Looking to get back into shape? Finding it hard to get your motivation back? Well, that’s probably most of us at this time of year. The weather is cold, its dark early and it’s just been Christmas where we’ve had a few too many mince pies and taken off our step counters because you can’t count nothing, right?

Firstly, don’t feel bad about having time off. Rest is just as important as exercise. Your body needs time to repair. Secondly, Christmas is about having fun with your family and friends. If you’ve eaten a little more than normal and moved a bit less, well that’s part of it and you have to live as well.

With new beginnings in mind, if your goal is to return to your healthy habits but you’re struggling to get back to it, we have put together some helpful tips to help you get going again!


Start off Small

Start off small. Don’t give yourself unrealistic goals that you’ll be unlikely to achieve, it’ll only make you feel worse and you’ll be more likely to throw in the towel. If you normally do around 5,000 steps a day, make it your goal to do 6,000. As you get comfortable in achieving your smaller goals, you can increase it incrementally.


Smaller Portions

If losing weight is your goal or you want to reduce portion sizes, try using smaller crockery to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating the same amount. You subconsciously think that you have finished a meal when you’ve eaten everything on your plate, so if you use one which is smaller, you’ll automatically eat less.


Make a Plan!

Plan! Whether this is exercise, food or events/occasions, if you have planned when you’re going to go to the gym and what you’ll eat after, you are more likely to stick to it! If you know that it’s your best friend’s birthday meal at the weekend, you can plan your exercise sessions around it.


Make (& stick to!) a list

Always go food shopping with a list! Many of us who don’t go food shopping with a list often get drawn into the discount deals on unhealthy foods because ‘they were on offer..’. If you go in with a list and stick to it, you’ll be distracted by the task in hand to find what you’ve noted down and will be less likely to be side-tracked by tempting treats.


Try Something New

Try something new. If you want to do more exercise but don’t know what to do, have a look in your local area for classes or sports lessons. If you’re learning something new, your mind is occupied on taking in the information and understanding how to do it! You probably won’t even realise that you’re doing a full workout!


Set Yourself Goals!

Set goals. Without goals there is no sense of direction. The goal doesn’t have to be losing a certain amount of weight, it could be literally anything! It could be to run a 5km or to lift a specific amount of weight. When you achieve a goal, make sure to set another. It is very easy to celebrate your goal (which you should!) but then to simply stop there because you’ve achieved it. Setting regular goals will keep you motivated all year.

December 31, 2021 — Ben Smyth