Its January...and most of us are thinking about one of two things, taxes and fitness.
I think that losing weight / fitness is probably the most popular New Years Resolution, and probably the most likely to fail. Why? Because people give up. They give up when it gets hard or inconvenient. They give up because the motivation that got them started seems to fade away.
So I was thinking about what in my past has helped me stay motivated. What has worked and what hasn't worked for me.
One thing that does not work for me is anything that I consider a "fad" diet. No shakes, pills, or other miracle fixes. Long term success for me depends on simple lifestyle changes.
I want to emphasize that overall fitness and health is more important to me than just weight loss.
Let me add here that I am not a doctor or fitness expert. I am just sharing what works for ME.
So here's my list, hope it motivates you in some way.
- Limit morning time on computer to 30 minutes. I usually get a cup of coffee and sit down to Facebook, Pinterest, or other social media on my laptop. Sometimes this can actually be up to 2 hours! Wow, useless wasted time and I need to be moving in the mornings not sitting in my recliner with my laptop!
- Get a good cardio workout at least 4 times a week. By "good workout" I mean one where I sweat...a lot, and that lasts at least one hour. My workouts also need to be a good mix of cardio, strength, and yoga.
- Use gadgets and apps. I love these and because I think they are fun they can help me stay motivated. I download the MyFitnessPal app on my phone and so far I am loving it! But I know I will be lazy about using it as time goes on so my goal is to keep it updated for at least 30 days. I also ordered a good heart rate monitor. BTW, I also love a good workout music mix and have downloaded a few from rockmyrun.com.
- Take note of what will motivate me and use that! One simple thing that motivates me is putting little gold sticky stars on my calendar when I stay on track. Another is watching The Biggest Loser on TV. So I need to buy some gold stars and I have set the DVR to record TBL series just in case I miss an episode or so I can watch again.
- Plan, plan, plan my meals. If I don't plan and prepare I know I will eat whatever is in the house, healthy or not.
- Stay hydrated. This of course includes drinking enough water, but also means cutting back on anything with caffeine or lots of added ingredients like preservatives.
- Keep fruit in the house. Fruit is fast food after all and I need the fiber and vitamins. If its here I will eat it.
- Get outside! Yes, its cold but the sun is not evil, in fact it is good for us in the right amounts. Sunlight improves mental outlook and provides a lot of vitamin D. Even in the winter I can take the dogs for a short walk or find some other way to be in the sun and fresh air for awhile.
- Talk to others who are working towards the same goals. This helps me stay motivated and learn new things. It also allows me to motivate someone else.
- Reward myself when I reach small attainable goals. For example this week my goal is to get to the gym at least 5 times. Now I need to figure out a suitable reward, maybe a pedicure! Rewards for larger goals can be something like getting a message or new clothing.