Every January, people around the world take stock of their lives and reflect on what they'd like to change in the not-too-distant future. For me, this meant applying to college for the third and God forbid the final time to get my doctorate. But for the vast majority of folk, this means taking a look at their Christmas food babies and deciding to go to the gym.
And while most of these budding gym bunnies start the year off on the right foot, their motivation often wanes as a result of their ambition - especially when they don't start to see results within a short space of time. That's why personal trainer Camilla Akerberg has shared these seven incredible tips on how to stay motivated and get your dream body in months.
1. Plan your exercise regime in advance
Don't be a gym n00b and walk in without a plan. If you do, you could be completely wasting your time and energy, which will leave you feeling understandably frustrated. "You should know what it is you are training each day," Akerberg said. She suggests keeping a log book of your intended workouts each week and ticking them off as you go along.
2. Remember to take breaks
Burnout is a very real risk when you want results and you want them fast, but it will ultimately hinder your progress in the long run if you don't learn the importance of taking a break early on. "This can really help you pick up your motivation again to keep on going," she explained. "Have a 4-5 day break from training, get plenty of rest and keep on going."
To see Akerberg undertaking some impressive holiday acrobatics, check out the video below:
3. Set realistic goals
Sure, we'd all love to have a six pack, but it's just not realistic for everyone, and if you set fitness goals that are too ambitious, you'll inevitably be left feeling disappointed. "Your training plan should be realistic to what you can keep up with," Akerberg said. "Instead of skipping the gym altogether, I will do an alternative training session that requires less energy."
4. Limit your screen time
These days, it's easier than ever before to fritter away our time online instead of being productive, which is why it's important to identify factors (like Netflix) that could be distracting you. "Spend less time on your phone, or whatever it is you do too much," she said. Akerberg then suggested replacing these distractions with productive pursuits like reading books about fitness.
5. Hold yourself accountable
At the end of the day, even if it's your intent to get ripped for your partner, the only person who can hold yourself accountable for your actions is you. Akerberg said that a good way of doing this is by making your goals public - such as on social media - so that you put extra pressure on yourself to meet them - but it doesn't hurt to get your friends and family to motivate you too.
6. Keep your regime interesting
The phrase "variety's the spice of life" exists for a good reason. Akerberg suggests taking a new class or going on fitness retreat.
7. Don't overindulge on stimulants
While it's true that a morning coffee can be a Godsend when it comes to keeping you alert in the morning, Akerberg warns against overindulging in this department because of the effect it could have on your fitness. "Only you know where to draw the line in terms of dosage," she said of caffeine."One person's typical morning shot might make another jittery and unfocused all day."
So, if your motivation is already waning halfway into January, you might want to abandon your current regime and try out Akerberg's. One thing's for sure, if her body is anything to go by, she's a woman worth trusting with it comes to fitness advice!