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  • Mint Suetrong

How to Stay Motivated during Winter Break

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

By: Mint Suetrong, Contributing Writer

Whether you are travelling or stuck at home due to the Covid-19 Lockdown, unless you genuinely enjoy working out, you are bound to sway away from your normal routine, one way or the other. Celebratory times come with delicious meals with your friends and family, sleeping in until noon and endlessly binge-watching TV shows on Netflix. Is that the best course of action for you and your body? Probably not. Consistency is key to achieving your goals, so here are a few trips and tricks that have helped motivate my friends and I to keep working out. Just for context, the temperature never falls below 20 Celsius here in Thailand so we do not have to worry about the sluggish feeling that comes with colder weather. However, we do have to deal with immeasurable amounts of humidity, so choose your battles wisely.

  1. Setting up specific goals

When you start planning your workout, it is crucial to make specific and measurable goals. Set yourself a time-frame as well. New Years is right around the corner and we do not want to add to the heaps full of empty resolutions that have been made in the past. “I want to become fitter,” one may say, but what defines ‘fitter’ specifically? Goals such as, “I want to be able to bench press 20 kg by January”, or “I want to be able to run 800m in 3 minutes by April” are examples of specific, measurable, and time-phased goals. Specifying when you want to achieve your goal, especially when it is a long-term goal, as it would help give you direction on how to plan your short-term (next week) and medium-term (next month) goals. For example, measuring your muscle weight/percentage of muscle mass content rather than your weight loss may be a suitable way of checking your progress because muscle weighs more than fat at the same volume.

Since setting goals that are realistic yet still challenging can be difficult, consulting with your coach or an athletic friend about your goals and how you should plan your training may be helpful. Jumping too fast into fitness may pose a problem as you risk over-exerting yourself and that may lead to an injury. Make sure that your goals are challenging enough that it excites you when you achieve it, but not too far out of reach that it demotivates you. Write these goals down, stick it on the wall and revisit it every day. Surely, that will keep you going.

2. Changing your workout playlist

If you have not delved into the world of KPOP yet, now is your chance. NCT, Stray Kids and Seventeen have many upbeat songs that will surely help you push through even your toughest workouts. Some of my favourites are Chain by NCT, Double Knot by Stray Kids, and Fear by Seventeen. On days where I’ve lost motivation, I would listen to Fearless by Seventeen; it has never failed to make me feel empowered.

3. Working out with friends and family

It is easy to let yourself off when you are working out alone. Setting up little challenges for each other not only makes exercising exciting but it can also motivate the other person to keep going as well. ‘Positive peer pressure’ is what I like to call it. In courtesy of having athletic friends, seeing them put in the immense amount of time and effort into their training has inspired me to do the same as well. However, know your limits and do not compare yourself and your progress with others. Getting up, putting on your workout clothes and starting your workout is already a massive accomplishment. If you are just starting off, set small, realistic goals for yourself. Encourage each other and do not lose hope. You can do this, believe in yourself.

4. Recognising your accomplishments

Keep a track of your workout routine. For example, note down how many push-ups you did during that session and the duration and speed of your run. As you build up your workout, you will be able to look back to see how far you have come. As someone who constantly needs reassurance and emotional validity, this has made the most significant impact so far. Remember, small steps. Consistency is key in achieving your goals.

Fitness is a journey and it is important to treat it as such. Do not rush into things. Take breaks when needed but make sure you come back to it. No matter how many times you fall, you have to get back up. You can do this. Believe in yourself :)

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