Let’s be frank, 2020 has been testing every single one of us and our mental health more than anyone could have ever imagined. The worst thing is, 2021 may not be any different! Everything we had so carefully planned to reach our fitness goals went out the window. Personally I had planned to partake in a few organized runs like the Army Run and Spartan Races but they were all cancelled. We need to be prepared and take concrete steps to make sure our motivation is on point for when tough times are testing us. Keep reading if you want to stay motivated and crush your goals in 2021.
New Year New Me
January is usually the time of year when people make resolutions. The holiday break gives people time to unwind and indulge; everyone is determined to hit the gym, change their nutritional habits, and get back to their life through healthier habits. It’s usually motivating to see friends on social media posting about their new goals and working hard to achieve them or talking with your buddy at the office who’s started a new CrossFit program. There’s something about a new year that makes you feel like anything is possible…
How Will You Handle This 2021 Test?
This year however, none of this is the same. The holidays were depressing with restrictions preventing us from seeing close friends and family. Anxiety and uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 did not give us time to unwind and indulge. Gyms are not reopening. Going to the grocery store is a pain in the ass with the endless lines, which does not make you want to spend hours looking for the ingredients you need for your new healthy diet. You’re stuck working at home in your pyjamas as opposed to getting your gym bag ready for your post shift 5 o’clock workout. Plus, people on social media posting about their new year fitness resolution honestly just makes you feel worse about yourself for not being as motivated as them. And you know what? You are not alone in this mess. Truly everything around us is completely demotivating and mental health is going down the drain. A study conducted in the US found that when it comes to depression symptoms, “prevalence was more than 3-fold higher during the COVID-19 pandemic than before” 1. These times are testing you and they’re testing your ability to keep your head in the game. This can go two ways: you can let it bring you down or you can see it as a test. Can you push through these tough times to come out stronger? Here, I’m going to give you 6 keys that you can use now to stay motivated and to pick back up with your health and fitness journey in 2021.
1. Find Your WHY, Again
This is the first step in order to build purpose. Working aimlessly when there is no explicit purpose as to why you’re doing what you’re doing is not sustainable over a long period of time. At first you might be motivated by a new workout program or new at-home gym equipment, but sure enough that will fade into nothing if you don’t have a deeper purpose as to why you’re on this fitness journey. So, if you have never asked yourself this question before, then it is time. WHY are you starting this workout regimen? Is it to feel better about yourself or your body? Is it to get on a course or a selection? Is it because you’re sick of feeling unfit and heavy? Be honest with yourself as opposed to jumping to the first cliché answer: I want to be healthy. Do some digging. Some of us may have asked ourselves this question before but we may have lost focus along the way. Digging again to find it and to find why it motivated you in the first place will help get you back in the right headspace. If you have a strong “why”, it will be that much harder for external factors to stop you.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself
Sometimes we can get stuck in a negative cycle of comparing ourselves with the Instagram fitness superstars and, as cliché as it sounds, you can’t compare your journey with anyone else’s. So, if you find yourself scrolling for hours through fitness accounts and feeling down on yourself because you can’t do 50 muscle ups in a row like the guy you saw on IG, then think about cleaning up your feed. Inspiration is great unless it’s having the opposite effect and making you feel ashamed for not being perfect. So be honest with yourself and maybe take a break from following certain accounts. You need to sit with your own progress and give yourself credit for YOUR wins.
3. Find A Workout Method That Works For YOU
Not every method works for everyone, and now that you’re stuck at home, you may need to find a new one. One that will make you excited for your training session. If you’re anything like me, maybe your pre-Covid exercise was lifting weights at the gym, and now we’re left without them for God knows how long. It’s time to look outside the box and find new ways to challenge yourself. Fitness doesn’t only mean lifting weights. Maybe try a sport that you’ve been meaning to pick up like skating or cross-country skiing! Keep an open mind and try: circuits, AMRAPs, running, rucking, yoga, Youtube videos, zoom workouts with friends or maybe try one of our new HRD2KILL programs like Op Tripod (more info on https://hrd2killprograms.com/optripod). And here is a beginner Kettlebell workout to try if you need some inspo. The key here is to try many different methods, keep the ones that work for you and toss the ones that don’t. It’s not because your IG inspirations go running every day that it’s necessarily for you. You gotta find something that YOU will stick to.
4. Reward Yourself Post Workout
Positive reinforcement! If your schedule is out of whack and you’re spending most of your time at home during this second lockdown, you might be finding it hard to just get into your workout clothes and get it done. Try planning a post-workout reward that will get you moving. For example, that could be a nice big breakfast or a chocolate smoothie.
5. Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People
Surrounding yourself with people who will support you in your journey can have a significant impact. Tell your family about how important your fitness goals are to you and that you’ll need to get all the support from them. Maybe even get your partner or your best buddy to join into your new workout schedule! It’s a lot easier to stay committed to your workout when you surround yourself with people who have similar lifestyles. Or maybe meet up with your neighbor every Saturday for a “2 meters apart run”. Working out with someone, even if it’s from a distance or online, can help keep you accountable. Or, if you haven’t joined the HRD2KILL Facebook group, it’s a great place to start ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/hrd2killtrgprgms ). This online community brings like-minded people together and watching them go after their goals will keep you motivated.
6. Get Support
If ever you feel overwhelmed during these tough times, remember that the Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program(CFMAP) is there to support you. The CFMAP offers confidential and short-term counselling to assist with resolving many of today’s stresses at home and in the workplace. Here is the number for anyone who needs it: 1-800-268-7708
This year will test you. The key is to take concrete steps to make sure you’re rising above the craziness and keeping your head in the game. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need a kick in the ass for your health goals through the HRD2KILL Facebook group or through this link to schedule a call with us Book a call to build yourself up for 2021 . Stay HRD2KILL!
Audrée is a graduating student in Athletic Therapy from Concordia University and a reservist in the CAF with the 51st Fd Amb. Coming from a contemporary dancing background, she was looking to improve her physical capabilities through strength and conditioning. At 17 years old she had her personal training certification and was working in a gym helping people reach their fitness goals. She now is focusing her work on getting people to their full potential through globally assessing body mechanics and weaknesses with athletic therapy.