I think it is a cruel joke that the most gluttonous part of the year coincides with the coldest, darkest part of the year. So the time that you are eating more and drinking more also happens to be the time that you are least motivated to work out, move, or go outside at all. Or maybe I’m just talking about myself.
Either way, this holiday season I have found that I have been able to stay committed to my workout so far. More than any year in the past, I am making sure to schedule time for my workouts whether that means waking up early or staying out late, I’m still keeping up with working out 4-6 times a week.
What’s been most helpful for me is the way my workout is set up, once I schedule one of the classes, if I don’t cancel that class within 6 hours of it’s scheduled time, then I get penalized for not showing up. Did I mention it’s EXPENSIVE, so the need to not get penalized plus the need to get my money’s worth is a real motivator! It also helps that I LOVE my workout.
Anyway, this got me thinking of ways that I have been able to stay so committed during the season where I usually go into hibernation. Here are my tips for getting yourself out the door this winter:
1. Make It a Priority
|Don’t you love when I make my own stock photos?
I know, I know, every single list says this and I’m always like “yeah, yeah duh.” But for the first time ever I really feel like it has become a priority. I’ve been scheduling happy hours with friends around my workout. My choices are to either workout in the morning at 7:00AM or to workout in the afternoon at either 5:30 or 5:45 (after that I just can’t motivate myself to stay that late after work).
I find myself constantly checking my schedule to see where my workout would best fit in for the day. For example, my work is having a holiday lunch potluck on Friday followed by a happy hour that evening. You better believe I booked an intense cardio session for Friday morning. Even if we weren’t going out for drinks in the afternoon, I still would have booked my class in the morning because I wouldn’t want to take any chances of not showing up to workout because I was too full or tired from a big lunch. This leads me to tip number 2.
2. Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure
My gym offers 6am and 6:30am classes , but just like the late evening classes, I know I won’t be able to get my butt there. If I’m going to be at a friend’s party on Friday night, I’m not gonna schedule an 8:30AM class the next morning (or even the 9:45 class if I know it’s gonna be a good party) because I know that I’ll be out late the night before.
Don’t give yourself any room for excuses by scheduling a workout session that you might flake out on. If you know a particular day is gonna be long or you might end up doing something with friends then schedule a workout for that morning instead; don’t give yourself the excuse to miss a workout all together.
3. Reward Yourself for Hard Work
In reality, the holiday season is not the time you should have your sights set on losing weight. I think maintaining weight sounds a lot more realistic during this season. That being said, you should get to reward yourself for all your hard work. Whether you decide a food reward (such as a happy hour or dessert) or another reward, like a new workout top or something that you’ve been wanting, set up your own rewards system.
For me, since I do have all these events coming up like dinners and brunches, I’m viewing those as my rewards, which means that if I don’t workout that morning (like I promised myself I would) then I don’t get to treat those plans like a reward. I’ll still go to them because I’m expected to be there (plus obviously I’m the life of the party) but instead of the cosmopolitan that I would want to be sipping on, I’ll get 1 dry red wine or water. And instead of delicious hors d’oeuvres, I’ll be snacking on salad.
4. Penalize Yourself for Missed Work (but don’t be too hard on yourself)
I find that during the holiday season, I need to raise the stakes a little bit more to kick my own butt. Luckily as I said before, my workout does this for me by taking away a day from my monthly pass if I miss a workout that I signed up for.
In order to penalize yourself for not working out think of something that would truly motivate you to not want to miss your workout.
A few ideas are:
- Download the Gympact App (here’s what I think about it) where you get charged at least $5 per missed workout.
- Donate a pre-determined amount to charity each time you miss a workout (not exactly punishment but the loss of money at this time of year kinda stinks, but at least it’s going to a good cause)
- Give up one of your “treat yo self” treats, whether it’s your morning coffee or going out to lunch
5. Make Sure You’re Doing Something You Love
I really enjoy running, but not when it’s freezing cold and dark outside there is no way in Hell that you’re getting me to go outside. Nope, that
shit used to fly in high school but now my bones are old and brittle. The point being, if you’re lying in bed in the morning what you’re getting out of bed for has to be better than the warm bed you’re in.
It also helps to do it with someone you love (or just a friend, you know, whatever). As I mentioned before, I’ve started using MyFitness Pal again to track my calorie intake and workouts and I’m friends with my friend Julie through the app. I get to see her workout logs and successful calorie days and she sees mine. It’s great to know that someone else is going through the same struggles as me (plus I’m undercover competitive).
Those are my tips! What are some of your tips that help you stick to your workouts?