It’s that time of year again: the days are getting longer and the winter coats are going back into storage (most days). Spring is one of the best times of year to reignite your fitness motivation. Here are five simple, actionable tips to help you get started “springing” back into fitness.
Get a new playlist. No matter how much you loved your old workout playlist, listening to the same thing gets boring fast. Not only is boredom demotivating, but boredom also motivates you to overeat. You don’t have to make your own playlist. Your music streaming service adds dozens every month.
Use your calendar. Before the week starts, schedule your workouts, specifying day, time, place and what. This increases follow-through by at least 200 percent. Otherwise, the time you need to take care of yourself is at the mercy of everything else — work, family, TV. Bonus tip: Make the appointments recurring so it’s easier to manage your workouts each week.
Clean up your kitchen. If it’s in your house it’s in your mouth. We will eat whatever is most convenient. By keeping cookies, ice cream, etc., in your kitchen, you create an environment where eating right is a challenge. Get rid of what you don’t want to eat every day, replacing those items with supportive foods, such as fruits, vegetables and protein. Sure you can still treat yourself to a cookie, but not every single day.
Get a program. “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client” is true in fitness as well. When you’re in charge of your own fitness program, that usually means you will do only what you feel like doing. Rarely will this be all of what you need. Having an expert call the shots helps you get better results and frees your brain up for other tasks.
Shift your focus. Outcome goals are things like “lose 20 pounds.” Process goals are things like “clean out my kitchen” or “strength-train three days per week.” When you focus primarily on the outcome, you are always frustrated; you’re never going to get there fast enough. What’s worse is that this frustration often leads to jumping from program to program without ever getting meaningfully closer to your goals. The more you focus on the process — and on getting better at implementing these behaviors — the better your outcome will be. It doesn’t happen the other way around.
*A best-selling author and fitness expert, Josef Brandenburg owns True 180 Fitness in Georgetown. Information about his 14-Day trial may be found at true180.fitness.*