As I write this post, I currently have a case of the Monday blues. As you probably have noticed, it’s been dreary, with cooler-than-normal weather this summer in the Santa Cruz area, which makes me want to just stay inside, curl up with a cup of tea and stay … sedentary. Not a good thing to hear from a personal trainer, correct? Well, if you are affected by the weather or even if you are not, sometimes it is hard to get motivated or stay motivated. I am currently pregnant with our second child and while we are very excited, pregnancy is typically hard on my body. And with it being so cold outside, I have no interest in being active while my body hurts. But I must do it. I must get outside, for anything, for my sanity.
The biggest thing people need from a personal trainer is accountability. Yes, a challenging workout is high on the list but making it through the door is one of the biggest reasons someone hires a personal trainer, joins a class, signs up for sport lessons. You have to show up. And that trainer or instructor wants to see you show up so you can see the results you want. They are in the business of seeing results and if you don’t show up, you can’t expect results. We all need accountability, even some personal trainers who are affected by the temperature outside (note to self).
So, how do you stay motivated to keep reaching your fitness goals? Here are a few tips as summer is drawing to a close and the fall is creeping in:
Make exercise a priority. If you want to see results, it needs to be a high priority. Maybe higher than you think it is on your list. Is the extra hour of sleep really necessary? I was once told, “if you want to see what someone values, see what and where they spend their money.” I think we could take it one step further—instead of looking at the pocketbook, look at the day planner. Is your day planner too full to put exercise in? Get rid of something off your list and add in exercise. If it’s not on the list, it is not a priority. Plain and simple.
Once exercise is a priority, treat it as such. So, you have cleared time out of your day to exercise. What will you do when you get the evening call to go out with your friends or your boss asking for you to pick up an assignment at work? That hour to two-hour block for exercise is an appointment. Treat it as such. You wouldn’t cancel on another friend for those above examples, would you? Most likely, you would not.
Accountability is key. It’s so important that you tell others about your exercise endeavors and give them permission to speak into your life about how you are doing with it. Find a workout buddy. Go to the gym with that friend (and do not flake on them). If you do not have a workout buddy who can workout with you, ask a friend spouse, or family member to hold you accountable. Ask them to ask about your week and how you are fitting fitness in. But the biggest key here: because you are not working out next to them, they do not know if you are telling the truth. Honesty really is the best policy and having a friend who will be blunt and honest with you if you miss a session is very important.
Lastly, if you are not finding that you can reach your goals on your own or not seeing the results you want, hire a personal trainer. We are trained to help you see your results, even outside of a gym. I train all of my clients outside the gym and have personally seen results without ever stepping foot on a treadmill. Hard work, determination and the right tools will help you reach your goals; not treadmills, nautilus equipment or the newest, coolest classes (although they can be fun and helpful).
Ok, so you have been given some tools to get going. Get your day planner and start planning your workouts. Don’t wait and don’t give up. Waiting can be the biggest enemy/ Get going now and start seeing the results you want to see.
Sarah Martin is a certified fitness trainer. She lives in Aptos with her husband and 1-year-old son. Visit smartfitnesssc.com for more information.