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13 Mental strategies to help you stick to your new workout routine

Let's face it: It's much easier to make fitness decisions than to keep them . We all have the best of intentions on January 1, and as the year goes on, we lose strength, confidence, and motivation. What seemed so feasible a few days or weeks ago – going to the gym five days a week / with a half-marathon / coming up with a solution here – can somehow turn into something impossible. And while it's easy to focus on life, the story in our minds may be the biggest threat to a realistic solution.

Well, what if this year was different? Here, exercise experts share the mental techniques that help clients stay on track with their fitness goals when they feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and / or otherwise unmotivated.

. 1
Concentrate on just bringing you to your workout.

Often it is the hardest part of a workout, easy to get to a facility or a room to actually train – and not the exercise itself Kellen Scantlebury DPT, CSCS, founder of Fit Club NY tells SELF. "Just showing up is more than half the battle," he explains. Instead of worrying about the actual workout – how hard it can be or how tired you feel afterwards, feel it – deal with the only logistical task of getting there.

"Once you get there, you'll feel so much better just because you make the effort to get there," says Scantlebury. This mini boost usually gives you the mental boost you need to start training.

. 2 Be patient and play the long game.

"At the beginning of the year, there is this rage [to achieve fitness goals]," says Maryam Zadeh, Certified Personal Trainer and Founder of the Brooklyn-based HIIT BOX SELF. With this rage, it's easy to expect results right away. They do a week of hard work in the gym and then get angry if you can not do a perfect push-up yet. However, in reality, perfecting the push-up may take weeks or even months of hard, consistent work, depending on your current fitness level. This discrepancy between expectation and reality can be seriously demotivating.

A better approach is to acknowledge that lasting change does not come from one day to the next, and that if you are patient throughout the process, you see the results in the long run. Remember it every time you start getting annoying. Good things take time, especially when it comes to fitness.

. 3 Stop thinking all-or-nothing. The all-or-nothing approach is common Stephanie Mansour a Chicago-based certified personal trainer, versus SELF. People either believe that they have to do a workout exactly as they thought it would – a full 60-minute intensive work, for example, at 6 am – and if any element of this plan falls apart (they wake up at 6:30 am on) B. instead of 5:30 am), throw in the towel completely.

The problem with this black and white thinking is that impossible rigid standards do not allow for adjustment when life is on the Internet path. And it goes on. Failure to comply with our too high standards will result in "much discouragement and overstraining," Mansour explains.

It may be good if your training plan is structured when things are not going well. In that structure, instead of believing that you've inflated your training for the day, you should be able to do as much as you can – even if this is only 10 or 5 minutes. Mike Clancy, NYC-based certified strength and conditioning specialist, says SELF.

"Ten minutes are better than five and five minutes are better than zero," he explains. With this attitude "it's not about having perfect training every time," says Clancy. "It's not a mistake if you have not hit every target." It's about consistency over weeks, months and even years. Just getting up at a certain time – even if you have not actually made it to the gym – can be considered a win, says Clancy, as it makes the good habits that ultimately support your goals consistent.

. 4 Visualize your success.

Many of us start new training routines with the intention of achieving certain goals, which is great, as goals in and of themselves can be very motivating. When you set your goals, make sure you know exactly what it will look like when you reach your goal, suggests Mansour – whether it's getting up early, going to the gym several times a week and getting a perfect push. Up You can shorten your mile by one minute or define the success. Learn more about how to set realistic fitness goals .

Then close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and visualize the moment you reach this goal. Use your senses – see, hear, touch – to visualize exactly how that moment will look. Then open your eyes and write down everything that came to your mind, says Mansour. Refer to these tips – even daily – to maintain your motivation.

. 5 Accept the fact that you do not always want to exercise. And that's perfectly normal and okay.

Even the most motivated athletes will have days when they simply do not want to go to the gym. Mark DiSalvo Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in NYC. says SELF. On these days, avoid judging yourself and / or reading too much in your diminishing motivation. This reluctance is completely normal, Scantlebury adds, and the understanding that in advance can help you hug and get past these difficult feelings instead of internalizing them or seeing them as signs of weakness.

. 6 Avoid judging by your day in the morning.

Say you wake up stiff and lethargic. You remember that you signed up for a HIIT class that night and immediately start to fear them. But instead of breaking it off your phone while you're still in bed, you can focus on just getting through the workday and then re-examining your exercise plans as time moves closer, says DiSalvo.

Maybe at the time 17:30 If you turn around, you will be in the mood to relieve some of HIIT's stress from the day. Or maybe you decide that HIIT is not suitable for you today. Instead, you want to extend it into yoga. Or maybe you really need a day off from the gym – and that's fine too. The bottom line is that you can not make any general assumptions about your day before it even starts, and by giving up on these types of quick verdicts, you'll end up doing more workouts than you've missed. And you will not regret it.

. 7 Tell yourself, you only go to the gym for five minutes.

Sometimes the thought of training can be a lot worse than the training itself. On days when this mental discomfort occurs, you should only take five minutes or just go to the gym for just one or two simple things do. Once you get there, you'll probably want to stay longer, says Mansour. Even so, if you do not, you've gotten used to going to the gym, which is still a benefit in many ways, as it will ultimately make fitness an integral part of your routine. Even the emergence can be very powerful mentally.

. 8 Start with something light.

Another trick that helps on days when you are motivated is to reduce the intimidation factor by telling yourself that you will easily start. Make a longer warm-up, suggest DiSalvo and then slowly build up from there. For example, if you want to run on the treadmill for 20 minutes, just tell yourself that you only have one minute to get started, and then, after you reach that quick goal, check how you feel. When you're ready, try again. Check again from there and try for another minute. Continue this pattern to gain confidence in your abilities and train yourself.

. 9 Divide your training into smaller chunks.

Rather than focusing on the total time of your workout or the intimidating number of reps you're hoping to achieve (30 pushups?! Eek!), Direct your attention to the passage the next 30 seconds, says Zadeh. "They can each get strong for 30 seconds," she says, and this division reduces your training to mentally manageable chunks so you can stay present, focused and motivated.

10th Choose your vocabulary wisely.

When thinking about your training – whether before or during – use words with positive or negative associations to describe how you feel or feel. Rather than treating the difficult moments of an exercise class as "uncomfortable," think of it as "intense," Zadeh suggests, who has a stronger, more capable mindset and at the same time recognizes the difficulties involved. As you move your vocabulary, you can adopt a more optimistic I-Can-Do-It mentality that will get you through the hard parts.

. 11 Include the small profits.

Maybe your goal is to keep a plank for two minutes, and two weeks into your new exercise program, you've improved your ability from 20 to 30 seconds. Even if you have not reached your destination yet (and your destination may still be far away), you are proud to reach this small milestone on the way.

If you confirm the passing of these goalposts, you may have to gain the important confidence boost to continue pushing on the larger target. Remember: "They get a bit stronger each time [you work out]," says Zadeh. It's always worthwhile to celebrate.

12th Create a reward system for yourself.

On days when your motivation wears off, you can encourage yourself with a mini-reward system, Mansour suggests. Think of small ways to reward yourself – for example, get a 10-minute neck massage, or watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show – and take advantage of these rewards, if and only if you stick to your routine for the day. These little incentives can be the thrust you need to get your butt out the door, even if your bed feels particularly comfortable.

. 13 Do not compare yourself with other people.

Do not compare yourself with other athletes, says DiSalvo. Why? It's easy to watch someone bring out a set of monopod deadlift with ease, and then feel annoyed, intimidated and / or discouraged that you can not do it yet. However, they probably will not take into account the fact that they, too, were new to one-legged deadlifts at some point in time and probably need to work hard to reach their current fitness status. In addition, there are so many other factors that can make a person's fitness so that it is never productive to make assumptions.

So you should not compete with your classmates or classmates, but you should think of them as one that works together and strives for the same goal: health and fitness, but each of us defines that.

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