January is behind us and we are more than halfway through February - anyone else feel like 2018 is flying by? By now you may be feeling overwhelmed, and maybe you've even thrown in the towel and given up on your 2018 resolutions. After all, diets can be strenuous and lifestyle changes are usually uncomfortable, and a lot of people think that we must commit to these new routines and habits rigidly, or we are failures. That simply isn't true - while it's important to stick to your goals and maintain good habits, rewarding yourself for your hard work will keep you motivated in the long haul. Just make sure the reward is something responsible, according to what your budget/health permits. See below for some ideas!
New Workout Apparel
There's a plethora of workout accessories, apparel and sneakers out there, depending what sort of fitness you're into. It doesn't have to be anything pricey, but occasionally rewarding yourself with new socks or a cute new sports bra you've been wanting can give you that extra little push to keep going.
This may not apply to you, depending on if you follow a more IIFYM (if it fits your macros) approach and your diet is less structured as far as the variety of foods you eat. But if you're on a more traditional "bro diet" a cheat meal that's totally off plan and "free" can give you something to look forward to and keep you motivated. After sticking to a regimented plan all week, having sushi, a glass of wine and some dessert can make all the difference. Not to mention it can keep that metabolism guessing! Just make sure to work with your doctor, nutritionist or personal trainer to ensure your cheat meals are safe and appropriately timed.
Doesn't hurt to have a donut or two occasionally after a tough workout...
Hobby Specific Items
Sometimes your reward has nothing to do with fitness, but rather something you enjoy beyond working out. It could be travel, makeup, music, or books. Whatever it is, you can use it as motivation to continue work on your goals. For example, you could treat yourself to a movie you've been wanting to see if you lose a certain amount of weight, or maybe you can get that new cologne you've been wanting if you hit a new PR on a lift you've been working on.
Being healthy and fit is a lifelong journey that will have many ups and downs. Keep working hard, and even if you make a mistake, get back up and try again! Your health is a personal investment that you make, but with time and maybe a few rewards along the way, it'll get easier and easier!