Have you fallen off the fitness horse? Are you turning to those high processed carbs, the ones you swore off this year, for comfort? Do you feel angry and disappointed in yourself for not living up to your fitness goals?
Don’t. Falling off the wagon happens to the best of us. In fact, a lapse in your fitness resolutions is pretty much par for the course once you embark on a journey of health, wellness, and rock hard abs.
If you’ve traded your sweat sessions for sweatpants, never fear. Here’s how to bounce back from falling off the fitness wagon.
1. Look At How Far You’ve Come
Unearth old Facebook photos, journals, clothes, and/or measurements of yourself. Take a minute to truly look at how far you’ve come, and how you’ve changed for the better. Even if it’s just the change in your energy levels, any positive change is worth recognizing and for giving yourself a pat on the back. Remember the goals you’ve set for yourself in the past, and the feeling of pride and confidence you’ve experienced. Use that as fuel to keep going.
2. Go Small
Maybe you fell off the wagon because your “to do” list was too long: do daily cardio, drink more water, measure your macros, etc. Trying to change your lifestyle habits with a laundry list of goals is admirable, but it’s also a surefire way of falling off the wagon. Doing too much too soon is overwhelming for most people, so cut yourself some slack. Focus on one goal per week — maybe upping your water intake for the first week, and adding more cardio for the next — and watch how these small adjustments make a huge impact.
3. Change It Up
Bored of your new workout routine or eating salads 24/7? Then change it up. Research shows that motivation and productivity increase with a change in environment. Any type of change, whether it’s trying out a new healthy recipe or creating a new playlist for your workout, can spark some much-needed mojo toward achieving your goals.
4. Get a Workout Buddy
Sometimes getting to the gym is the hardest part of the workout. This is why having a workout buddy helps so much. Even if you find you work better on your own, the right exercise partner can help you in a number of ways, including everything from holding you accountable for your goals, to motivating you to push through a few extra reps.
Ultimately, having a workout buddy makes exercising more fun, which means you are more likely to prioritize it.
Sometimes we don’t consider just how much time it takes to eat healthily. From meal research to shopping to prepping to cooking…it’s a lot of work. Think of strategies that can help you stick to your new eating goals. Maybe it’s doing “meal prep Sunday” or having ready-made healthy snacks for the office and the car. Planning ahead and being proactive can help stave off frustration and boredom, key feelings that usually drive us to give up on our goals.
Just like falling off an actual horse, the faster you can return to your fitness goals, the better. Not only will you be more likely to stick to them, but you’ll also learn how to sidestep any potential setbacks — because there will always be setbacks. Keep being persistent and gentle with yourself, and remember that you deserve a happy and healthy life.
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