Thursday, December 22, 2011

Staying Motivated During the Holiday Season

So another year is almost coming to an end. time really flies. I was having a conversation with a friend in the gym that day and he said he is finding it hard to stay focused and motivated in the month of December. Why? Too many parties, too many trips - its like everybody is in a celebrative mode, so even coming to the gym feels like a chore. Mind you this guy is one of the regulars at my gym. So he asked me for some tips on how to stay motivated, and i thought it would be great to share with all of you - how to stay motivated during the holiday season.

1) What is your goal
If your goal is to lose 5kg in the next 2 months, then you need to be clear about this. As long as you have a deadline and a quantitative figure, it will help you to stay on course. A lot of times, people get easily demotivated because they don't have the final result in mind or, they have just forgotten. SO remind yourself again about what your goals are and how much more time you have to achieve this. And thus it will become clear what needs to be done in terms of effort

2) What is your "Reason" for wanting this goal?
Now lot of people take this lightly, but i feel that having a reason behind your goal is a great motivating factor. So "why" do you want to lose 5kg in 2 months? Maybe you are going for a class reunion or maybe you are getting married in 2 months. Or maybe you are tired of people making fun of you. Whatever the reason is, you need to write it down and have it in your mind at all times. So you need to sit down and discover what prompted you in the first place to come up with this goal

3) Monitor your progress
Monitoring your progress regularly is great to help you stay on track. If you have been skipping workouts and then find out that you have gained 1kg, well the results speak for itself. So don't wait till the end of 2 months to weigh yourself. Weigh yourself periodically. Now weighing yourself every day is not necessary as your weight can fluctuate quite a bit due to water retention. once a week or once in 2 weeks is great. So if its been a while since you stepped on that scale, take it out, dust it off and step on it.

4) Plan your cheat days
Rather then letting life decide what direction you are going in, how about planning it a little. Example, you want to go to the gym tomorrow evening (because every wednesday evening is gym day), but there is this party that you absolutely have to go for. So what do you do? Well plan around it. How about going to the gym on Tuesday evening (assuming you don't usually go on Tuesdays). Or thursday. Or the weekends. The point is, don't let your social plans become an excuse not to exercise. Instead find ways to work around it. If you want it bad enough, i am sure you will find a way. Same goes for food. Going to indulge later tonight? Then eat sparingly for the rest of the day. You don't have to eat banana leaf for lunch today. You can always have it some other day.5) Tell your friends about your goals and progress
Whats a great way to get excited about your goals again? Start talking to people. Tell people you intend to do this. Tell them about the progress you are making. The more you tell people, the more excited you get. The more excited you get, the more motivated you are going to be in sticking with it. So learn to share it with people around you. Plus, your friends will give you some words of encouragement too. So that will help to motivate you further.

As you can see, staying motivated during the holidays is not impossible. It can be a tad bit challenging, but not impossible. As the usual mantra goes - everything in moderation. So its just a matter of finding a balance between having fun and keeping fit. If you are clear about where you are going, it goes a long way in helping you stay the course. So happy holidays everyone and hope you manage to stay on course and still have some fun and indulge. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.

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