Tap into this; Christmas has been and gone. The clock stuck midnight on 31 December, and 2024 is well and truly here. Now if you’re anything like 30 per cent of the UK population, you’ll have new goals in sight. New targets to hit and a truckload of motivation, especially when committing to exercising more… until 12 January, that is - National Quitters Day.
This day, which usually falls on the second Friday of January, has been dubbed the disaster day for resolutions, with people giving up on the bold plans that they have made for the new year and reverting back to old habits and routines. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Here are 10 tips to help you push past Quitters Day and stay on track for the rest of 2024. You. Can. Do. This.
1. Set a goal
This gives every training session a purpose. Whether it's a personal reason relating to your health or weight loss - or a performance goal like improving your cycling or training for a marathon, if you have a goal in mind, then every time you do a training session, you’ve got a reason for showing up. Setting up a training plan will help you create realistic goals depending on what your fitness level is and help get you excited about your training again.
2. Mix it up
If you’re a runner, for example, trying some cross-training like a new circuit or yoga class will not only help with your training but could also be beneficial to your overall technique while helping with injury prevention and endurance. Cross-training, such as HYROX, is a great way to inject a dose of variety and fun into your training as you try new things and challenge muscles to move in different ways.
3. Make sure you have the correct kit and equipment
A new and weather-appropriate kit can give you a huge psychological boost during the tough and colder months - and feeling good (and warm) in what you wear can help keep you motivated.
If you’re training outside try layering up with a good base layer, a short-sleeved t-shirt as well as a mid-layer plus some gloves, and a hat, then even a waterproof jacket or a gilet. If you feel good in your activewear, you're more likely to get amped about breaking a sweat.
4. Lay it all out
Following on from your kit, it’s also a great idea to prepare your active wear the night before your next workout too. Having it all laid out and ready will eliminate rummaging around for your clothes or gym bag, meaning the only task you have to perform is popping on your trainers and getting out the door. No excuses.
5. Exercise with friends or join a club
Buddying up or partaking in group exercise classes where you’ll find yourself surrounded by other like-minded individuals who have similar desires and goals as yourself is a great way to train as well as socialise.
Psychologically training with others and seeing them achieve their goals can keep you ambitious as you try to keep up with their determination. Researchers from Kansas State University found that working out with someone you perceive as more physically fit than you can help you increase your workout time and intensity by a whopping 200 per cent.
6. Train inside
If the weather is putting you off, then you don’t need to go and run or cycle in it, you could try a home workout instead. Alternatively, you could set yourself up for the winter and buy an indoor exercise bike or maybe some kettlebells. Training at home can often be a more time-efficient way to get your exercise in, and you could save money too. Convenience is key when it’s cold, and your motivation is at zero.
7. Find a time that works and schedule it in
Timing can be everything when it comes to motivation to exercise. If you are too tired to exercise in the morning, then why not schedule it during your lunch break or as soon as you get home from work? Or if you know you have a busy work day every Thursday, then why not make that the day that you do a yoga class and de-stress? Either way, scheduling your weekly exercise will remove all excuses not to stay fit – all you have to do is show up, sweat, and feel awesome.
8. Create the perfect playlist
Music can be a great motivator and make up for the lack of visual stimulation, especially when you’re training indoors or at home.
Find a style of music that helps you stay in a rhythm to make your training sessions more enjoyable (songs that have 125 to 140 beats per minute have been proven to be the best)
and tune in and let the music lift you up and carry you through. Audiobooks and podcasts are also a great way to keep you motivated, especially when the host inspires you. Try Escape Your Limits or Huberman Lab for plenty of motivational insights that can help you tweak your health, habits, food, and fitness goals. James Clear’s Atomic Habits is a great audio book too.
9. Try a training app
Find motivation by joining a virtual fitness world - there are so many to choose from, and they’re only getting better.
Training apps like Nike Training Club, Gymshark 66 or the Peloton app can turn your indoor sessions into a fun and engaging workout without leaving the house - they can bring a sense of community too. Not only can you work out with real people and trainers and get involved in community challenges, but you can do other other workouts in any area you love; think strength training, breathwork, yoga, plyometrics or even mobility. The world is your oyster.
10. Reward yourself
It’s all very well having goals and motivating yourself to train, but you need to enjoy the rewards too - it will make you want to achieve them more. So remember to have rest days and enjoy them, as well as treat yourself to a new kit or a new flavour of your favourite protein shake.
Post workout Epsom bath salts are super relaxing and great for recovery - and a healthier version of your favourite takeaway is a great way to hype yourself up and get home even quicker. PBs are easy to work when there’s a good meal waiting on the table.
This feature is part of T3's Get Fit 2024 campaign. We’ll be bringing you a wealth of guides, features, deals and news to help you get healthy, fit and ready for anything the new year can throw at you. Whether you’re a newcomer to fitness or someone with a passion for it, we’ll bring you all the best workouts, diet advice and gear to set you on the right track.