Whatever your goals may be, to lose weight, get toned and tight, increase strength or just feel great, the key is keeping up the momentum as you encounter the peaks and valleys of your health journey. Here’s how to knock it out of the park.
Staying Motivated: What’s the Problem?
Toned legs. Powerful abs. Endurance. Strength. A powerful body. These are all great goals to have, but how do you stay motivated to reach your goals? Whether you’ve just encountered your first lull in your workout routine, or you’ve let your routine slide for the (12th) time, here’s some simple ways to bounce back:
RECOGNIZE YOUR DRIVE
What’s fueling your fire? You may be driven by medical reasons, emotional reasons, or a need to make a fresh start in life.
Write them down on sticky notes and put them around the house, in your car, and on your monitor at work. Every time you see visual reminders, you’ll be prompted to the remember your “why.”
Once you’ve done that, your clear sense of purpose should lead to great results. Fitness will not only make you look great on the outside but also help you develop patience, discipline, and organization.
Make it fun
Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep it interesting. If you’re not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Join a volleyball or softball league. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a health club or martial arts center. Discover your hidden athletic talent.
Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be boring, and you’re more likely to stick with a fitness program if you’re having fun.
Surround yourself with company who support the goals you have set. Like-minded people will not only encourage you, but also push you when you need that extra motivation.
Gym or training buddies are the best. You don’t always have to be in a gym to enjoy the benefits of fitness. Get outside! There are often many events and groups in your community that will allow you to keep involved in a healthy lifestyle: health fairs, running and biking clubs, rock-climbing gyms, etc.
Don’t know anyone who is fit? Go online and network. Social media and message boards are great ways to connect with likeminded people who can be the difference between you pursuing your goals full bore rather than half-heartedly.
After each exercise session, take a few minutes to savor the good feelings that exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise.
External rewards can help too. When you reach a longer range goal, treat yourself to a new pair of walking shoes or new tunes to enjoy while you exercise.
If you’re too busy to work out or simply don’t feel up to it, take a day or two off. Be gentle with yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can.
Put it on paper
Are you hoping to lose weight? Boost your energy? Sleep better? Manage a chronic condition? Write down your goals. Seeing the benefits of regular exercise and writing your goals down on paper may help you stay motivated.
You may also find that it helps to keep an exercise diary. Record what you did during each exercise session, how long you exercised and how you felt afterward. Recording your efforts and tracking your progress can help you work toward your goals and remind you that you’re making progress.
Now that you’ve regained your enthusiasm, get moving! Set your goals, make it fun and pat yourself on the back from time to time. Remember, physical activity is for life. Review these tips whenever you feel your motivation slipping.