Sticking to your New Year’s fitness resolutions? It is far easier with motivation and a concrete, realistic plan.
There’s a lot that goes into creating a consistent exercise routine… having a goal, creating a plan to reach that goal, staying disciplined, and motivation (possibly the most important element in reaching any fitness goal).
In a recent article You Might Be Doing Your New Year’s Resolutions All Wrong, author Libby MacCarthy helps identify bad habits and how to replace them with healthy ones in order to set more realistic resolutions.
For example, after a long day at work or at 5:00 am when your alarm goes off, without a specific, workable plan, that is designed with a tangible goal, your focus will falter.
But why is that? Where does your motivation to workout come from? Why do some people make resolutions, stick with them, and succeed? Because the people whose success stories we hear and read about utilize both types of motivation; extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic motivation is the kind of motivation we usually associate with fitness… the “I have to work out so I can lose weight before summer” mindset. You are relying on outside factors to motivate yourself to exercise, not because you actually want to exercise or enjoy it.
This can work short term, but what happens when you don’t start seeing the results you were hoping for quickly enough? You might become discouraged and your motivation might drift.
On the other hand, intrinsic motivation comes from within, meaning, you may want to reduce some health risks like lower your blood pressure or your cholesterol levels. The benefits of achieving intrinsic goals are only for yourself.
Other intrinsic motivations that lead to successful New Year’s resolutions include:
*Loving the feeling of increased energy * Higher dopamine levels (the chemical that makes you happy) * Increased heart health * Increased oxygen saturation * Turning your brain off and refocusing * Decreased stress * Increased strength * Alleviate lower back pain * Increased self-esteem *Increased VO2 Max (how well your lungs function) * Increased cardiac output * Discovering and mastering new skills/techniques * Increased joy
Intrinsic motivators will keep you coming back to your exercise routine because it’s all about enjoying the feeling in your body when you do the activity… like the pump you get from lifting weights or the runners high you get from taking a long jog. Intrinsic motivation is what creates habits that stick.
As you begin to make a plan for your New Year’s workout resolutions, keep in mind that both kinds of motivation are important. Once you have identified your specific motivators, you can develop an exercise routine you actually enjoy that has measurable, specific mini goals that will benefit you in the short term and set you up to reach your long term fitness goals.
Step 1: Dig a little deeper and figure out the long term “why” behind your fitness goals. If you do this, you’ll be able to pull strength from that place on days that your motivation is harder to summon.
Step 2: Be prepared. A few sets of dumbbells, a kettle bell and a cardio machine is all you need to set up a mini home gym.
Play It Again Sports ~ Brentwood has everything you’ll need to reach your new years fitness resolutions.
* Please consult your doctor before beginning any new fitness routine.
Feeling inspired? Leave a comment below about your motivation finding experience.
Stop Into Play It Again Sports ~ Brentwood for NEW and Gently Used Dumbbell, Kettle Bell and Cardio Options:
Play It Again Sports ~ Brentwood
1701 Mallory Lane, Suite 350
Brentwood, TN 37027
Hours: Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm; Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Sunday: 12:00pm – 5:00 pm
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