Training motivation is mostly down to intrinsic factors – setting realistic goals, tracking your progress, holding yourself accountable, and creating lifelong habits are key to long-term success. But sometimes that extra bit of motivation can come from physical things that we can prepare too. And that extra little push can make a big difference in taking our fitness to the next level. Here's three ways we can surround ourselves with things that can help keep our new year's fitness goals on track:
Buy some new kit
The possibilities are almost endless, depending on the sport / exercise you do, but some ideas include: getting your own gym chalk, skipping rope, easy-carry water bottle to take running, or new protein shaker. For my birthday this year, I asked my sister- and brother-in-law for a dip belt. I couldn’t wait to get to the gym to try it out and make progress with it. It also meant I could really switch things up at the gym, adding weight to create higher intensity chin ups, pull ups and dips. A similar effect can be achieved by grabbing a new pair of gym shoes, some new lights to enable you to run at night, or new headphones that don’t fall out after five minutes of training. You'll really want to go and try your new kit out. Also, by spending a bit of money, you are making more of a commitment to your training, so will be more likely to stick to your programme.
Create a new playlist
The power of music is really quite impressive. Firstly, making a new playlist specifically for your training, full of songs that you love and motivate you, will make you want to get out and train to those tracks. So you're more likely to stick to your training programme. Secondly, music has been shown to significantly reduce perceived exertion during exercise (1), so once you are training you're likely to find yourself pushing a little harder through that wall and taking your fitness to the next level.
Get some new clothes
While it’s becoming trendy to wear workout clothes outside the gym, there is growing evidence that the clothing a person wears can trigger mental changes that positively affect their performance (2). If your workout gear consists of moth-eaten old t-shirts and mismatched socks, get some new clothes that you actually enjoy wearing and you’re much more likely to stick to your new year’s resolutions. What’s more, most new sportswear is really comfortable and is made from fabric that wicks away moisture, keeping you dry and making your workout that little bit more pleasant. So take advantage of some amazing sales on at the moment: now's a great time to invest in some new workout gear to keep you on track with your new year's resolutions!
1. Fritz, T., Hardikar, S., Demoucron, M., Niessen, M., Demey, M., Giot, O., & Leman, M. (2013). Musical agency reduces perceived exertion during strenuous physical performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(44), 17784-9.
2. Adam, & Galinsky. (2012). Enclothed cognition. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48(4), 918-925.