The Motivation to Continue
What is done outside of the gym is equally important to the big picture of your New Year’s resolution.
Motivation and discipline are two sides of the same coin and are both required for success in any goal. If there is a goal you wish to accomplish, your urge to engage in that process is motivation, and the amount and duration of your effort is discipline. Think of motivation as your initial burst of inspiration.
Discipline is the thing that keeps you moving toward your goal long after the excitement has faded. It allows you to stay focused on your goals and enables you to stay in control of yourself and of your reaction to any situation. Self-discipline is like a muscle: the more you train it, the stronger you become. This is why what is done outside of the gym is equally important to the big picture of your New Year’s resolution.
What are some ways to practice self-discipline to keep you on track?
Having your meal planned could be argued that it is more important than your actual training. There is a saying in fitness, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” Let’s keep this super simple.
For starters, let’s eliminate fast food or eating out. On that note, meal prep would be ideal. This way, your food is controlled by you both in portion as well as nutrition.
What I do is I will write out a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu (snacks as well, if you’re into that) at the beginning of my week. Then I post it in my fridge. I’ll do the grocery and prep as much as I can to make the meals a cinch to finish off. I’ll cook my proteins in advance or cook and freeze other things. Meal prepping helps me stay on track and away from random meals, like the run-of-the-mill “I don’t feel like cooking when I get home, so I’ll just turn into this ‘drive-thru’ really quick” meal.
Also, plan fun outings sometimes. A pick-up game of any sport, a hike, a catch with your kids, a bike ride, etc. It’s a great, no-brainer way of doing something active in a relaxed state.
Hydration: Let’s talk about water.
Normally, you should consume half of your body weight in ounces. If you’re training hard and sweating every day, consider more to replenish what gets lost. Once again, to keep it super simple, let’s avoid sodas and sugary drinks like commercial juices. With this approach, you will stay hydrated more and reduce your sugar and caloric intake.
Those who like a little “pick me up” drink containing caffeine actually contribute to dehydrating your body further, so be aware of your choices. I start every morning with a tall glass of citrus water. It is the very first thing that enters my body every single day. Among the benefits mentioned above, water helps flush your body of unwanted/unneeded material.
Get your rest!
The next component to this is rest. In addition to getting 7-8 hours of sleep at night, you should rest your body 1 or 2 days a week during your New Year’s resolution. Here at Evolve, rest is a part of your training program. Regardless of your fitness level, we advise that you incorporate 1 to 2 days of rest to prevent burnout and avoid injuries.
Not getting enough rest could very quickly turn into “overtraining.” If you are overtraining, you will likely have a lack of energy and motivation, and it will prolong your recovery and progress.
Last but not least, an additional activity that can be practiced outside of the gym is meditation. Meditation is important because it can cause a shift in your emotions and focus. A great way to start your day is to do a 5-minute meditation session, or you can recharge your mind in the middle of the day with a meditation session. If you have trouble sleeping at night, meditation is a great way to help you fall and stay asleep.
Other benefits include lower stress, reduced anxiety, enhanced mental health, curbs your appetite, helps maintain greater focus, and is a great way to practice gratitude.
In conclusion, New Year’s resolutions are a great way to set goals and make positive changes in your life. But when it comes to martial arts and fitness, what you do outside of the gym is just as important as what you do inside. Consistency, nutrition, sleep, and stress management are all key aspects of achieving your fitness goals. So, don’t just focus on hitting the gym, but also on making healthy choices outside of it. Not only will it be easier to hit your goals but also create better habits!
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