If you’re into fitness you’ve probably gone through that stage too. And I’m sure it was more than once! Whether it was an unexpected break caused by an illness or injury, or a seasonal breakdown, lack of motivation or some other reason that made you stop your workouts for some time, it might have been a real struggle to get back to your fitness routine. That’s a normal thing and it happens to all of us. It’s easy to stay on track when you’re focused and you stick to your daily routine, until something disrupts your balance…
Since you’re here reading my post, I suppose you’re looking for the way out of your break and you need a little push into the right direction. If you do so, read on. I have a few tips that might really help.
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I get fitness breakdowns at least twice a year… Major ones, which last at least a month. Usually around October/November when it gets colder and I fall ill, and I’m forced to take a break. And then there is Christmas so you know… all the cakes and all the excuses… With the New Year I usually catch wind in my sails and I start fresh, but it requires a lot of self-discipline at the beginning and it’s never easy. However I have a few tricks which are very effective to me and I want to share those with you today. I also did a small research and asked some of my friends what helps them to get back into the habit of exercising. As a result here’s a list of ideas which can help you “get up and do it” and slowly incorporate workouts into your daily routine:
Find out your “why” & re-establish your goals
This is the key. If you do not have a clear goal, if you don’t know which direction you’re going, after the first burst of excitement and determination, you’ll find yourself turning in circles or you’ll get stuck in one place aimlessly looking around, until you burn out, get tired or bored and simply give up. You need to know WHAT is it exactly that you want to achieve (what’s the destination of your journey) and WHY you want it (and how badly you want it too). You need to get your FOCUS back and keep it! And it’s also very important to write it down and set an exact DATE when you want to achieve your goal.
For me it’s usually my summer holidays when I want to look good in bikini and also staying healthy and physically active for as long as possible.
One of my friends said that it helps her to re-gain motivation to workout once she steps on a scale after a longer break. This might be a great “why” for you to get back on track. A real kick in the butt. The other one said that after a while she begins to miss that amazing feeling she gets after a workout. Truth is that if you’ve been working out for months, when you have a longer break, you begin to miss that and at that point you realise that it’s become your passion, and that’s a real treasure which you should cherish.
Sit down and think what’s your “why“. Think about your previous goals. Revise them. See if they are still the same, or maybe they’ve changed now. Think about the reason why you’ve lost your determination and why you can’t focus on your aim anymore. Goals change and we should be flexible and adjust them accordingly. Make sure you’re not being too harsh on yourself and that your goals still excite you but are also possible to achieve.
Create a plan
This is related to the first point. Once you’ve established your strong “what” and “why”, you should think about a plan! Get yourself a journal or a notebook and create a “navigation map“. Write down a few points which can bring you closer to your goal and plan your workouts. Perhaps also set up reminders on your phone. It will nag you and help you remember and stay focused on your new goal.
I give full details on how to set up your goals properly in my post HERE.
Start slowly and gradually
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself in the beginning. Start slowly. Maybe simply go out for a walk which should be enough to break the stagnation and wake up your body a little. Not only will you do something good for yourself, moving your body and getting some fresh air, but also you’ll have some time to think and remember what it was like when you’ve been working out? Perhaps you’ll notice what you’ve been missing all this time and you’ll make some more serious plans for getting back to the routine… Then gradually add some more physical activities: running, yoga, home workouts or classes – whatever you like.
If you need some extra push, some of my friends say that music helps them a lot in making that first step! I couldn’t agree more. Music has the power to move your body and to raise your spirit. Definitely yes!
Try something new
Do you want to know what helped me get back on track recently? Yoga! This is a completely new thing to me. I always wanted to try yoga and beats me I have no idea why I’ve never tried it before?! It’s so easy nowadays, it’s enough to google it and you get a ton of different workouts on youtube. No excuses here, honestly! So I kept getting those signals from all different directions, wherever I was, I heard the word “yoga” and one day I thought I’d finally give it a try. And guess what? I fell in love with it, for all different reasons. Most of all because it calmed me down and it was a great workout at the same time (including stretching which is one of my goals this year). I liked it so much that I even started getting up earlier to be able to do 20 minutes of morning yoga before going to work (and believe me, I’m NO morning person at all!) and I also started sharing my journey on Instagram under my own hashtag #fitnclassyyogazone (feel free to use it if you want to join me in my journey there). It’s definitely a great topic for a separate post, which I think I’ll do at some stage.
So is there some kind of workout or maybe some classes that you always wanted to try but haven’t done it yet? It’s a great moment to start! What have you got to lose? Think about it and find enough courage to do it, because if not now, then when? Probably never. Who knows, you might discover a new passion and gain strong wind in your sails! And even if not, then at least you’ll know, and you’ll gain some new experience and the feeling that you did it at last.
Do you want to see how my husband discovered his passion for climbing and how it affected all our family? Read it HERE.
Ask your friends/partner to join you
There’s nothing more powerful than a mutual motivation! If you feel that you might not manage on your own this time, ask your best friend or your partner to join you on your fitness journey. Or maybe find a fitness group on Facebook, or join a challenge and share your progress.
I’ll make a small confession here. My biggest weakness is food and that’s why it’s extremely difficult for me to keep a healthy diet and to eat regularly. I fail way too often here… So in order to help myself, I am now posting my meals on Instagram Stories. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s seen by only one person or a hundred. I do it to feel OK with myself, to prove to myself that I’m trying. I not always remember to do it yet, but I need that. I used to have a personal trainer to whom I had to send photos of all my meals and that was extremely motivating because I didn’t want to fail her! You might think about working with a personal trainer too, if you feel that it could help you (I do recommend it!).
So yes, sharing your struggles and your progress is extremely powerful. It works both ways: it motivates others when they see that you’re doing your best, and it motivates you when you see their journey, and also it additionally motivates you to keep sharing in order not to fail yourself and them at the same time. And if you need a kick in the butt, they are there to help you and put you back on track!
Buy yourself new fitness clothes or new sports equipment
And I don’t mean spending a fortune on that! You don’t need to get yourself a brand new home gym in order to start (although if it helps you and you can afford it, go ahead!). Whenever I buy myself a new pair of leggings, shoes or a new set of dumbbells or whatever else… I want to test it. Something new for a fresh start.
Shock yourself and Just do it!
That’s something I did a few times and it’s absolutely amazing! Forget about all the preparation, forget about new sports clothes, planning, beginning slowly with walking and everything else I’ve just written above. Show yourself that you have balls! Shut down all your distracting thoughts, gag your inner troll, get up and DO IT. Surprise yourself! Right now, right there where you are. Leave your phone, turn off the TV, put the book aside, tell your husband to keep an eye on your kids for 30 minutes, put on your sports clothes, and go for a run, or open any workout on youtube and do it! As simple as that. No excuses. The feeling of self-satisfaction will be the best reward ever! And believe me, it can be the best trigger to help you get back on track.If you're waiting for the right time, it's NOW! Click To Tweet
Now the next step will be to keep pushing for the first few weeks in order to form a habit once again. If you need some hints on how to keep your motivation high, I have a post giving you 12 Super-Easy Ways To Stay Motivated To Workout.
What methods do you use to get back on your fitness track? What is it that always works for you? Please share your tips in a comment below.