January is officially over. Whether or not it was dry, meat-free and filled with ‘a new me’ ambition, is up for debate. What is true is that as time passes, certain resolutions fall by the wayside. A friend’s February birthday, and suddenly you’re back on the prosecco. A visit to your parents and once again you’re having a series of Sunday roasts on a weeknight. A few new clients due to the fresh month, and your gym membership quickly gathers dust.

But it doesn’t have to be this way; exercise shouldn’t get be an obstacle to more important things. Instead, it can live in harmony with the rest of your daily commitments; fun, invigorating and socially enriching. With all this positivity in mind, here are 5 IDEAL ways to stay motivated when getting fit.

SET MANAGEABLE GOALS

Too much, too soon, all too often leads to ‘too tired to try’ in the exercise game. Just like anything new, appreciate that you won’t be an expert at it right from the start, so it’s best to start slowly and learn the right techniques to enable you to work out successfully, without doing yourself damage and discouraging further commitment to the cause.

By jumping in at the deep end when the shallow one doesn’t even contain water, you’ll find that your body responds negatively; your muscles will ache, and it might be difficult to move properly the next day. This means you won’t want, or may not be physically able, to work out again for a little while. As getting fit is such an incremental undertaking, an early setback risks putting you off entirely. So, don’t overextend yourself at the start; take it slow. Ripped Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.

 

…AND SPECIFIC ONES TOO

Exercising simply to ‘lose weight’, ‘get fit’, or ‘be healthy’ is great, sure,  but it doesn’t exactly provide you with the motivation you need. Instead, have a real, tangible, measurable, specific goal in mind. Getting fit is wonderful, but in what ways do you want to get fit? These are your goals. You might want to be able to run five kilometres by a certain date or within a certain time; an excellent – and specific – goal. You may want to increase the amount you can lift by the final Sunday of each month; again, an easy to visualise target and a great way to keep the motivation going over time. Enlisting the help of a personal trainer at somewhere like OriGym can help you tailor those specific goals to suit your needs very precisely.

PUSH THROUGH THE EXCUSE BARRIER

There’s always an excuse lurking in the back of your mind, ready to spring its sucker punch and knock you back onto the sofa. But exercise is so habitual, and gets so much more manageable with each completed session, that reverting to these excuses is the enemy of improvement. A little of every day dedicated to keeping fit is eminently possible if you don’t allow excuses to get the better of you.

GUILT TRIP KIT

Most exercise will require at least a pair of trainers, and perhaps other special clothing such as a tracksuit, running shorts, weight-lifting gloves…you get the picture. Although it may seem a little off kilter, having the right kit can be a great psychological trick and motivational tool; giving you the impetus to exercise and guilt tripping you if you’re ready to offer up an easy excuse…’you’ve spent all this money on the kit, so use it’.

HONE IN ON THE HEALTH BENEFITS

It’s 2019, and aesthetics matter. We all want to look that touch more toned, there’s no denying. But looking great in Instagram beach snaps shouldn’t be the sole driving force behind your fitness regime. It’s important to focus on the benefits that exercise will be doing to your mind and body too. Regular workouts have been proven to alleviate the symptoms of depression and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Remember it’s not only about looking good but also feeling better and living longer too.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.