@winstonchurchill: They say that anything continuously done for 3-4 weeks becomes a habit; whether you start a routine, try to stop something, etc. SURE, after the initial ‘this sucks’ phase, you still need to make a conscientous effort to continue making those decisions, but it does seemingly get ‘easier’.
At two weeks, you are DEFINITELY in the ‘THIS SUCKS…why MUST I DO THIS to myself?!” phase. The good news is that if you find it within YOU, the outcome of sticking to anything becomes way more rewarding, and less like a chore you need to get done.
Some tips on maintaining motivation, as far as what works for me anyways, is as follows:
* Find something you do not HATE doing.
I HATE, have always hated, going to the gym. I always felt sub-par, hated the stench, etc. I would go for a small period, then stop going. This time around, I turned to outdoor running. I decided to start the Couch to 5K program, which only mandated 3 workouts/week, and was a manageable program. When I started that, I also signed up for my first 5k the weekend after the 9-week program. Since I did that, it motivated me to complete the program. And guess what?! I realized I LOVED running. After my first 5k, I signed up for more and more races, and trained to better my time/go longer/be faster, which also kept me accountable and motivated. Now that winger is around the corner here, I have amped up my outdoor running clothes with warm weather items, bought shoe spikes for tennis shoes, etc. In doing that, I know I need to keep running outdoors, because I spend the money. Mind tricks work!
* Purchase a scale, and use it (but do not go overboard!)
I never owned a scale. I hated the scale. I still hate the scale actually. I do not believe the number dictates healthiness at all, but dedicating myself to a weekly weigh-in kept me going. The first week I had lost 3 lbs, the second week 2lb, and so on. Seeing the numbers go down is a huge motivation – if that is what you want! Just do not get obsessed with it either. Now, if I lose it is about .5-.8 lbs/week, but I have also hit my plateau/healthy weight range…
* Re-vamp your music.
Most, if not all people listen to music while working out. I found some awesome playlists online, on FB when I asked people, etc. I made a ‘workout’ list with a ton of music, and I really love each song for different reasons. Some keep me on pace, some speed me up, some make me cry (true), but finding a playlist that keeps me going kept me motivated.
* Give yourself a break!
I think it is important to not be too hard on yourself. For a lot of people, dedicating time in your day for a workout IS HARD. However, I think a common ideal is that you need to dedicate 1+ hour(s) every day to working out. NOT TRUE! I take 2 days off a week from working out at all. I dedicate 2 days to a full hour + (my longer runs) workouts. The other 3, I do not worry about the length of time, but just worry about doing something. Usually, those days, I am doing about a 30-minute workout. Some times it is just cross training in my garage (sit-ups/push-ups, etc). Some days it is sprinting up and down my driveway. Some days it is doing a quick ‘3-miler’. It IS sometimes hard to find the time, but I think doing something is better than nothing at all, and it is easier to not detest working out this way (for me anyways!)
I hope these tips helped a bit 🙂 Good luck!