Picture the scene – it’s a familiar one.
It’s 11.47 on New Year’s Eve as we utter (OK, slur) these magic words as a significant other/table of friends/pub full of strangers cheer loudly: “Right, next year I’m going to (insert fitness related new year’s resolution here) and this time I’m going to stick to it!”
Now fast forward 6 – 8 weeks, as we’re saying, for at least the third day running, “I’m a bit tired/busy/not up for it today, but I’m absolutely, definitely, going to get back to (insert fitness plan) tomorrow. I promise.”
And that, friends, is how even the best intentions wither and die. So, you’re doubtless wondering, how to break the habit?
Glad you asked. Here are a few tips to help you keep your resolve, and your resolutions. All based on tried, tested and personal experience (contrary to popular belief, Trainers are subject to the same motivational ebbs and flows as everyone else).
1. Flings are great, marriage is better.
A resolution made in the heat of the New Year moment is like a one night stand – quick, fun, but all too often doomed to failure. But, if you’ve bitten the bullet, set your goals, arranged a start date and committed to your vows, your chances of a long-term successful outcome, (and your ability to withstand the odd setback) are so much greater.
If you’re not sure how to get to your goal (or even what your goal might be) then come and talk to us here at Ten – we’re kind of good at figuring out that sort of thing, and we’re always here to help.
2. Get yourself some tough love
We’ve all got one of those friends haven’t we? Someone who tells it how it is no matter what. Annoying as they can be, they make brilliant workout buddies.
If they spot even the first sign of slacking, they’ll tell you. (Actually, they’ll tell everyone else, too.) They’ll treat all your excuses with undisguised contempt. And though you’ll curse them at the time, you’ll thank them for it afterwards.
So buddy up for exercise, share your goal and your plan. And with tough-love on your side, a resolution shared is a resolution kept. Or else.
3. ‘Facebook’ your workout
Now, this doesn’t mean posting every little run, plank, or lunge on your chosen form of social media (unless being de-friended on an epic scale is part of the programme). What I mean is incorporate a significant social element into your workout. We’re social animals and if we can do something with a bunch of like-minded people, rather than alone, we’ll usually do it better, more enthusiastically and more often.
And that’s particularly true where exercise is concerned. Small classes are best, as they combine two of the things that we humans need to maintain our appetite for adherence to any program of behaviour change – social dynamics and personal attention.
(Obviously I’m tooting our own horn here, but I happen to think our classes here at Ten provide the best mix of the above two areas, in spades.)
4. One-trick Ponies get fat
Still with me? No? OK, let me explain. In exercise as in all things, boredom is the enemy of motivation. For your workout, this means trying something different once in a while. Mentally it will stimulate you and keep you interested in exercise in general, and physically it will challenge your body, which is the key to changing it for the better.
And that’s why here at Ten we enhance our Dynamic Pilates offering with Personal Training, Sports Massage, Cardiolates, TenHiiT, Jumpboard. And if that feels too much like the shameless plug that it is, go for a run instead. Or go swimming, try the climbing wall, Taekwondo or (if you must) Zumba.
So there you are. My 4-step guide to setting, keeping and meeting your exercise resolutions. And if they don’t work, come and see me. I’ve got lots more.