Struggling to get motivated in 2019? MAXINE GORDON joins York running specialist Michael Phan for some inspiration

IT'S cold, raining and grey – and here I am at Acomb Green with York running and fitness trainer Michael Phan and some of his regulars.

After a warm up, we do some light jogging, moving on to sprints, then relays where we use our own body weight to push and pull each other before tackling a race.

We are soon warmed up, and I find I am actually enjoying myself.

The next day, however, I can hardly move... the workout definitely reached parts untouched for a while.

Michael works with the over-30s in helping them get motivated and improve fitness, stamina and strength. Besides weekly running sessions, where he gives you tips on technique too, he organises weekly circuits and stretch classes, as well as delivers daily motivational feeds via social media. Groups are small and prices start at £75 per month.

Ali Watson, 42, is a keen runner, and has been coming to Michael's sessions for a year. She said: "It's really helped me with my running form and building up my strength."

Michael says: "I want to make fitness not a chore, but something fun, something different and ultimately something that works."

Michael screens the people who want to participate in his classes. "I am looking for the over-30s who are struggling with motivation but who are committed to making long-term changes."

If that could be you, find out more at:

In the meantime, here are Michael's top ten tips for getting motivated in 2019:

1. Get someone else to hold you accountable to all the things you say you are going to do. Notice how much more you suddenly feel inclined to do something when you have told at least one other person about it.

2. Ditch the all or nothing approach. Show me someone who totally transformed everything they were doing overnight and stuck at it – you probably can't because people very rarely sustain this because the second they have a wobble (and therefore 'fail'), it's game over already.

3. Stop denying yourself things. The instant that you feel like you are denying yourself stuff, the more you want it in your life.

4. Find pleasure in what you do, rather than see it all as a punishment.

5. Set clear goals that you associate emotions with. So think about goals that, once you hit them, will help you feel a certain way. For example, wanting to lose some weight and get down to a size ten. Or wanting to lose some weight and get down to a size ten so that you feel great slipping into those jeans you thought you'd never wear again.

6. Keep going. Too many people quit too early because they are impatient when it comes to seeing results. You have to stick at something long enough to see the results.

7. Perhaps you weren't ready to change.If that's the case, then no amount of cajoling and accountability is going to work. It's about being self aware enough to realise this and to go with it. Work out what is holding you back from changing things up. And how do you know when you are ready? You just decide and take massive action to overcome all the resistance that your body and mind are going to put up initially

8. Get measuring. What you measure, you can improve. And you also get a handy reference to see your progress too.

9. Appreciate. As in fully take stock of what you do have going well for you right now. By regularly seeking out gratitude, you learn to be more present and also more confident in what you have already achieved/done/have/are, rather than living in a state of 'what if' and never allowing yourself to be happy.

10. Remember your why. As in remember why you are really doing something. You don't just go to the gym because you like the gym. You go to the gym because you want to feel great in and out of your clothes. You go to the gym because you just want some 'me time' and not feel guilty about it. Find your real reason, remind yourself of it regularly and it will help drive you forwards when things get tough.