1. Be Kind (But Strict)
Treat yourself like a parent from a sitcom treats their children, stern but forgiving and understanding when you mess up. Don’t make excuses and let one mistake derail you from the bigger goal and certainly don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead learn from the experience and try to change it for next time.
Whatever you do, keep moving. This applies to workouts as well; it’s helpful having an instructor there to be our mini motivator, but they can only do so much. Ultimately it’s you who has to convince your mind and body to hold the proper form and to keep going for 20 more seconds (which always feels SO much longer). Focus, listen to your body, try your hardest and be proud of where you are.
It’s so simple, and often taken for granted. Water is a major source of energy (feeling tired can be one of the first signs of dehydration). It also lubricates our joints, helps digestion and replenishes lost fluid during exercise. Adding a slice of lemon to hot water will help avoid consuming too much coffee (which is a diuretic) but also soothes, aids with digestion, reduces inflammation, and boosts your immune system.
3. Get enough Sleep
There is a lot of chatter right now about how important sleep is and how detrimental sleep deprivation can be. It not only affects your immune system, but getting enough sleep (7-9 hours for most adults) can positively affect stress levels, anxiety, creativity, cognitive function, emotional intelligence, memory, athletic performance, and just your health in general. A consistent schedule is ideal, so make an effort to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. I love hitting up Morning Glory workouts but those 6am classes can be killer if I don’t get a proper sleep the night before.
Eating well, working out, and drinking less all sound great and are easy to do in theory; but poor planning can result in desperate measures. Forgetting to pack enough for lunch can bring on impulse snack binges and take out lunches that are convenient but not always healthy.
Then it only goes downhill from there; eating foods high in sugar and sodium can make us feel lethargic and more likely to skip on exercise. Plan ahead, schedule your workouts, make a grocery list, cook dinner, pack lunches, stock up on healthy snacks and keep your house as tidy as possible. If you’re feeling inspired, put together a mood board. It is a great visual reminder of your goals.
5. Treat Yourself
I swear I’m not superficial, nor is this a promoted post; it’s just a post about what motivates me, and wearing something that makes me feel great really does help. Invest in clothing that you feel comfortable in and that gives you confidence. Proper gear is especially important for training outside. Technical fabrics can make a huge difference by improving the quality of your workout while protecting you from the elements, especially in a rainy city like Vancouver where the weather can be an easy excuse to skip a run (never let the rain win!).
What keeps you going? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What is it that pushes you to your limits? Take a second and identify potential obstacles getting in the way of your goals and what you need to do to move forward. You do you – you got this.