If you've found returning to the gym after the Christmas holidays to be a difficult, almost impossible task due to waning or even non-existent motivation you're not alone.
At this time of year it seems that almost everyone finds it easier to slip into the baggy, loose-fitting winter clothes to disguise the winter pounds, snuggle up on the sofa with a cup of cocoa and a packet of cookies and watch the TV rather than getting back to the gym or starting that new diet.
The trouble is, as nice as that approach may sound at the time, it's the exact recipe for guaranteeing you'll add pound after wobbly pound of hard to shift fat, that you'll spend all spring and summer complaining about isn't it?
After all, isn't that the approach you took last year? And the year before that?
As tough as it sounds when the days are dark, cold, wet and gloomy, the only real way to guarantee that you'll arrive at the first day of spring in great shape is to start paying your dues right now. You've got to take action.
How do you get into the swing when it's the last thing you really feel like?
Here are 5 surefire ways to get yourself taking action on your health and fitness goals without making a huge chore of it. Who knows, you may even enjoy it!
1. DON'T Join a gym... unless you really enjoy being there in the first place
Let's be honest about it; most people can't stand gyms. We join them because we think we're supposed to because that's what 'everyone' does. (The fact that 'everyone' drops out of their memberships within a month is neither here nor there... apparently).
Most people don't like them, rarely go and when they do, they work way too hard for far too little result. So why bother?
Skip the gym this year until you've already established your fitness plan at home, in the park, at the pool or even just walking the dog or playing with the kids.
Activity is activity. Your body doesn't know the difference between a high tech gym machine or the rusty dumbell you keep under your bed so save your money and your time by training in the environment you most enjoy.
2. Keep Your Workouts Short and Sweet
It seems that 'typical' gym programs have been designed to fit into an hour... regardless of whether or not you have an hour to spare or whether you're fit enough to last that long.
Somewhere the 'a workout lasts an hour' rule has become cast in stone in the minds of many exercisers and even their personal trainers with many feeling that working out for anything less than this is a waste of time.
Look, if you can consistently and without fail workout for 10, 15 or 20 minutes a day every day you're doing yourself a better favor than going to the gym just 2-3 times a week for an hour, both physically and psychologically.
Besides, shorter workouts allow for a greater intensity, you can train harder, meaning that you'll get better results than those long, slow, boring gym sessions.
Besides, we all know that a gym hour isn't an hour, right? You have to travel there, get changed, train for an hour, get showered, get changed and drive home again. We're talking 2 hours or more! Forget it, keep your workouts short and sweet and save yourself the stress.
3. Don't Jump In At The Deep End
When most people start a new exercise program they tend to read about it in a magazine or workout manual (or hire the toughest trainer at their gym!) and go hell for leather from day one. Then they wonder why they're aching, sore, stiff and starting to dread their workouts more and more with each passing day.
If you haven't exercised in a while then maybe 10 or 15 minutes is all you need. Be kind to yourself. Keep some gas in the tank. Tomorrow you can do 16 minutes if you like and the day after you can do 17.
You wouldn't run a full marathon without building up your mileage through progressively longer distances so don't do it with your workouts. Build up. Enjoy it. Have fun.
4. Follow a Simple, Unambiguous Diet Plan
When most people start a new health kick they've the tendency to go for the diets with all the 'flashes, bangs and whistles', presumably in the hope that because some celebrity or other endorses it, it must be good. So they start it, get confused (or frustrated) and quit.
Don't fall for this failure trap.
Instead, choose a dietary system based upon simple principles that you can understand, that you agree with and that make sense to you. Once you've chosen it, commit to sticking with your plan and following it exactly for a predetermined period or you'll find yourself flitting from diet A to diet B whilst thinking about diet C. This is a sure recipe for failure.
Give it 30 days and then change it up if you have to.
(Download a FREE Copy Of My Elimination Diet HERE)
5. Set Yourself A Clear, Unambiguous Goal
Most people start their new programs with a goal of 'getting fit' or 'losing fat' and wonder why they never seem to see any appreciable results. The answer is simple.
It's near impossible to be motivated by 'lose some fat'. How will you know when you get there? Instead, set a clear goal with a definite time frame attached. 'I will lose 20lbs by March 1st is a definite goal you can measure your progress by. If you fall off track you can pick things up by doing more, working harder or eating stricter.
See the difference?
Be clear about what you want and, in all likelihood, you'll get it!
6. Get Rid of Your 'Fat' Clothes.
It's too easy to hide your physical condition in baggy clothes during the winter in the hope that no-one will notice how out of shape you've gotten. But YOU know don't you?
Stop kidding yourself, stop using the get out of jail free card and put yourself on the spot.
Get rid your baggies, donate them to charity, burn them even. Stop holding your fat clothes 'in reserve' in case you fail to lose the weight or, heaven forbid, put it back on. Don't allow yourself the option of failure and you won't fail. Simple.
7. Sweeten The Deal.
We all like rewards don't we? It sort of makes the whole effort we go through feel more worth it somehow, right? So offer yourself a bribe, an irresistible offer that you can cash in on once your goal is reached.
Maybe it'll be a big shopping spree for new clothes, a vacation, a new car or whatever else takes your fancy. Whatever it is, make it feel like a great big reward, something that'll excite you and use it as motivational fuel every time you feel like dropping from the plan.
You'll be amazed at what a little self-bribery will accomplish.
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From Less Than 30 Mins A Day Working From Home