New year, New Exercise Routine in 2024


The new year always feels like a time for change, getting fitter and investing more in yourself. If changing your fitness routine is one of those changes you would like to make, I am here to help you get motivated especially if you aren’t sure where to start or if it feels like an uphill struggle to get started.  It’s really important to remember when setting your new year’s intentions, that you don’t need to change everything in one big grand gesture to show yourself and others that you are serious about change. When you decide to get fitter and stronger it’s important to start small and build on your achievements. 

What can you do to make a small changes?

Is it realistic to find one hour a week just for you? The time can be 2 x 30 minute sessions or 3 x 20 minute session, you can always add to this time once you’ve made a start. We don’t need our fitness to be all or nothing, there is no wagon to potentially fall off when it comes to exercise. It’s all about our mindset and how we approach getting fitter and stronger. Simply moving more and doing some exercise is better than not doing any exercise, if you have to miss a week – so what. We just get into routine again and keep going.


I appreciate it sometimes feels awkward to ask for help from people, but you might find your friends and family are just as keen to get started as you are. Ask for support from your friends and family to find the time to do something positive for yourself, do some exercise with you for accountability or help you to celebrate your wins.

Visualisation Tasks

I know it can feel tough to do a workout on a day that you are tired or feeling a bit flat.  A trick that works for me is to visualise the task and imagine that you have already completed the workout, consider how you might feel as a result.  Do you think you’ll feel tired but energised, less stressed but refreshed? You never know, you might also sleep better or feel a sense of achievement.  By putting your brain to work and visualising things post workout,  makes it much more likely to accept that the exercise is going to happen.

Start Easy

You don’t need to start your fitness journey at in an extreme way, primarily because it could lead to injury, but also because if it’s not fitness level appropriate, you’ll ache for days and potentially not enjoy the experience. Starting slowly with a walking group or beginners running group, looking for an intro to the gym or finding a beginner Zumba, Pilates or Yoga class to get you started.  You could also try working with a personal trainer who will set the sessions to your level.

Use podcasts or books to keep going.

Finding a motivational podcast or two can help whet your appetite to make a change to your fitness routine.  Here are a couple that I find really interesting:

  • “Just One Thing” by Michael Mosley.  If time is tight, what’s the one thing that you should be doing to improve your health and wellbeing? Michael Mosley reveals surprisingly simple top tips that are scientifically proven to change your life.
  • Happy Place” by Fearne Cotton, talks personal, spiritual and the big picture with her amazing guests as she reveals what happiness means to them.
  • “Train happy” by PT Tally Rye.  This podcast is about helping you to finally have a feel-good relationship with fitness, food and body image.

Reading about inspirational athletes who will give you ideas and remind you that you are doing a great job.  Keeping going, it won’t always be easy, but you will make progress if you do.

Self-care as a reward or incentive

Give yourself a checklist of small moments of self-care acts for a week that you could reward yourself with that aren’t expensive or food related, especially if you are trying to make positive changes to your diet. Mine include lighting a lovely candle, taking a warm bath or taking time out to look after my skin.

Use positive language about your progress.

Using positive statements like “I’m improving” or “Something is better than nothing” when you are thinking about your fitness can really help. By reframing our self-talk we can create more positive brain connections. Negativity can breed negativity.  Nagging doesn’t really work on others or yourself, and by not getting frustrated with yourself might encourage you to continue along your journey to more movement, exercise and strength in 2024.  Good luck!

If you would like to find out how to get started with your 2024 exercise routine, why not join my free webinar on Thursday 25 January or reach out to see how personal training might work for you to help you achieve your fitness goals this year.

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Sara McDonnell

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