|Guess which day my long run is scheduled for…|
Yup. It’s officially winter and I am already over it. Those who have the pleasure of running with me know of my *extreme* dislike for snow (don’t mistake me for one of those who wished for a white Christmas or who thinks snow is “so pretty”). The cold – I can handle (begrudgingly)…but the snow… no thank you! Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much of a choice, because here in Chicago we are getting both sub-zero temps and snow.
Notably, this time of year can also be the hardest time to keep your resolve. With the holidays over and New Year’s Resolutions quickly fading, it can be difficult to find any motivation to do anything that doesn’t include sitting under layers of blankets, cozying up to the fire, and doing a whole lot of nothing. However, this is also a great time to take action and get your body into gear for spring (and summer)!
Here are some tips that I find have worked for me to avoid the post-holiday rut and to stay focused on fitness:
Keep a Schedule
As I’ve said before, I am a full blown Type-A personality. I carry around a notebook full of lists (things to do around the house, things to buy, errands to run). I have found that I am most disciplined when I am following a plan, which is why I constantly seem to be training for something (or nothing). It’s not always about the end goal – but about the need to keep a schedule. For example, I am a lot more likely to get out of bed in the morning if I know that I have a 5 mile run scheduled as opposed to just knowing that I should wake up and go for a run. Some runners I know loathe rest days and can’t wait until their next run. That’s not me. I love rest days. I typically have to drag myself out the door every day. It isn’t until during the run, or even after the run, that I am excited about it.
Maybe your resolution was to do more yoga or to start lifting weights. The only way to turn this resolution into an accomplishment is to actually put the plan into action. For most of us, this means attending a few classes at the beginning of the year when we are feeling motivated, and then quickly tapering off. Don’t let your feelings dictate your workout. Instead, set a plan that can be accomplished on a monthly (or weekly) basis. Check out the schedule at your local studio or gym, and commit those days to your activity of choice. I am a firm believer that establishing a schedule is the quickest way for something to become a ingrained as a habit or routine.
Don’t Be Intimidated
Everyone has to start somewhere! Don’t let your fear of the unknown dissuade you from trying something new.
I was absolutely terrified when I started CrossFit this summer. I was a runner. I didn’t lift weights. And I especially didn’t like being bad at things. However, the concept of CrossFit had piqued my interest a few years ago (even before I started running again) and I knew that because of my need for a schedule, I would accomplish far more in a structured setting than I ever would on my own at the gym. After a few awkward classes of really not knowing what I was doing, I quickly picked up on the routine.
I still struggle with being *bad* at it. But I am extremely happy that I faced my fears and started. The best part of being new to a sport or activity? You can only get better.
Accountability is key. I can assuredly tell you that if I didn’t have my Whole 30 Support Group there would be no way I would have stuck it out this long. It’s a lot easier to slack off on something when nobody knows. I have found the same thing with my running. If I have plans to meet with someone, I am far less likely to hit the snooze button.
Aside from relying on others – keeping a workout journal also helps. When you write something down, it helps you to feel more accomplished (and helps you to track your progress – which makes it more likely that you will see improvement and stick with your plan).