GoodGym New Year's Resolutions

Laura's tips on how to motivate yourself this January

January 08, 2020

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A new year is a wonderful opportunity not just for committing to more exercise, it can also as a great incentive to fine-tune an existing routine, to ensure all wellbeing boxes are well and truly ticked.

Patience and humility are your best fitness friends. These may not be the first words that spring to mind when contemplating those January goals, but managing your expectations when starting out should be a crucial part of your strategy. Gasping for breath, getting left behind and feeling frustrated and unrewarded are a rite of passage when embarking on a new fitness journey. Tough out the frustration. And you will feel unbelievable. Which leads me to my second point…

Find joy in the journey. Unless you’re planning on a last minute Tokyo 2020 application, you don’t need to be the best at fitness. You can puff and pant and watch a sticking scales, and walk away and know that you can try again tomorrow. The joy is often in the journey. In months to come, as you sprint those last 100m of your speediest 10K yet, you’ll look back at these cold January evenings, when you shunned the sofa and tablet for treacherous tarmac, aching legs and dwindling hope, and feel the biggest sense of pride. And here’s the thing no one tells you – building physical resilience can help your emotional resilience too.

Set an emotional goal. Make sure you have a goal that’s not about your physical performance. Find a goal where showing up is the goal. This may be finally making it to your first GoodGym run, or parkrun. Or turning up to a class without a friend in tow for the first time. Something that turns up the anxiety dial a bit, without compromising your mental wellbeing. Overcoming other barriers other than fitness and weight loss can feel like a huge accomplishment.

Find your fitness tribe. For some it’s a park-ful of runners on a Saturday morning. For others it’s their local mum-and-baby yoga group. Whatever floats your fitness boat, it’s an idea to find a new tribe to get tethered to. The support and camaraderie that you’ll find in a group will make your fitness journey that much more pleasurable, rewarding and successful.

Make R&R a resolution. Time away from the tarmac or gym floor is absolutely essential. And you need to do it with discipline. Don’t wait until limbs are aching or eyes are closing before taking your treadmill time out. If you have to sit on your hands to stick to 2-3 rest days a week, so be it. It’s not just your muscular skeletal system that needs to recover, exercise, especially the higher intensity stuff, taxes the nervous system too, so every part of you must be given space to breeeathe.

Get some fitness know-how. Make sure this year sees you following a truly rounded routine. If you love running, make sure you’re strengthening and conditioning those muscles and joints to facilitate all that high impact activity. If you’re a yoga buff, make sure you’re getting the puff stuff in to help your heart too. R is for ‘rounded’ as well as ‘resolution’.

Laura Williams is the GoodGym trainer for Tower Hamlets, and an established fitness expert. She can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

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