2020 is right around the corner! If you’re anything like me, you are probably mentally preparing yourself for tackling those new year goals! I made health & fitness a priority in 2019, and I’ll be taking this to the next step in 2020. There are a few things I want to accomplish. This year, I’ve learned that motivation alone is not enough to meet long-term goals. Discipline is absolutely necessary to stay on track with a workout routine (or anything, for that matter)!
Kickstart the new year with these practices for discipline!
Focus On the Bigger Picture
It isn’t uncommon for people to work out because they want to get fit quickly for an important event coming up, like a wedding. Unfortunately, going into fitness with the wrong mindset or intentions will not be sustainable in the long run. Health & fitness is a lifestyle that must be worked into one’s daily life. Exercise because you love your body – not because you hate it! Focus on the bigger picture. You and your body should be on the same team working towards the best that you can be!
Switch Things Up
Find yourself getting bored? Don’t be afraid to switch things up every now and then! Variety keeps things interesting, and that helps with keeping motivation and discipline. Earlier this year, I LOVED Kayla Itsines’ 28-minute BBG program because it was so easy to follow and I got into the flow of things. Don’t get me wrong – I still love it because I saw great results while I did it. But naturally, after months of doing the same program, I was getting a little bored. Not in a bad way… but my body was just craving something different!
It’s actually beneficial to mix up your training. Once your body gets too used to one kind of workout, you may start to notice your “progress” taking a halt. That’s because what used to be challenging, your body has grown accustomed to. So switch up your programs. Try new exercises with a buddy. Consider incorporating a barre or pilates class, or a neighborhood walk into your routine. This will not only give your body a break, but also a good stretch! Finally, remember to listen to your body & go at your own pace.
Create & Stick to a Schedule
Humans are creatures of habit. Without even a loosely set schedule, we can end up sitting around wondering what to do next, or waste time being “bored.” By creating a schedule with blocks of time dedicated to various tasks throughout the day, you will be more organized and inclined to get through everything. Stick with these “appointments” as you would with any other important event. Once you get a hang of your own schedule, working out will be second-nature just like brushing your teeth before bed.
Set Realistic Expectations
Who doesn’t love and want instant gratification? The reality is, it takes time to reap the benefits of a healthy & active lifestyle. It is not possible to lose 50 pounds overnight, or to get rock hard abs in a week’s time. If it were that easy, everyone would be at their fittest! Honestly, if you are serious about fitness, you will make it a part of your daily life. You’ll make exercise a habit, and nourish your body with nutritious foods without thinking twice.
Track your progress, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t look a certain way by a certain time, or weigh a certain number by a certain date. One of my favorite ways to track progress is by taking pictures. Being able to visualize the growth can be very motivating to keep that discipline, and inspire you to keep pushing towards your goals.
Remember Why You Started
Ever feel like those last final reps are death? Because I certainly have! When I feel this way, I try my best to muster up the willpower to push through. Even though I feel like my abs are burning and I’m ready to give up, I remember my desire to build a stronger core. Giving up each time I feel exhausted would defeat the purpose! Of course, the exception would be listening to my body. If I felt like an exercise was causing injury, I would take a break to check my form, or stop altogether.
For me personally, I “started” because I HATE doctor’s visits and want to keep my body fit, healthy, and happy for as long as I live! Overall, living an active lifestyle and being mindful of the foods I eat are two pivotal ways to achieve this goal.