The end of February is usually the critical point for the New Year resolutions: either you made it, or it is a bust.
In the first case, congratulations. You made the right choices, and your fitness program is enjoyable and is now second nature to you. You are seeing the first results of your hard work. The first and hardest steps have been achieved and you are working on your next goals. Keep your motivation up by making sure it remains fun by enrolling some friends to go along, spicing up your workouts, registering for some fun events and watching your health and fitness improve along the way.
In the second case, it is time to reevaluate and start again. What did you enjoy, and what was too hard and/or painful? Adjust your goals accordingly. It might be that you set too lofty goals, you did not enjoy the activities, you got injured. Whatever the reason, adjust and start again. Any day is a good day to start. Here are the steps to get you back on track and keep your motivation up:
- Just start. The sooner, the better. In swimming, that first step might indeed be the hardest one. Who likes to undress and get wet in the cold winter weather of the Pacific Northwest?
- Think positively. The Nike slogan says it all “You can do it”. It might not always be easy, but you can do it, and it is worthwhile
- Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with some rewards along the way. What about a massage or your favorite food, a night out with your sweetheart or just taking a day off?
- Feel a sense of gratitude. If you are thinking about starting a fitness program, you are probably better off than most of the world population. You are probably relatively healthy, living in a non-war zone, having enough to eat, and enjoying life in a free world.
- Reduce your to-do-list. Stress is a major factor in keeping up with a new routine. Learn to say no, and keep your life as simple as you can. You cannot solve the problems of everybody.
- Make your goals exciting and enjoyable. Your goals must be small, measurable, and reachable in the short term. Once achieved, design new ones and build on the previous ones. If you cannot achieve them pretty quickly, adjust them accordingly, mostly make them more exciting and enjoyable. The more fun you have, the more you will work at it.
Start again today, enjoy the journey, have fun, and reap all the health benefits.