It's cold outside, and too much holiday fun has you feeling exhausted and sluggish. Staying in bed under the covers can easily become the default option for even the most fit individuals. This time of year plates of cookies, holiday party obligations and icy outdoor conditions make it difficult to stay on track with your health, fitness and nutrition goals. While it's OK to take a break to enjoy the season, a little motivation to stick with it when times get tough can go a long way in feeling energized, fit and meeting your long-term goals.
Create a Mantra
Quotes and mantras can help you feel powerful and ready to take on the world. Grab a screenshot of a quote you see on social media that really hits home, repeat a favorite quote before you head out for a training session or put on a temporary tattoo of a phrase that you can look at throughout your workout.
Remember Your Reason
Getting back in touch with the why behind your workouts will inspire you to put in the work. Are you doing this to improve cholesterol? Build muscle? Lose weight? Get a PR? Help a charity? Whatever it is, let it motivate you to put in the work.
Make a Plan
Goals can sometimes seem lofty and unachievable, so take some time to write each goal down and make a plan to reach each one. This will show you what work you need to put in to reach success. Having a plan can motivate you by meeting smaller milestone goals while working towards your larger, long-term goals.
Zip up Race Clothes
Nothing ramps up motivation to push hard like preparing for a race. When you are not racing, it can be difficult to feel this excitement and motivation to do the training. The good news is you don't have to sign up for a race to get the benefits—just pretend! Lace up your race shoes, put on your race kit, practice race day nutrition or perform a race-prep workout.
Download a Podcast
Listening to a podcast related to your sport, performance or mindset can keep you mentally engaged and motivated. Pick a series that is expert led and allows you to learn more about perfecting your technique. Or opt for a series that checks in with other athletes to chat about their journey and experiences. You will be able to relate to their stories of success or hardships and will feel like you're not alone, a pretty motivating aspect.
Pump up the Music
Try adding some fast paced, energetic songs to your playlist. Picking songs that have words like fast, strong or power can be great for boosting mood and motivation to get your workout done. Simply search your music stations for 'workout' or 'cardio' to see what others are enjoying.
Set an Alarm
For some, motivation needs a constant reminder. That's OK! Don't sit around waiting for motivation to strike but rather make it happen! Set a daily alarm to lace up your sneakers, do core work or even simply to check in with your training goals.
Play to Your Strengths
Motivation can dwindle when you feel constantly beat up from tough workouts where your performances aren't showing you a gain in speed, power or mileage. Go out and do your favorite workouts that you know you are good at and make you feel good. It could be track work, sprints, squats, a class at the gym...whatever! You'll feel ready to take on those challenging workouts again once you have a little success under your belt.
Connect With Others
Join a Facebook group, Listserve or another chat forum with other athletes with your same athletic interests. Being able to discuss problems, races, gear, routes and more with others will make you feel more involved. Providing advice or support to others can boost how you feel about the sport as well.
Try Something New
When it feels as though progress has stalled or isn't going great, finding success in other areas can give you a unique challenge to motivate your workout. Do a sport you aren't familiar with, join a recreation basketball or volleyball game or try a fitness class or home video that you've been interested in testing out.
READ THIS NEXT: What to Consider When Making a Motivational Workout Playlist