We’ve all been there: when June finally arrives you try on that new swimsuit and say “I really wish I had stuck to my fitness commitments back in April.” Not to worry. That’s just part of being human, and it isn’t limited to the onset of summer. Vacations, special occasions, weddings…they all motivate us to think about getting in the greatest shape of our lives, but actually getting in the game and putting in the work is another story. Whether the big event is two months away, six weeks off, or just around the corner, it is easy and comfortable to keep putting off the tough stuff, telling ourselves we will buckle down on the challenging workouts and healthy eating tomorrow or next week.
But, the countdown to Memorial Day Weekend has begun and this year can be different. Now is the time to get into tip-top shape for beach/pool season, and together we can stick to our goals. Here are a few pointers to help stay on track:
Take no sympathy. Most of our excuses are self-generated, and we must take charge by not giving in to them. The truth is, there is going to be a potential excuse every single day. There is never really the “perfect day” when we aren’t stressed, busy, hungry, full, etc. and are just beaming with energy. Sometimes we have to be our own trainers and coaches, so push past that nagging voice that’s telling you it’s okay to cut corners today.
Shut out the “tired” voice. To the same point as above, do not allow yourself to surrender to being too tired to exercise or to put in your full effort. Imagine yourself leaving that “I’m tired” in the locker with your keys and belongings while you go workout. You can pick it up later (or let it go completely), but for the 30-60 minutes you are working out, just ignore it. Clear your mind and let your only focus be how powerful you are, as you reach for a new level in your fitness.
Plan your workouts in advance. “The busy schedule” is one of the most common reasons people have for skipping a workout. Create an exercise plan for the week – look ahead at your calendar and decide when you have some available time. Even if it’s only 20 minutes, find a way to fit something in. Try a Tabata-style workout, which alternates short drills of high-intensity exercise (plyometrics fit in great here) with longer periods of lower-intensity movements (such as resistance training) and only takes 10-20 minutes.
Log your weekly progress. Summer will not feel as far away if you check your stats on a weekly basis and record your results. Keep track of your weight, measurements, strength and endurance and set new goals for yourself as you advance in your program.
Find a few classes you enjoy and that challenge you. Make it a priority to get to them each week. Classes are a great way to make fit friends and together you can keep each other motivated.
Make a mental list of the reasons you want to stick to your fitness goals. What are you looking to achieve, and why? Take note of the times you didn’t want to workout but did it anyway and felt accomplished afterwards. Use that as motivation.
Think of every workout as having value and impact. Each one can be “the one” that makes the big difference, where you push yourself harder or realize you are stronger than you thought. Why risk missing out on that?
Tell yourself that you deserve the time and effort. If you want to step up your fitness, make it happen. Keep this in mind: working out may not always feel comfortable, but neither does sitting on the sideline, not getting to the place you want to be. So, if there is going to be a little discomfort either way, choose the option that will have a rewarding end result.
Do not set limits for yourself. Remember that everyone started somewhere, and you are capable of making fitness whatever you want as it applies to your life. You get back what you put in when it comes to working out.
We all have a clean slate and new opportunity to be our greatest, healthiest and fittest selves, this summer and any time we want. Leave a comment below this story if you would like any additional motivation or coaching.
This story is originally seen on Karina's Fit Zone.