Have you ever started living a healthier life, doing regular exercise and having a more balanced diet only to find yourself falling back into old habits after a few days or weeks? If so, you are not alone.
Turning a new healthy lifestyle into a habit doesn’t happen overnight, but the good news is that getting there may be easier than what you think. Here are 5 simple tips that you can implement into your life to get yourself started in training and stay motivated:
1. Take baby steps
Set short-term goals that are achievable, specific, attainable, time-bound and measurable. Building better habits takes time and dedication, but when you set specific goals to work towards and can measure your progress, you help yourself stay on the right track during the process.
Overambitious objectives that will take long time to accomplish could make you give up on the way. On the other hand, celebrating small victories will help you stay motivated. Eventually, the small steps will add up and lead you to achieve bigger and more ambitious goals.
Be gentle with yourself and bear in mind that it’s OK to miss one of the small steps from time to time, just don’t use it as an excuse to also skip the next one.
Also, take the time to perceive and enjoy the immediate positive outcomes of your physical activity. In the long run, your goal might be to lose weight or to build muscle, but chances are that you will feel better right after a good workout – perhaps healthier, happier, or more relaxed, and this can be a goal itself too. Focusing on the immediate positive impact of your training sessions will make your workouts more meaningful and will help you stay motivated.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others
If you compare yourself to others that might be stronger or in better shape than you, you can easily begin to feel inadequate and lose motivation. But remember that they were also beginners once and have probably had to work hard to get where they are.
On top of that, people are built differently from nature. Some people simply get fit more easily than others. But even if you’re not that lucky, you can still improve and get in better shape. Therefore, compare yourself to only yourself and enjoy every bit of progress you make, no matter how big or small. They are all steps on the way towards your goals.
3. Schedule your workouts and stick to them
Allocating specific times in your week for your workouts can be really useful. Put your workout slots in your weekly calendar and treat them as if they were meetings or appointments that you cannot miss. This will avoid you ending up not finding the right time for your training sessions.
To make it even easier for you to stick to your workout routine, you can also prepare for your training sessions beforehand. For instance, having your bag packed and ready the night before, or putting your gym clothes and trainers in your bag and taking it with you to work if your workout takes place right after your work schedule.
In case unexpected commitments prevent you from training within your allocated time, there’s no need to get frustrated – just find another time slot in the week to compensate.
4. Make it social
If having an appointment with yourself isn’t enough of a motivation for you, maybe having an appointment with another person would make it much harder to cancel your workouts.
Join a club or find a friend or a family member who wants to train with you on a regular basis.
Making your training sessions something social is not only a great way to stay motivated, but also to meet new people or to spend more enjoyable time with your loved ones.
5. Make it fun
Forcing yourself to do something that feels like an obligation will make you lose motivation soon. If you make sure your workout routine is playful and fun, it will be much easier for you to get it done. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do, the key is that you do something that is good for your mind, for your body and for your mood. And for this, you need to enjoy doing it.
Find a sport or activity that you like, possibilities are endless. Some people get high on the energy and camaraderie of a soccer match while others enjoy the meditative solitude of weight training. Don’t be afraid to try out different activities until you find the one that you enjoy the most.
Additional tip: Get the right fuel for your body
What you eat and drink is the fuel that keeps your engine running. The right nutrition will support your body and provide you with important nutrients and energy to keep you active and motivated. Therefore, you need to eat healthily every day.
Protein supports your muscle and bones development and strength, and also contributes to optimise your performance and enhance your recovery. If you want to make sure you get enough protein, whey protein, which is derived from milk, is a very convenient source. Whey protein contains all the essential amino acids needed by the body and obtained only through diet, such as leucine, known to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
Here on WheyForLiving.com, you can find plenty of delicious recipes using whey protein in order to pack your dishes with extra high-quality protein.
Now that you have learnt these simple and effective tips, what are you waiting for to get your new healthier habits started?
Charles Duhigg: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, February 2012