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You were super-focused on your fitness goals in November. What happened? Here’s how to get your motivation back on track for 2016.

The end of last year was great. You were locked into a training programme, focused, driven and motivated. Training and nutrition were on auto-pilot and you were closing in on your goals.

Then what happened? Christmas and New Year. They happened. You had time off work, you travelled to see family, your routine was thrown off… and you somehow fell off the fitness wagon.

Don’t worry. Here’s how to get back on track quickly so you can blast into 2016.

There is No Wagon

Try reframing it. You didn’t fall off the wagon, because there is no wagon. Fitness and good health is your priority for life. Sometimes it’s less of a priority, and at other times it’s a burning flame of focus. But you can’t “fall off” your fitness lifestyle. Because it is part of your lifestyle. Be kind to yourself. You didn’t mess up, or set yourself right back to square one. You just enjoyed Christmas and New Year. Show yourself some compassion, and move forwards.

Reassess Your Start Point

It’s time to get real. Assess where your fitness, strength, weight and habits are, but do it without judgement and criticism. The goal here is to simply note where your current start point is, just as you might do if you were a Personal Trainer with a new client. Weight gain can cause people to panic, but think about it without emotion if you can. 1 lb. of body fat needs around 3500 excess calories to be created. Let’s say you’re currently 10 lbs. over your pre-Christmas weight. Did you really, honestly, achieve a 35, 000 calorie excess over the past few weeks? It’s unlikely. Weight gain can also be down to water, extra glycogen, or simply more food within your system. Get back on track with your normal, nutritious food plan and start moving more. Lots of that weight will fall away, leaving you with any actual fat gain which is likely to be much smaller than you think.

Overcome Winter Barriers

It can be particularly difficult to kick start a fitness routine at this time of year. It’s cold. It’s still dark in the morning. And it’s dark before you leave work. Identify habits you fall into every Winter that hold you back from reaching your health goals. Do you find it hard to get up in the morning to train? Is comfort eating more of a problem in Winter? Know your problem areas, then develop go-to solutions, and keep a list so you can turn to your new ideas when old habits strike.

Can’t get up to train in the morning: train at lunchtime instead, or train in the morning but promise yourself a less demanding session (like a power walk). Seem to comfort eat in the evenings when it’s dark: keep healthy, crunchy snacks in the fridge, take up colouring or crafting, call a friend on the phone. You get the idea!

Plan Your “Back On Track” Week

OK, now it’s time to get going. You’re about to get right back on track, start eating heathy again, and fall back in love with your training routine. Plan it out just as you would plan any new project. Most people find this exciting and very motivating. Get a large bit of paper and write each day down the left hand side column. Across the top, mark out columns for diet/food, training, cardio, water intake, morning routine, bedtime routine, everyday activity (like walking) and anything else you personally want to achieve. Remember to make it realistic and familiar. This is not the time to set huge, brand new goals. You are just trying to get back to how things were last year when your fitness was on auto pilot.

Set a New Goal

After your first “back on track” week has helped you remember how easy (and enjoyable) living the healthy lifestyle is, it’s time to set your 2016 goals. Sit down with your diary and set an “A” goal (this could be weight loss, a race or sporting event, or a large strength goal for the gym). Break this down into “B” goals (mini goals along the way which will help you get to that major goal). Then break each stage down into months, weeks, and days. Put everything into your diary. Now you have a year of fitness, health, diet and strength goals to guide you every day. There, don’t you feel accomplished and motivated now? You’re back to being… you!

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