Turn Setbacks into Setups
4 Tips to Keep You Motivated to Reach Your Fitness Goals
January 16, 2019
It’s 5 a.m., and your alarm jolts you awake…but you’re having a hard time convincing yourself to hop out of bed. Somehow, it seems way harder to follow through with those fitness goals you had in mind when you first set your alarm. Where did all that motivation go?
At this point in the year, you already have realistic goals and milestones in place, but it’s too early to see any progress. Whether you’re working toward weight loss, muscle building, or endurance training, gaining an elite physique takes time, dedication, and patience. But how can you stay motivated during the period before you actually begin to see results? Here’s a quick guide on expectation management when it comes to body transformation, including 4 things you should keep in mind.
Schedule a Regular Workout Time
This is less about motivation and more about building regular habits. Committed athletes don’t wait for motivation to strike them every day before they go out and train: they have a dedicated fitness schedule that they stick to, day in and day out, whether they “feel like it” or not.
If your goal is to change your fitness level, it’s important to make sure you set habits as well. Habits are what help you pull yourself off the couch to train every day—without wasting time trying to talk yourself into it. Schedule regular workout times throughout the week, and pen them into your calendar. Whether you’re jumping out of bed in the morning to train, or heading for the treadmill every day after work, make sure you’re building habits that help you move forward automatically, with no motivation needed.
Give Yourself Some Variety
We all need a little fun to keep motivated in life—and the same is true of the way we exercise. Even when we’re working hard, our mind craves novelty and diversity, or we get bored. And as you probably already know, boredom is terrible for motivation.
Give yourself the gift of motivation by trying out different kinds of physical activity to work toward your fitness goals. This could mean signing up for a new class at the gym, joining a recreational sports team, or setting out for a hike to get some new scenery—whatever gets your heart racing!
Work Out With a Buddy
As humans, we’re social animals. We enjoy spending time with one another. Building exercise into your social life can make it into a hobby you truly enjoy, rather than a task you need to check off your list.
Find a friend who loves running as much as you do, join a gym with a workplace buddy, or try some in-home yoga with your significant other. People who feel socially supported as they exercise are much more likely to lose weight and stick to their goals than people who feel like they’re walking the path alone.
You may not have seen any physical changes from your new exercise regimen just yet—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reward yourself for sticking with it!
Rewards can be as simple as taking a few minutes to savor the good feelings you get after breaking a sweat during a workout, or you might decide to get be a new exercise outfit, some training equipment, or even new music to enjoy while you’re training. Whatever you decide, try to choose something that motivates you to keep working toward your fitness goals in the long run.
Much of the time, we start off valuing exercise because of the potential it has for changing our body (hey, no one’s gonna turn down six-pack abs). But using these four tips can help you make exercising about how you feel, not just how you look. Spending time with friends and loved ones, trying new and fun workouts, and giving yourself small rewards can help you stay motivated in the long-term, bringing you that much closer to those fitness goals you’ve set.