Staying Motivated During Dark & Gloomy January
We all kick the new year off with the best intentions. We promise we’ll stick to our new diet, go to the gym before work, join that 6am spin class, cut out the weekend wine, adhere to that calorie deficit…and sure, we always start off with the best intentions. But what happens when that motivation runs out? How do we manage to change our lifestyles for the better when we can’t stick to a new regime for longer than a few weeks?
Cold weather and dark nights mean it can be difficult to drum up that constant and consistent self-motivation, so here are U-First Fitness Society’s top five tips for helping you to stay on track during the dreaded cold, dark days once the January buzz has disappeared:
SET SMART GOALS
It’s all very well saying “I want to lose weight’ or “I want to look better”, but how do you measure that? How do you hold yourself accountable to such a vague goal? How do you even measure your progress? We like to use the SMART system, an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. Setting yourself a SMART goal will help you keep yourself accountable by mapping out your plan of attack down to the smallest detail. A good SMART goal could look like the following:
“I want to be able to comfortably fit in to my favourite size 12 Summer dress again in time for my holiday in May. I will commit to two U-First Training sessions per week and will partake in their monthly progress check ins, taking weight and measurements every four weeks to ensure I am progressing. I will commit to walking at least 10,000 steps per day and will adhere to my personalised calorie and macro goals from U-First. I will limit myself to one small food treat per week to keep myself on track with my diet and to give myself a reward to look forward to each week.”
By setting SMART goals you can easily track your progress, safe in the knowledge that you know exactly how you are going to achieve them and in what timescale, whilst keeping them realistic at the same time. We love helping our members set goals over here at U-First and we love seeing them achieve their goals even more!
DO IT WITH A FRIEND
There’s no better motivation to get you out of bed for that early class than the knowledge that your friend is counting on you. By partnering up with someone with similar goals, or perhaps someone who is already living the lifestyle you want to live, you stay accountable in achieving them. You’re more likely to stick to a new routine if you’re not doing it alone and training is a lot more fun when you have your friend by your side! At U-First we love seeing our members meet new people and form new friendships and bonds throughout our training sessions. There’s no better feeling than a whole group of people cheering you on and supporting you whilst you all strive for the same goals! All our members have access to our private members only facebook group where they can encourage and motivate each other, all whilst having constant access to their personal trainers for all the little questions that arise along the journey. Plus, if you ever have a day where you’re feeling really under-motivated, you know as soon as you get to training you’ll have an array of smiling faces waiting for you ready to spur you on.
It’s hard to find the will to go out in the cold if you’re not equipped properly. Winter nights mean outdoor training is cold, sometimes even wet and often you’re battling against the elements. Treat yourself to some new comfy base layers or a new pair of fleece lined workout leggings to eliminate the excuse of it being too goddamn cold to train! Fitness clothing doesn’t have to cost a fortune either, there are so many quality fitness clothing brands about these days that offer stylish and quality items at affordable prices. There are also so many great apps and fitness devices on the market, which allow us to track our movements and nutritional intake. We ask all of our members to track their food intake through the free app My Fitness Pal, which is a fantastic eye opener to what you’re actually putting in to your body each day. Most of our members are so surprised by what the food their choosing to fuel themselves with daily is actually doing for their bodies. Remember, the training is the easy part, it’s getting the diet right that’s the challenge. Fitness watches are also a really great way to track your daily activities, especially your step counts. The more NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) you can do on a daily basis, the quicker you are likely to reach your goals. Staying active outside your training sessions is so important and these trackers are invaluable for educating you on how much you’re actually moving on a daily basis and reminding you on when it’s time to move!
INVEST IN SOME EXPERT HELP
Hiring a professional doesn’t have to cost you the earth, despite what you may think. The fitness industry is booming right now and prices for personal training and expert nutritional advice are soaring. Fitness is so fashionable these days, which inevitably brings on the huge prices for any sort of expert advice. Here at U-First we have created an affordable way for you to become fitter, healthier and happier without having to break the bank balance. Sure, you could pay thousands for a personal trainer if you can afford it, but what about the rest of us who simply don’t have that kind of spare cash lying around each month? At U-First we offer you all the perks of having your own personal trainer at a fraction of the price, leaving you leaner and fitter and your wallet fatter and healthier! The average personal trainer charges around £40 per hour. We only ask for £40 per month! To put this in to perspective, 2 x 60 minute sessions at £40 each with a personal trainer a week would set you back £320 a month or a whooping £3,840 a year, and that’s without the added expense of nutritional plans and any extras you may need to help you reach your goal. At U-First, that same amount ( in fact more as we train for 90 minutes per session!) of personal trainer led training sessions will cost you £40 per month, or £480 per year and that even includes your monthly progress check ins, personalised nutritional goals and access to our members only facebook group. Not to mention that you have access to TWO personal trainers! We must be mad to offer you this right?! Well no, we feel so passionate about EVERYONE having access to quality, affordable fitness and health services no matter their income and that’s why we created U-First, to do just that, put YOU first.
REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR ‘WHY’
We all have a reason for wanting to get fit and in shape, and that’s clearly mapped out in your SMART goals. On those cold and wet days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed at all, it’s important to remind yourself on WHY you’re doing it. Remember, Summer will be here before we know it and we all want to feel, move and look better when we’re out and about more on those sunny days. Whether it’s because you want to regain your confidence, be a role model for your children, improve your mental health or simply become the best version of you, there is always a reason as to why you started. Remind yourself daily on your ‘WHY’ and all that January ‘new year new me’ motivation will come flooding back! Remember, it’s a marathon and not a sprint and if you remain consistent over time you WILL achieve your goals. And if you’re really struggling to muster up that drive…drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your goals, we’ll have you feeling super motivated and up for the challenge in no time!