Happy New Year, everyone!
It took me 4 days (oops), but I finally got in my first workout of the New Year this morning! I’m not a big fan of the treadmill that we have in our basement (I’m picky, I know), but I did brave it today because I didn’t want to have to throw elbows to snag a treadmill at the gym.
Crowded gyms are a New Year tradition and while it does bug me that I have to plan a little bit ahead or be ready to change my routine if needed, just remember that you too were new once. I’m the queen of impatience, but not the queen of the gym.. so I’ll be working extra hard the next month to be patient and welcoming with new gym members.
And hey, if they are doing something completely wrong or against etiquette, speak up! They might just not know the rules of the road yet. As a comparison, I’d rather the FIRST person tell me I have something in my teeth than the last.
So, if you are new to the game or just looking for some extra motivation, here are some of the tips I use to stay on track all year:
Read blogs! I find most my inspiration from reading about others and seeing how they incorporate health into their lives. Nobody’s perfect, but I love following different blogs for exercise ideas, healthy recipes or motivating race recaps. Seeing other people sticking to their goals, helps remind me of mine and why I started in the first place.
Meal plan! This one is KEY for Paul and I’s success. If we don’t plan our meals for the week, we tend to eat out or order pizza. It is a struggle because it can be tedious and time-consuming, but planning out our meals on Sunday makes it a lot easier to stay on track during the week.
Here’s what we are having this week!:
- Bob Harper’s Spaghetti Casserole (from the Rachael Ray Show)
- Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles from Skinny Taste
- Caribbean Shrimp Quinoa Salad from Fannetastic Food
- Scrambled eggs with diced ham and mushrooms (A Simple, no-recipe-needed meal for busy nights!)
- A frozen cheese pizza from the store (topped with fresh veggies and a sprinkle of additional shredded cheese.. We know us, we need at least one lazy meal each week!)
Record your progress (or lack thereof)! I personally think keeping a workout log is vital. I’m horrible at it and even worse when I’ve been slacking. So in addition to recording all of my actual workouts this year, I’m also making myself post even when I have a rest day (or an unintended rest day). This way I’m being held more accountable for what I skip. I use the Training Peaks mobile app to track everything.
Set a goal that scares you (but break it into small chunks)! Basically fear is my greatest motivator (I’m partially kidding!) J I think I struggled so much in 2014 because I didn’t have any real goals to push myself with. This year I have 2 (Dirty Kanza 200 and Ironman Louisville)… and those goals alone are pretty scary and they keep me motivated, but I still break them down so that they are more management and so I don’t get too overwhelmed. For example, when it comes to my 200 mile bike ride for Dirty Kanza, I’m not thinking about the 200 scary miles. I’m concentrating on making 50 miles easy by the end of January. And for 100 miles to be cake by the training camp I’m attending at the end of March. Similarly, before we dabbled in being vegetarian last year, Paul and I had talked about it a few times before. We never made the leap because we kept on thinking “Won’t we want bratwurst in Germany?” or how will we survive tailgating without hotdogs, and things like that. We were setting ourselves up for failure before we even began. For a long-term goal like being vegetarian, we had to stop thinking SO big picture and take it day by day. Going vegetarian was incredibly easy when instead, we just ripped the bandaid off and stopped eating meat. We took the challenge one day at a time and THAT made it so much easier to swallow (pun intended).
Remember there is no ‘one’ way! Being healthy is not a specific formula. It constantly changes and is absolutely unique. You do not have to be vegetarian; you do not have to give up dairy; you do not have to run 5 miles every single day. A lifestyle change can start with just taking the stairs tomorrow at work or it can be joining a gym or committing to a 10k. Small changes can lead to big results and if you do fall of the wagon and eat 12 bags of oreos, don’t beat yourself up about it. You haven’t failed; you have just proven that you are human. You don’t need to wait until Jan 1, 2016 to start over. You have 365 fresh starts every single year.
Finally, another fun way to stay on track is through Instagram. I follow hundreds of people who post recipes (Weight Watchers, Paleo, Vegetarian, All Spiralized food (yes, really), their daily runs (or rides), or just about their lifestyle. This month, for example, I’m participating in @discombobruns Medal-A-Day Challenge.
Check out my posts (and the hashtag) for a little extra race bling motivation each day in January!