January is, of course, the time of year when many of us start thinking of putting new plans into action for the year ahead.
However, everyone knows that the best intentions are often being put to one side by February or March. So here are a few ideas on how to keep up those resolutions and form them into positive habits that can make your year that little bit better!
1. Train in the early morning
I am a great believer in early morning training, whatever it is.
Even if you spend just 5 minutes going through a joint mobility routine, you’ll reap the rewards later in the day. Without fail I find that my days go so much better if I have done some training in the morning, if I don’t I feel sluggish and way off my full potential.
Going through martial arts forms is perfect for this time of day and once they are done, you have the rest of the day ahead, knowing that your training is done and dusted!
If weight loss is your goal, a morning cardio workout is great for kickstarting your metabolism.
One word of caution, make sure you do plenty of warm up sets if you are thinking of weight lifting in the morning, otherwise you run the risk of injury. If I am doing strength work pre-breakfast, I make sure I only lift up to 50-75% of my full potential.
2. Join a club/pre book a course
One way to get and stay motivated is to join a club or attend a pre booked course.
You’re more likely to hold yourself accountable if you have done so, especially if you’ve told people what you are doing!
By training as part of a group you effectively become a member of a team and are more likely to not want to let anyone down by not attending.
So whatever it is you are interested in, have a Google search and find a local club in your area.
3. Train with friends
Attending a class on your own can be quite daunting at times, especially if it is something like a martial art that you have never tried before.
Joining with a friend has two main benefits, you won’t feel like you are starting all on your own and sticking out as the ‘newbie’.
Perhaps more importantly, you are making yourself accountable to someone else and you are more likely to motivate each other and stick to it.
4. Set yourself a goal
This one speaks for itself, whatever it is that you are into, set yourself a target to work towards. It could be running a marathon, learning 10 Tai Chi moves by the end of the year, doing 100 push ups, competing in a kickboxing competition, losing weight, building bigger guns…. whatever you decide, having an end result to focus on can help when motivation starts to wane.
5. Keep a journal to chart your progress
This point is closely linked to the one above, once you have set a goal start to keep track of your progress.
If you can do 1 pull up and you want to get to 20 by the end of the year, it can often seem like a far off goal.
However if you keep progress in a journal so you can clearly see your development and how far you have come from day 1, you are more likely to feel like you are getting somewhere and consequently. You’ll also learn to enjoy the journey as well as the end result!
So there are just a few ways you can keep yourself motivated in the year ahead. If Chinese Martial Arts and fitness make up part of your resolution, then drop by to one of our classes to try them out or email/call the relevant instructor.
Whatever your goals are, have a great 2014.
See you in class,