Struggling to stay motivated and stick with your New Year intentions? You’re not alone; we’re all finding this a long, cold month. The last two mornings, I’ve got up pulled on my running gear only to be defeated by the pouring rain and icy wind. I’ve got a fridge full of fruit and veg waiting to be blended but I really don’t fancy a cold juice. If I’m honest I’d rather just put the kettle on for another pot of hot tea and curl up on the sofa with a pile of magazines. Even yoga has been chilly challenge - it’s really tough getting on the mat when it’s dark when I get up and even dark when I get home. The days are short, my schedule is busier than ever and it’s taking me endless sun salutations to even start breaking a sweat.
If you’re feeling a bit deflated and far from inspired, here are some ways I’m motivating myself to get moving this week….
1. Get the hard stuff done first thing
Bite the bullet, wrap up (who cares if you look silly in that bobble hat?), turn up the volume, and grab a strong coffee to give you kick-start. No one said it was going to be easy but the rewards are worth it. Once you've smashed 10k run around a freezing, muddy park (follow me on Instagram @lucywakefield_calmia to see if I did finally make it!) the rest of your day, no matter how long and stressful, will seem like a breeze. I’ve just updated my workout wardrobe with another pair Energy Run Tights. Super soft yet supportive, I love these and with their deep waistband and super stretchy fabric, I can wear them for vinyasa flow as well.
2. Keep track with a journal
I’m always making lists – I love the satisfaction that comes with ticking stuff off. It’s true that if you track your progress, you'll be able to see it, which will help motivate you to continue or try even harder. So log those dry days, record the number of times you’ve been to yoga, write down that healthy new recipe you tried and share it on social media, track the steps you’ve walked and miles you’ve ran…. Why not have a reward system, so you'll have something to look forward to. I’m treating my muscles to some foam rolling release – 20 minutes with my Stress Relief Roller to ease post workout tension and too long spent sat at my desk.
3. Wrap up and keep warm
I’m layering up properly from top to toe and that’s not only for outdoors – even for yoga I’m starting off cosy and giving my joints and extremities an extra layer. I feel like a ballerina in my leg warmers, and I’m addicted to my new yoga gloves and socks which are giving me not only warmth but extra grip and stability.
4. Nourish from the inside out
In winter, I don’t feel like salads or sandwiches so I’m experimenting with nourishing bowls packed full of nutrients from healthful ingredients such as brown rice, eggs, avocados, nuts and seeds, greens, sweet potato, beetroot. There’s no specific recipe to follow but I’m just aiming for a balance of raw and cooked ingredients that will make my body feel energized and satisfied. The pleasure of creating a nourishing bowl comes from the fact that you can work with what you already have in your cupboard and fridge. You don’t need to prepare all the ingredients at once – maybe you have some rice left from a salad you made yesterday, maybe you have some greens you just didn’t know what to do with, or maybe you roasted too many root vegetables for your soup the other day. Never throw away your food, as you can always put together a delicious, nourishing bowl. I love to make my bowls as colorful as possible, because color means nutrients.
5. Make realistic workout switches
I believe that fitness, as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, is definitely an immunity booster but it's also about being sensible. If I am feeling a little run down, I’ll choose a low impact option such as restorative yoga or an online barre class rather than a outdoor run or a kettle-bell session. I’ve always got a yoga mat in my carry sling close by just in case the opportunity practice or stretch arises – I’ve found even just 20 minutes of yoga can change my whole day around. Remember, just because you haven’t got the energy for your usual gym routine or 90-minute dynamic yoga class, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on being active altogether.
6. Fill my diary with wellness dates
When I’m having a hard time fitting in time for workouts and self-care, I often enroll the help of a friend and make a ‘wellness date’ – once I’ve got that commitment in the diary I’m not going to let her down. We make plans to do something fun yet healthy like try out a new local yoga studio (fold, London) or take a power walk with her dog around the park – other ‘dates’ we have planned include going to healthy food events (fare healthy), attend yoga master classes (secret yoga club), chanting sessions and charity runs. There’s so much more to do than just meeting for a coffee.