December is the hardest month to maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise regimen. With a drastic change in habits, a mountain of tempting, rich food and so much to do it's easy to let things slide. Then when January comes around it all seems so much harder. What’s the best way to make sure you stay on track? How do you keep motivated over Christmas, stick to your goals and be a little bit healthier into the New Year?
It's no good saying that you're going to stick to the gym over December, you need a plan to make sure that happens. Without a plan you'll let stuff slide. Pretty soon you'll get distracted and forget that commitment you made. You need something to strive for that you can measure. If you were driving to the seaside for the weekend you'd know how to get there. In fact you'd make sure of it. If you drove off without a map or no idea where your hotel was you'd never get there. With a specific, measurable goal you know where you going. You'll have a clear idea how you're going to get there and, most importantly, you'll know when you've done it.
Choose a goal that may only take you a few weeks to achieve and not to difficult to do. Then, when you've got there you’ll feel great about yourself and ready to set another goal. By looking at the big picture (e.g. losing a few stones) it seems so far away that you’re more likely to lose enthusiasm and give up. Remember the bigger your goal is the harder it will be to achieve and the longer it will take.
The Accumulator provides you with a realistic goal from day one. Whatever your motivation is for starting in the first place, The Accumulator workouts and the healthy eating plan will make sure you stay there with daily, weekly and monthly targets.
A great way to keep you focused is to write down what you aim to do. Pop your goal on a post it note and put it somewhere you can see it every day. This will constantly remind you of the promise you have made yourself.
You could also tell people what you're doing. The more people that know what your goal is the more they will ask about it. So the more you will feel a responsibility to achieve it. We do this at The Accumulator too. Every member of our team joins a private group so they can encourage each other to achieve their goals. We also keep tabs on your progress from HQ and get in touch if you're falling behind to see where we can help.
The human brain is built to crave variety. We hate doing the same thing week after week. Why then do I see so many people doing the same workout time and time again in the gym? Don't you people get bored? Well, yes you probably do; and you're probably not seeing results either. These are two more things that can lead to falling off the wagon and not achieving success. Vary your activities to keep your brain interested. A training plan built on variety will also help you to achieve your goals quicker than just doing the same old routine every time.
The Accumulator loves variety. In fact we teach you something new every day so you don't get bored and at the same time you become stronger and more capable at the exercises you've been doing already.
If it's hard to find time for exercise it will quickly become less of a priority. So you need to make it a major part of your life from the start, even if it’s only in bite sized chunks. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity. Put it in your diary. You can also be more active throughout the day. Be creative! Take a walk during your lunch hour. Take the stairs instead of the lift at work. Park the car further from the office and walk the rest of the way. Try and find as many ways as you can to be more active every day. You could even try doing squats while you brush your teeth in the morning.
The flexibility of The Accumulator means you have all day to choose the best time to work out. And because it takes little time to do, you will have a hard time failing to fit it in somewhere.
Be part of the team.
Exercising with a friend is a great way to keep you motivated, especially if you're aiming for similar things. Why not get some help from an expert too? When you need your car fixed you go and see a mechanic. Got a toothache? Go to the dentist. Yet when most people aim to improve their fitness or lose weight they try to do it alone or with no help from a professional. A coach will help you establish some achievable goals and make sure you stick to them safely. However don’t just run towards the first trainer you see as some are much better than others. Ask about their qualifications and experience. Pick a trainer that’s in demand. They are busy for a reason.
The Accumulator comes with not just one coach but a team of them. I have over 12 years experience in the industry and share my experience writing for a number of fitness magazines as well as coaching other fitness professionals. Working with me are experts in nutrition, osteopathy and more. Together we all provide essential information on how to eat right and move right. We are there looking after you every step of the way. Plus we constantly keep tabs on everyone taking part and know when they are losing motivation.
Be aware of your progress.
Whatever your fitness goal, hopefully, it will end up changing the way you look. Whether you want to lose a stone, get a six pack or run a 10k race, all of these goals will ultimately have an positive impact on the shape of your body. Start out your journey by recording your shape. Step on the scales, measure yourself around the waist (at the belly button), the hips and chest. Write down your results and check them once every 4 weeks. When you start seeing results you will want to carry on.
Seeing how you looked when you started out on your journey can also help to keep you motivated through those dark days when you're contemplating throwing in the towel. So, strip down to your undies and take a photo of yourself from head to toe (or ask a close friend to do it for you). Then keep it somewhere safe (very safe). If you're working hard enough you'll start to see the changes in a matter of weeks. Just make sure your photos don’t find their way onto Facebook.
If you start your journey unsure of whether you’re going to reach your destination at all you’ve as good as failed. A positive mental approach is key for success. Don’t try to lose weight, you are going to do it. Don’t tell people you are having a go at running, tell people you are running a 10k race in April. By constantly thinking in the positive and knowing you are going to achieve your goal without fail, you are more likely to succeed. Tell as many of your friends and family as possible what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it and post updates on social media. By involving as many people as possible it keeps your intentions at the forefront of your mind and makes it your number one priority.
The Accumulator is a team. You are sharing your progress with everyone else taking part. Being part of a team of like minded people will ensure you stay on track and succeed.