There is a honeymoon phase in all areas of life. Most of us had it when we began a new school year growing up. We experience it when we start a new job or business venture. The honeymoon phase is something we all enter when we start anything new—including a new health and fitness program.
So how do we make it last? If you want to keep the honeymoon feeling alive, there’s no better example to look to than marriage.
When people fall in love, they get married and go on the time-honored honeymoon. While it isn’t realistic to stay on your honeymoon forever (most of us have jobs and have to go back to reality eventually), we can take steps to keep the honeymoon feeling alive beyond the vacation.
Of course we’re focused on fitness here, but marriage and fitness have a number of overlapping principles. Here are some practical tips we can use to help keep the fitness honeymoon alive.
1. Remember why you started.
When I first met my husband, I was completely smitten with him. I loved the way he made me feel so special. I loved his romantic heart and Prince Charming appeal. I even loved his silly jokes. He often teases me saying, “you’re going to miss my jokes when I’m gone.” And the truth is, while sometimes they drive me crazy, I know I would.
It’s easy to lose sight of what made us fall in love with fitness to begin with. We forget all the benefits we gained when we started our fitness relationship—the strength, the stamina, the energy, the improved quality of life, and each little victory we experienced along the way. We begin to take our fitness for granted. Sound familiar?
If we want to keep the honeymoon going, like in a marriage, we have to focus on all the reasons we fell in love with fitness in the first place.
2. Continue the same effort level you had when you started.
When it comes to courting a new mate, there is a certain level of work involved. Dates are planned out perfectly. There is a lot of effort put into appearance and first impressions, as well as overall attitude and behavior.
Men are typically more polite, pulling out chairs and opening doors for their lady. Women are often more respectful, never daring to argue over where to eat or what to do. A date can look very different 20 years into a relationship. That doesn’t have to be the case, however—and it surely doesn’t have to be the case with your fitness journey either.
If you want to keep the honeymoon alive, the first step is to go back to the courtship. If the honeymoon seems to be over, think back to what you did in the beginning of your fitness journey and begin investing the same energy as you did to get fit to stay fit.
3. Keep making new discoveries.
When we begin a new relationship, we spend a lot of time getting to know our mate, learning about what make them tick. We want to know their favorite color, what makes them mad, and what makes them happy. Every new discovery is exciting.
When we start a new fitness program, we are also excited about learning. We are eager to invest the time it takes to understand fitness better. However, we risk losing that excitement if we quit making these discoveries.
4. Keep things fresh and exciting.
As you continue to explore new workouts and methods, you will have more opportunities to try new things. Since there are so many different types of workouts, there is really no excuse to let a workout get boring. Complacency kills. If you are too lazy to venture out of your comfort zone and try new things, you can lose interest very quickly—and your love for fitness will die.
5. Don’t let your guard down.
One of the biggest mistakes a married couple can make is to get complacent and let their guard down. There will always be temptations. We risk falling the minute we think we are strong enough to push the boundaries.
A newlywed is always more protective over their new sweetheart because they see their value. If you want to keep the fitness honeymoon alive, you must set up protective boundaries. You need to establish rules to hold yourself accountable and to protect your investment. As you build this hedge of protection around your health, you will prevent attacks that could lead you astray. The longer you stay committed, the more valuable your health will become—and you’ll learn to cherish it more and more each day.