Stay motivated past January

7 October 2015 by
First published: 4 February 2015

It’s really important to set achievable goals – the feeling of reaching them will spur you on.


Is your motivation to stick to your New Year’s resolutions starting to fade? Here are Rachel Yankey’s top tips to stay motivated past January

Your pledges to get fit for a new year might seem like a lifetime ago now, but we understand if they’ve fallen a few spots down the priority list. We could all do with a little shove every now and then, and who knows better than a professional athlete about motivation to get to the gym and work out? That’s why we’ve asked England and Arsenal football player and Continental ambassador, Rachel Yankey, to give us a few tips on staying strong, focused and inspired when it comes to getting fit.

1.       Set achievable goals

‘One of the most common mistakes people make is expecting to do too much, too soon. It’s really important to set achievable goals – the feeling of reaching them will spur you on. In my role as a Continental ambassador I encourage young girls to start off small – just by giving football a try, and to build on it from there.’

2.       Vary your workout

‘Mixing things up a bit is a great way to keep training interesting. A lot of my training is done on the football pitch, but I also make an effort to try different sports to keep things fresh.’

3.       Treat yourself

‘To stay healthy ensure the treat is something like a massage or something special you have saved up for rather than ruining all the hard work with junk food. Though I do believe a little bit of what you fancy does you good.’

4.       Work with a friend

‘I’m part of a great team and I think having others to share the experience of training with and bounce ideas off really helps with motivation. Of course, there’s the competitive edge that it brings too, which can drive you to push yourself further than you would otherwise.’

5.       Have a routine

‘Football is my life, so training is something that is part of my everyday routine and I think that really helps keep me motivated. I heard that if you follow a training plan for three weeks then it forms a habit which is much harder to break, so consider committing to a routine for a short period and take each day at a time.’

6.       Write it down

‘As well as writing down a training schedule, why not make a note of the reasons why you want to make a change? If you’re struggling to find the get-up-and-go to train, have a read back through your list and you’ll remember why training is so important to you.’

7.       Listen to music

‘Obviously, I can’t listen to music when playing a training match, but if I’m working out alone then I always have my headphones plugged in and some really good tunes on the go. When a great track comes on, it can really inspire you to push yourself so it’s worth spending an hour every few weeks keeping your playlist fresh.’

8.       Don’t beat yourself up

‘We all have days when we aren’t on our best form. The trick is not to let it affect you psychologically. Draw a line under it – and move on. Try to accept that you will have good days and bad days – it’s all part of the process.’

We Heart Living - Rachel Yankey

We Heart Living – Rachel Yankey