughout the year. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering which fitness plan is right for you:
Do I enjoy doing this activity?
How does it make me feel physically?
Does this feel like a chore?
I find this is probably the biggest secret to success in your exercise program. I know for many of my clients in my Online Pilates classes, they show up each day because of how good Pilates feels in their bodies. Losing weight and looking good is only part of the reason to exercise. Being able to move with ease, feel more confident, have an improved mindset and the energy to keep up with your active lifestyle – that’s the real goal.
3. Plan your movement ahead of time
When you know you have a specific time set aside for exercising, it’s easier to make sure it happens. It helps to plan what kind of workout you’re going to do, but even if you don’t know exactly what will happen—just having a general outline makes it more likely that you’ll follow through.
If your schedule is busy and packed with appointments and work commitments, consider finding other times in your day that could be used for exercise: before dinner or when getting up in the morning are both excellent options.
When planning a routine for yourself, try to give yourself some leeway with regard to how long (or short) each session lasts—this will help keep things focused and stay consistent in your workouts. Remember sometimes less can me more!
4. Find an exercise format that suits YOU
During the pandemic many people were forced to find different ways to exercise, whether that included joining online classes, taking your workouts outside or taking up a new sport such as golf or tennis. What it taught us is that there are many different ways to exercise and to see results.
I know many of my Pilates members found me online during the pandemic and have grown to love Pilates classes online.
For many it helps take away the excuses. When the class is in your living room you can just roll out your mat and get moving. No need to worry about finding a parking spot, dealing with rain or snow, having to get to class early to get your favourite spot or deal with over crowded classes. You can even workout in your pajamas!
Plus, you have more flexibility with your exercise program when it is online. You can choose to do as much or as little as you want. A nice added bonus depending on how your day is going.
If you are struggling to find an exercise format that works for you, I would encourage you to try several and see what sticks. Exercise can look very different to everyone.
5. Reward yourself
Our brains are not wired to exercise, they are wired to preserve energy so that we will survive. All those excuses to not workout make sense now, right? Luckily, you are not alone. When this happens it is helpful to encourage yourself to move with rewards. For example:
- Reward yourself for a week of exercise. Whether it’s with a long bubble bath or an episode of your favorite show, treat yourself after completing a week of exercising.
- We ALL miss the odd workouts but what’s important is to not stop
- Here is my number one motivational tip and it’s a simple formula:
- Complete a workout = a reward
- Miss a workout = no reward
- The next workout = double reward yourself
This trains you to stay consistent and rewards you for not missing 2 workouts in a row.
I hope these tips have been helpful to you in your journey towards a healthier, happier you. Remember that it’s not about reaching an end goal; it’s about the journey and how you feel along the way! If you are looking for a routine to help get you started I have created a Standing Pilates Workout to Improve your Balance, Strength and Coordination below.
Christine Kirkland is a Certified Pilates Instructor offering online Pilates classes. She specializes in helping adults to increase their balance, strength, mobility and feel their best every day.