If your workout or diet plans took a backseat over the last few months, then spring may offer the perfect time to make a fresh start.
Starting a challenge or committing to a new plan at a point in time that holds significance, like the start of a new season, month or year, can help to renew your commitment to your goals and boost your motivation to achieve them.
Behavioural economists call these moments temporal landmarks. These specific points in time are often enough of a motivator to drive aspirational behaviour. This is known as the “fresh start effect”. “The start of new mental accounting periods … help us to relegate past imperfections to a previous period and to take a big picture view of our lives, thus motivating aspirational behavior.”
So, do you need a clean slate?
Temporal landmarks offer an opportunity to press the mental ‘reset’ button to start afresh with a proverbial clean slate.
But effect tends to vary depending on how big the fresh-start moment is. That’s why the start of a new year or season is generally a more prolific temporal marker, psychologically speaking, than the start of a new month or week.
Motivation levels will also naturally taper off over time. That’s why you’ll need other ways to maintain your motivation levels and affirm your commitment at regular intervals.
Here are 5 ways to boost your motivation
1. Write it down
Whatever your reasons for working out or eating right, write them down and keep a record of your progress. Seeing how far you have come and what you have accomplished will keep your spirits up and will also motivate you to keep pushing
2. Partner up
Find a gym partner who has similar goals and is at a similar level to you in terms of strength and fitness. Being accountable to someone other than yourself will ensure that you don’t skip sessions.
3. Add variety
A stale program that offers little variety and no longer challenges you is a sure-fire way to kill your motivation. Keep it fresh and interesting by taking on new challenges or changing your program every 6-8 weeks.
4. Reaffirm your reasons
It’s easy to forget the reasons that drove you to commit to making a lifestyle change in the first place. Revisit and review the reasons for your new-found training and healthy eating inspiration regularly as a constant reminder of why and who you are doing this for.
5. Reward yourself
Avoid food rewards and rather buy new training gear or an experience outdoors. Then keep stretching the targets you need to achieve to attain these rewards. This will keep you focused and working hard toward your overall goal.