How to Stay Motivated Year-Round, According to Tracy Anderson

“You are how you move, how you eat, and how you sleep.”

Pictured: Fitness pioneer Tracy Anderson / Image Credit: Bailey Rebecca Roberts

At the beginning of a new year or as the warm-weather season approaches, there is always a renewed sense of optimism and an increased desire to set fitness goals. In fact, according to data from Google Trends, since 2015, the search term "fitness" has consistently spiked in January and the springtime year over year. But as the winter trudges on, it can be easy for that motivation to fizzle and revert to old routines. How can you hold onto the momentum and form long-lasting healthy habits that last all year?

We figured there'd be no better expert to ask other than Olivia's trusted wellness guru, Tracy Anderson. For over the past two decades, Anderson has been a leader in her field beginning when she revolutionized the fitness space by creating a research-based workout that led hundreds of men and women to see real results. Her routines aim to tone the body, mixing a combination of cardio and weights in each session. The namesake Tracy Anderson Method brand has expanded exponentially since its start, and now offers digital classes, nutrition plans, retreats, health/beauty content, and even a mindfulness-focused program to educate its members further.

To set yourself up for success, one must be in the right headspace, and Anderson proves that the ability to stay focused can simply be a case of mind over matter. Read on as she shares her advice, and recommends one of her signature fitness moves.

Olivia gearing up for a Tracy Anderson Method class. Photographed by Jeff Thibodeau.

For many, fitness goals are at the top of mind right now. How can we keep that level of motivation consistent all year long?
It's a refreshing and hopeful time to reflect. Acknowledge the hard work that you've done already and take note of the things that were challenging, or perhaps you didn't face yet but want to. Use this time to look forward and really make a commitment to yourself. Prioritize movement and your health as no dream cleanse or pill will ever be a long-term solution. It isn't selfish to put wellness-related time first—commit to yourself and know that it's important to honor your body.

What is your 2020 vision? Are there any goals that you hope to accomplish personally?
I do. To me, when the intentions you put forward are clear, you can lead your healthiest life. It's never about accomplishing as many things as you possibly can, though. It's more about being selective and focusing on what is best for you. This year, I really care a lot about nurturing existing relationships and connecting more with my friends and family. With my career, too, I've become even more passionate about finding new ways to make wellness expertise and advice accessible. This year will be filled with more focus, more creating, and more collaboration with meaningful people for meaningful people.

Beyond your in-studio classes, you've recently launched a new digital program that focuses on strengthening the mind and spirit as well as the body. Why were those important areas to address?
When I did my studies many years ago, I realized that true fitness is not only about the moves. It's all about the ability to self-process and self-connect, and for many years it wasn't very easy to get people inspired. Motivators then were around specific areas like "getting better abs," and people kept using celebrities as their drivers. But now, we're in such a great place. I've worked so hard to say things like, "You can't get Gwyneth's legs in just three moves and just because you come to me, it doesn't mean that you will look exactly like her and you shouldn't want to." Focusing on the mind and spirit helps unpeel all of those misidentifications and helps us not to be so critical of ourselves. In my annual Per4mance program, we provide a curriculum where people are learning from doctors and experts in many different fields. We're bringing knowledge to the forefront, allowing everyone to be a student of themselves while managing their health.

The Studio City Tracy Anderson Method studio.

How can one practice mindfulness each day?
Give yourself permission to be radically honest and kinder to yourself overall. Don't get caught up on perceived missteps—you've got to be able to be resilient and be able to talk straight with yourself about realistic goals.

After indulgent periods like the holiday season or a vacation, how can someone get back on track with their health?
First of all, remember the loving memories associated with it all like, "I was eating my grandma's amazing cookies or enjoying champagne with friends." Hold those moments and choices in a positive space because they happened. Stop looking for the quick fix to get back into your ideal self because it doesn't exist. What does exist is the simplicity of sleeping really well, nourishing your body with a lot of plant-based antioxidants from watercress to watermelon, and exercise. When one area is out of whack, you'll see it, and you'll wear it. According to every expert, exercise is the number one thing you can do for disease prevention and anti-aging benefits on a cellular level. It's important to remember that everything goes hand in hand with proper sleep and clean nutrition. You are how you move, how you eat, and this year I'm adding the mantra that you are how you sleep, too.

Give yourself permission to be radically honest and kinder to yourself overall.

Any moves you'd recommend to jump-start a day, especially for someone short on time?
Try reps of a move like this to stretch and awaken different parts of the body:

The kneeling arm stretch with a planking leg extend to arabesque
Set up: face front kneeling high, arms relaxed by sides
1. Lift your left arm straight to the ceiling, opening the chest and stretching up
2. As you return the arm down, reach it down to the ground, placing your hand to now kneel on hands and knees.
3. Press hips up into a downward dog and extend the left leg high up to the ceiling in arabesque
4. Bend knees to return to kneeling and repeat from start, alternating sides

Lastly, what's on your radar this month?
I'm really inspired by all of the thoughtful, natural beauty products popping up in the market. Carson Myer's "C & the Moon" scrub is the most epic scrub I've ever come across, and all of her products are organic and handmade in Malibu. Plus, Victoria Beckham just launched a phenomenal beauty line, which features sustainable packaging and the best, clean ingredients. I love that there are so many heroines in this space launching products that perform and keep health benefits in mind.

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