All words by Emily Ricketts
I don’t know about you, but that first week of January hits harder than trying to walk up stairs after leg day. What’s more, we feel this unreal pressure to start doing something, being something, setting goals and achieving before the wrappers from the Quality Street have even gone cold. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in wanting those things – but I think the root of the motivation is key to how you approach it.
This time of year is a minefield for diet culture, every other scroll and you’re bombarded with another booty blaster that’s promising you a booty like Kim K in just 10 minutes a day. I’m a big believer in that it’s not about a “diet” but about healthy habits that make up a balanced lifestyle (this article explains the fastest growing ‘diet’ and what you should consider before following it). The one thing I’d really like to stress, is to make sure that you’re motivating yourself to move for the right reasons. Because it’ll make you feel damn good if you do – not because it’ll make you feel bad if you don’t. Remember: exercise should always be a pleasure not a punishment.
SET ACHIEVEABLE GOALS
Set yourself some achievable goals. Not based on aesthetics, but based on performance. That might be being able to do a ‘pull-up’, ‘squat X amount’ or ‘run 5km’ – then, make a plan of the small steps you need to take to get there. I think taking the focus away from how you look, and focusing on how you feel is a great motivator when it comes to goals. Make sure your goals are achievable avoiding that feeling of “I’ve messed up already” when the reality of life kicks back in.
PLEASURE OVER PUNISHMENT
This one is pretty simple – but I think it’s probably been one of the biggest mental shifts I’ve had over the years when it comes to my relationship with exercise. Ultimately, it shouldn’t be about what you’ve got to lose – weight, inches, etc. but about what you’ve got to gain – confidence, self esteem, strength, the list is endless. Ultimately, it comes down to making sure you’re moving how you want to, how it makes you feel good – and then you’ll flourish.
Everything’s better with friends – fact. Exercise is no different! It might be sharing a workout you’ve seen from your favourite fitspo on Instagram over DM’s, or both signing up to that new boxing class you’ve seen which looks amazing. You’ll help keep each other motivated and help ensure you’re enjoying yourself and feeling good – which is what it’s all about. Haven’t got a buddy you think would be down? No worries! Gym’s and exercise classes are a great place to meet new people, often people who are on the same wavelength – since you’re in the same place!
BALANCE IT OUT
This one relates more to when you’ve got your motivation, to make sure that you’re making time, to take time – and no, I don’t mean a workout. It’s easy to get into the swing of things and if hopefully you’re doing something you enjoy you want to do it more and more especially when it’s making you feel great. Just be mindful to listen to your body, don’t be shy to press snooze on that 6am alarm if you’re feeling too tired or swap the weights session for yoga if you’re stiff. Remember, it’s not about feeling bad if you can’t fit a workout in, but about feeling good when you do.
So, hitting that new HIIT class twice a week, making the intention to start every day with a walk, taking up weight training – whatever you want to do, do it for you.
Emily is a Health & Fitness influencer, who talks passionately about looking after both our physical and mental health. Emily aims to empower Women to live their healthiest, happiest lives whilst actively advocating body positivity, self love & self confidence. Emily shares her healthy habits though her Instagram and on YouTube too.