Sure, we all want to be healthy and fit, but the desire is not the difficult part. It’s keeping the motivation to actually do so that can be very hard! Most of us want to live healthier and more active lives, so we tend to set goals in these areas, but oftentimes we lose motivation or simply give up and don’t reach those goals. Life may get busy, we may get sick or frustrated, or laziness sets in and we decide that achieving our fitness goals is too much of a hassle. It sounds easy enough in theory and in the beginning, but the practical application is not always so easy.
If you’ve struggled in the area of motivation when it comes to workouts, please say amen [here].
Exercising regularly sounds simple enough, but the truth is that it takes a firm commitment and plenty of self-discipline to achieve this part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to make some sort of resolution to get into shape and lose a few pounds, but too often within a couple of weeks we are right back into our bad habits. Then we beat ourselves up for not sticking with it. I’m sure you are aware that plenty of people make New Year’s resolutions or Monday Morning resolutions to get and stay into shape and within a couple of weeks they fall back into their old routines. It’s a dreaded cycle, but the good news is that it CAN be broken!
So, moving forward and assuming that YOU want to get (and stay) in shape, Here is the question: How can you stay motivated to achieve your fitness goals?
- Make a list of your fitness goals.
It is important to write down your fitness goals and put them somewhere that you can view them on a daily basis. It’s easy to forget your goals, so be sure that you take a look at them often. You can even write down the reasons why you have these goals to serve as a reminder for the days when you don’t really feel like working out. Ideas;
- Download motivational images and post them in your office and on your social media profiles.
- Write your goals down on an index card and carry it around with you. Read it 3-4 times a day, especially before workouts.
- Post sticky notes on your fridge, at the office, or in the bathroom to serve as reminders of your goal to become healthy.
- Become educated on the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.
Knowledge is a wonderful tool that can act as a change agent in our lives. Learn about healthy habits and how exercise benefits physical and mental health. Read encouraging and motivational books that will keep you motivated to keep up the good work. Listen to positive audios and watch inspirational videos on how you can live your best life NOW! Don’t wait around and hope that you’ll get motivated; take action! When you are proactive in your life, things happen. You attract what you think about, so revamp your thought life when it comes to living an abundant, healthy life.
- Make small changes over time.
Don’t expect to become a health and fitness guru in a week or two. Don’t expect your body to transform in a week or two. Introduce bits and pieces of lifestyle change and various exercises into your life over time. One week you may try to burpees instead of pushups and the next week you may want to add 20 more minutes of exercise to your routine. Maybe one week you can walk four days a week instead of three and the next week incorporate a group activity like yoga or tennis with a friend. Think of your healthy lifestyle as progress; not perfection. It’s those who take small steps consistently that cover more ground than those that take large steps once in a while. Remember that.
- Visualize success.
See yourself healthy and fit, even if you aren’t feeling like it. Close your eyes and envision eating healthy foods and moving forward in your fitness goals. Daydream about you standing straight, shoulders back, chin up, healthy and fit. (Like a superhero) Visualizing success helps cause your thought patterns to change from negative or neutral to positive, and helps keep one motivated to achieve goals. Yes, utilize creative visualization to see yourself living a kick butt, healthy, fit life!
- Create a vision board.
- Find some fitness experts/success stories who inspire you and learn about their journey.
- Find positive affirmations, prayers and meditations online that inspire you.
- Get a fitness buddy.
Sometimes all it takes is getting a family member, friend, or acquaintance to commit to getting and staying in shape with you. Call it an accountability partner, because you can be accountable to each other and keep each other motivated. You can work out together or separate, but be sure to check in with one another often (daily or at least weekly). Don’t be afraid to extend tough love, as you both are making a firm commitment to doing what you say you’re going to do. If you can’t find someone who you know to commit to, you may find a partner online with social media or on sites like MyFitnessPal.com or Sparkpeople.com
Listen, you CAN stay motivated on a daily basis to work toward attaining your fitness goals. As you progress on your fitness journey, you’ll most likely realize that the lessons about commitment and pushing yourself you are learning flow over into other areas of your life too! Qualities like discipline, perseverance, accountability, etc. are quite helpful in other areas, such as your career, parenting children, relationships, and more. Pretty amazing, huh?
You’ve got this! I totally believe in you.