Lauren Caggiano is a Fort Wayne-based copywriter and editor with a nerdy passion for AP Style. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, thrift shopping, fitness and travel. Learn more on her website: www.lovewriteon.com.
Motivation isn’t a bottomless well. Rather, it’s more like something that needs to be replenished every now and then. Yet the good news is that motivation begets motivation. When you get a handle on a habit, it becomes second nature and part of your routine, even.
Still, getting started can be the hardest part. Anyone who’s committed to a new fitness regimen can tell you that. Some days are easier than others to follow through, especially if you’re still working out from home. As the days become shorter and the temperature starts to dip, our drive can be waning at the same time. What to do? Take a cue from the scientific community and try these tried-and-true tips when the going gets tough:
- Find an accountability partner. If you don’t have one already, making such a connection can help you see to your goals. He or she can help keep you honest and give you a pep talk when you’re feeling not as optimistic about your progress.
If you’re finding you might need a neutral party to push you and help you fast-track your goals, working with a certified personal trainer can yield results. He or she can custom design a program that takes into account your age, lifestyle, abilities and goals.
- Lean into novelty. Tired of the same ‘ol? It’s easy to get burned out on a fitness program if it’s there’s no room for modifications or variety. For instance, if you usually work out alone, you might consider a group fitness class. Also, don’t forget that toning down the intensity is perfectly OK — and necessary. You don’t have to go all out every session to get results. Plus, doing something too fast and with too heavy of weights can spell trouble. You might check out these home workouts for inspiration.
- Reward yourself. Sometimes we need an external driver to stoke motivation. But be careful about how you go about it. Food shouldn’t be used as a reward, for a whole host of reasons. Don’t fall into the trap of eating something calorie-dense, salty, or sweet, just because you worked up a sweat. Exercise should be its own reward and when your brain starts to associate movement with food, it can prove to be an unhealthy dynamic. Instead, you might carve out some time for a hot bath, your favorite TV show, a good book or some other pleasure.
- Internalize success. If you’re feeling low, it helps to take a step back and reflect on past wins. Whether it’s hitting short-term smaller goals or more substantial ones, there’s always something to celebrate and help carry you forward.
You’ve got this!