How’s it going with that New Year’s resolution to get in shape? What’s that you say? You quit? You may have had big goals for yourself and a lot of determination, but for whatever reason you’ve fallen off the proverbial exercise wagon. Before you accept defeat, you need to realize that you can recover. You can get back up and try again, no matter how defeated you feel. This time you can have success, and here’s how.
Don’t Feel Ashamed
You might feel ashamed, disappointed, or embarrassed for straying from your exercise routine. Stop feeling that way right now. No one is perfect, and most people take extended fitness breaks once and a while. More than anything, you should feel proud of yourself for having an exercise routine in the first place and for your willingness to start with it again. Think of your break as a good thing. You’re going back to your workouts with a completely recovered body and a fresh outlook.
Depending on how intensely you were working out before your break, you may have to gradually work up to that level again. If you try to pick up exactly where you left off, you could end up hurting yourself. Start slowly. Do only what you can handle, and eventually you’ll get back to where you were. You have to start from the beginning again, but it’s likely that it will be easier this time than it was before.
Do Something Different
If you want to stay on the exercise wagon this time around, you need to evaluate why you fell off in the first place. Did an unexpected event occur in your life? Did you get bored? Were you frustrated with your results? Did you have trouble finding the time? You might need to change your exercise plan to prevent yourself from quitting again. Maybe you need to schedule your workouts for a different time of day, or find a new method of getting in shape. Run in a new location or try a group fitness class – whatever you do, do something different.
Enlist a Friend
Has working out been a solo effort for you? If you want to stay on board this time, maybe you need to enlist the help of a workout buddy. Find someone, anyone, who wants to get in shape, too, and become exercise partners. You can work out together and challenge each other. At the very least, informing someone of your exercise intentions and asking for their support will give you someone to be accountable to other than yourself, which can be a powerful motivator.
You’re working hard to get in shape again, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Find a way to reward yourself for your efforts, and make sure to reward yourself along the way. You shouldn’t punish yourself for falling off in the first place with a stricter regimen. Give yourself a break once in a while, and it will actually help you to stay on track.
Gareth Smith is a sports enthusiast and fitness buff who loves to write about his passions. He also has a passion for travel and couldn’t be more thrilled to stay in a Cape Town hotel and visit his cousins this summer in South Africa. He is looking forward to family games of soccer, Cape Town hotel accomodations, and raucous evenings with his family that will make great memories.