Julia Buckley's Five Ways to Swerve the February Fitness Cliff

Unfortunately the majority of people who decide to get fit each new year do not stick with their resolutions into spring, with many falling off by mid-February. It’s such a shame when they end up feeling like they have failed or that fitness is not for them. If you’re finding lacing up your exercise shoes tougher by the day, it's time to rekindle those fires and make sure you keep smashing out those workouts.

Here are five tips from top trainer, Julia Buckley, to get you back on track...
  
1. Re-tune your motivation
When people tell me they’re no longer motivated I get them to remember their original reasons for starting their exercise regime.  Maybe you wanted to lose weight, see muscles on your body, have more energy, look great for summer, or simply get healthier? Most likely there were lots of reasons. Revisit them now. Still want to achieve those things? There you go then, you still have motivation! It’s just a matter of tuning into those reasons and remembering them when you need to.
 
2. Exercise anyway
This really is the key to long term success. Nobody feels totally pumped to train every single session and one of the reasons so many people fall off the “February Fitness Cliff” is they think they need to feel  motivated in order to exercise and they’re not prepared for days when that feeling is not there.  So you need to expect that sometimes you just won’t feel like exercising and be prepared to simply do it anyway. Chances are, once you get started you’ll feel more motivated to carry on, but even if you don’t you know you’ll be so glad you did it afterwards.
 
3. Invest in the Habit Bank
After you’ve accepted you’re sometimes going to need to exercise anyway on those days when you don’t feel driven, think about those sessions as investing in a habit that makes motivation easier. There are probably lots of things you do every day that you don’t feel very motivated to do because they’re a habitual part of your day. Brushing your teeth isn’t exactly an exciting activity, for example, but most of us do it without excuses creeping in to try to talk us out of it, it’s just such an ingrained habit. Think about how much easier it’ll be to get into your fitness kit once you’ve been doing it every training day for months.
 
4. Time to plan
This is a biggie. So many people start exercising in January and simply go out and start running, buy a fitness DVD, or join a gym without formulating a proper plan to get them to where they want to be. It’s no wonder they get bored or go off-course by Spring - they don’t even have a road-map. A well-devised, progressive programme will help keep things fresh and make sure you’re doing the right type of training to keep moving every closer to where you want to be.
 
5. Exercise first
Get used to the idea that you need exercise first and the motivation will come after. After a few weeks of exercising whether you feel motivated or not, you’ll come to realise that the more you exercise, the more driven you are to exercise.  The less motivated you feel, the more important it is to exercise so you’ll be motivated to exercise next time. So, if you lack motivation, let that BE your motivation. Crack this one and think what sort of shape you’ll be in for summer!  

Julia Buckley
For more advice from Julia Buckley, check out her YouTube videos. If you’d like to train with Julia, you can join her online gym.


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