We are well into 2014 and by now many of those gym goers that eagerly signed up on 2nd January are starting to fall by the wayside. Enthusiasm is wavering and after work drinks are taking over. So where have you gone wrong and how can this be rectified?

Too Hard Too Soon
Enthusiasm, passion, commitment. All of these buzzwords are key to success in anything, especially when that something involves getting up earlier and sweating profusely. However, too much enthusiasm will often result in the fabled ‘burn out’. So if you feel like your new found fitness regime is becoming a bit of a chore; take a step back and think of ways to make it more exciting. Reducing your training load is not necessarily a backwards step if it means that your schedule is more sustainable.

Keep it interesting
Routine is good to an extent, but not when boredom sets in. Boredom is one of the main problems faced by many of those who embark upon a fitness related New Year’s resolution, but is easily resolved. The main issue is that people are not proactive in preventing or indeed remedying boredom. They just allow themselves to get bored.  It does not take hours of research to switch up your training. Here are a couple of ideas:

Instead of running on a treadmill, try going outdoors. It might be cold but you’ll soon warm up and a sunny winters day will leave you feeling invigorated. This is not some sort of sadistic prank!
Bring a friend. A bit of company never hurt anyone!
Instead of doing sit ups, try the plank. Extend your hold time everyday and have a little competition with yourself.
Bored of squats? Try some weighted lunges, or some box jumps.

Be Flexible
As soon as your New Year’s resolution starts to become a chore you will find yourself on a very slippery slope. It is a imperative that you allow some flexibility in your life. That is not to say that you completely disregard any structure, after all, it is this structure that often gets you out training on those cold Winter mornings. However, you don’t want to feel like you are missing out on fun with your friends just because you have a weights session in the diary!  It is a judgement call, and takes will power. Be flexible…..but not lazy.

Set a Goal
Without a goal you can find yourself wandering aimlessly around the gym with the already mentioned lack of motivation. Goals give you something to train for. They justify the hard work that you are putting in. You don’t have to pick something grandiose like swimming the channel (although that would be awesome!), but you do need to set something to work towards. Maybe a 5k, a certain weight or body fat percentage. You need to commit to your goals and let it help with motivation. You could even do a personal trainer course at somewhere like Be A Better You – it might be my inner geek coming out but I always find things more interesting when I know more. Plus, you could earn a little bit of cash out of it and keep fit….nobody trusts a fat personal trainer!
Finally, and by far the most important tip: HAVE FUN! Kids love sport because they enjoy it, so why does it have to become this overbearing issue as we grow older? If you like ballet, do ballet. If you like football, play football. Just get out there and enjoy yourself.

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