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This is when it gets tricky

So you've started the year with good intentions. You've stuck to the plan so far, at least for the most part, and you've even started to see some results, so why is it all of a sudden feeling much harder to stick to the plan? There are a few reasons, and a couple of them you may not have considered before.

1. The weather. You probably know this one. The mornings are still dark, the light fades fast in the evenings, and it's largely cold and wet throughout the day. But you knew this when you started, so why the big deal now? Well, when you began you had much more motivation, the excitement of what you might achieve, the support from those close to you, and likely still a few more days off work. Now we're ten days in, that motivation has faded, you're back at work, and your friends have probably even forgotten that you plan to run 5 days per week, or take an ice bath each morning. So how do we deal with this? Well, there are two main approaches. Firstly, remind yourself that not only does the current weather mean you're achieving your goals in the face of the most opposition, but by definition, you're doing it at the start of your journey, when you're least developed in whatever it is you're working on. This means every single day gets gradually easier, safe in the knowledge you conquered more with less on all previous days. Secondly, remind yourself of the transient nature of the current weather and daylight hours. We are only 74 days away from the clocks changing, and sunset moving straight to 7:30pm. That's just over 10 weeks

2. Less external motivation. This one may be a little less obvious. Around the end of last year, and the start of this year, many people online, especially people in my profession, discuss intentions for the new year, methods to ensure success, and even share snippets of them chasing their goals in carefully edited videos and photos. This

dries up surprisingly quickly as the new year sets in, and many of you will not have realised how much the idea of other people suffering while you did was a subtle comfort and contributed to your own motivation. So how do we deal with this? A couple of suggestions are as follows; post your daily activity on social media, and consider tagging a couple of friends who you know are still at it too. Don't be scared of people's opinions, just as many will love you for it as will get fed-up, and moreover, you may become motivation for others too! Social media is not just for your memories, but your accountability too! Still not convinced? Create a group on Telegram, Notion or similar with a few friends. Their daily tasks and goals maybe completely different to yours, but you can still hold each other accountable, without the need to show and tell the whole internet. Notion in particular, and Telegram to a degree, will allow you to set up check-ins, to-do lists and tasks to hold each other accountable. You'll also be helping other people in the same situation, which can feel really good too.

3. You don't have the energy to stick to the plan. This may be very real. Chasing your new goals takes a lot out of you. You'll likely be sore, tired and feel wiped out by the time you get home each day. This makes it seem like a mammoth task to cook a meal, when you could just order food. It makes it seem like snoozing is a good idea, or like you can justify driving past the gym straight to work because you're busy. These are tricks your mind plays as it adapts to its new workload. For now, it still wants the easy life, but rest assured, it will adapt, as will your body. This lull, 2-3 weeks into a new routine, will pass. You just have to know that it will, and go regardless. A couple of steps you can take to help include; making an appointment with a friend or trainer at the gym so you're more obligated to show up, shopping for only the foods you need for your plan, and deleting all takeaway ordering apps from your phone, and meal prepping, at least in part, ahead of time to reduce the work required at each meal.

Once you get through these next couple of weeks, your new tasks will seem less like chores, and more like just a part of your routine. Not only that, you'll be able to see and feel more progress, both in your body, but also in your newly calloused mind. All you need to do, is keep going!

Best of luck with your goals this year, and especially this next few weeks. Stay strong!


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