I get asked quite often how I stay motivated to sustain a fit and healthy lifestyle for so long without going off track.
Of course I have cheat days, and periods of time where I lack motivation. I also have some days when my workouts just plain suck because I have no energy. With that being said, the best way for me to stay on track is by having fun with new challenges and always showing up physically and mentally.
One thing I am so thankful for was growing up under my Dad’s strict rule. I was never allowed to quit anything that I started.
If I started something that I realized I didn’t like or didn’t want to do anymore, I had to finish out the season or the program. Then I could choose not to do it again the following season. That small, simple rule has manifested itself in every part of my life – especially when it comes to health and fitness.
Nothing that you really want to achieve, including a fitness goal that you set, is going to just complete itself and show up wrapped in a box with a bow on top waiting for you to enjoy the results of the work that you didn’t do.
Now that colder weather has arrived, it can hinder your motivation — making staying in your warm bed much more appealing than gearing up for your workout. Like I mentioned before, having fun is a really big part of what keeps me motivated and has allowed me to stay just as enthusiastic and excited about being fit, healthy and active as I was when I first started.
For me, fun is trying something new. With the cold weather in full effect, how about trying some new classes at the gym? Maybe you have your regular routine that you do each week at the gym, or your favorite fitness DVD that you do at home every day, but can you and do you want to do that forever?
Spin class, turbo kick boxing, yoga, Pilates, Zumba or body pump? What will it be? Maybe you will try a class that you don’t like, maybe you will discover you like something that you never imagined you would find enjoyable.
If you show up physically and mentally, and unleash that desire to succeed no matter what the circumstances are, who cares if you never take that class again. At least you tried it.
Unfortunately, when it comes to fitness and health, nobody can make results happen for you. You get exactly what you put into it. So for me, it’s not about being addicted to working out and neurotic about what I eat all the time. It is about doing life and knowing that being fit, healthy and active plays a giant role in the quality of life for every human. It is about getting out there and really challenging yourself but having fun along the way.
There is a little over a week left in the month of December. Go for it, and try something new that perhaps you’ll love so much, you’ll add it to your workout routine and continue it into the new year.
Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.