Many of us start the year with healthy intentions, but motivation can quickly drop. Here are our top tips to keep you on track.

Goal setting is nothing new, but changing behaviour can still be hard. So a reminder of the key principles and activity specific examples are always useful.

Be realistic, make sure your expectations are achievable. It is very hard to change everything in your life all in one go. Instead try to make small progressive changes. For example, it is extremely hard to go from doing no activity, to going to the gym every night. Alternatively start by adding just one extra exercise class or walk in your week. After a few weeks assess how it is going, and see if you can add in another. This refelects the way our body adapts to exercise, too hard too fast is tough physically and mentally, but a gradual build up is much more agreeable.

Equally if you have already started a comprehensive exercise plan but are finding it too much, don't give up completely just reduce your workload. You can always increase it again later if it is manageable. Often we think one slip up means that our plans are shot to pieces, but exercise isn't all or nothing - something is better than nothing. Following treatment at Optimum Performance you will probably have some exercises to support your recovery. It is ideal to do those exercises every day, but if you miss one don't give up completely. Remember, if you fall off the wagon- get back on.

Make it a habit. In our busy lives it may be hard to remember to do your sports rehabilitation exercises, but having a set time or a set trigger can help. For example we are well drilled in brushing our teeth morning and night, so why not follow that with your rehab exercises. Or use the two minutes the kettle takes to boil to stretch.

Be specific. People who sign up for a specific event are much more likely to train for it. So if your motivation needs a boost pick an event or competition youe want to work towards. I am not saying go and climb Everest but there are plenty of charity walks, runs, swims and even little mountains out there too. For example we will be offering support at Always Aim High's Event in Cardiff in June Looking for a local challenge check out Brutal 10k in Bagshot Prefer the pool - how about the Swimathon for Marie Curie

Tell people and get support. Whether you put your activity out there on facebook, phone a friend or even share your aspirations with us at Optimum Performance saying it out loud makes you feel more accountable and little less likely to miss a session. If you are recovering from injury let us know what your targets for recovery are and we can try and keep you on track. For example do you want to get back running, or be able to swim with your family on holiday?



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