I’ve restarted my fitness routine more times than I can count. I usually start out really focused and excited. But it doesn’t take long to fall off of that hypothetical wagon again. Why does this happen? Where does the motivation go?
When I first begin a new fitness routine, my diet is clean and I leave the gym feeling strong and satisfied. After all, exercise has been proven to boost energy, focus, and confidence!
After a week or two, however, other responsibilities begin to make their way back to the top of my priority list. On top of that, when I look in the mirror, I notice there has been no real change in my physical appearance, so why am I even bothering?
I know from first hand experience how discouraging it can be to feel like you’re not making any progress. After restarting my fitness regimen so many times, I decided to take a step back and reassess my situation.
It Takes Time
That’s when it came to me. I didn’t gain all of my excess weight overnight. I didn’t even gain it in a week, or a month. So, why am I so hard on myself when it doesn’t come off in this time period?
Believe it or not, one pound per week is a safe and steady pace to lose weight. This can be accomplished through a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise. 3500 calories make up a pound. If I can maintain a daily deficit of 500 calories, I can safely lose one pound per week without starving myself or over training.
The question remains, “How do I keep my motivation up?” The following tips helped me stay motivated and crush my fitness goals, and I believe that they can help you too!
Tips to Stay Motivated and Follow-Through
Write down your S.M.A.R.T. goals. Writing down your goals will keep them at the forefront of your mind. The acronym S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. These goals will give you something to work towards in the near future. Don’t choose goals that are more than a month out or you risk getting overwhelmed and giving up.
Schedule rewards for yourself for meeting goals. Who isn’t motivated by a reward? I know I am! Instead of working toward things like cheat meals or sweet treats, choose healthier options like a new bikini, a night off, or a vacation with your girlfriends!
Don’t compare yourself to others. This cannot be overstated. Comparing yourself to others usually ends in failure. Remember, the appearance of someone else has nothing to do with you. We are all built differently, and regardless of your size or shape, you can get into the best shape of YOUR life if you can stay motivated. Instead of comparing yourself to others, acknowledge all of the things that you love about yourself.
Focus on that post-workout feeling. You know what I’m talking about, that high-energy, focused, confident feeling... On the days that you don’t feel like hitting the gym, think about how good you’ll feel after you exercise. Trust me, this one works almost every time.
Recruit a Workout Partner. Working out with a buddy can be extremely motivating. When you have someone else counting on you, you’re way more likely to follow-through and succeed. Not only will your buddy push you to get your workout in, but they can also push you to work harder and get more out of your workout!
Ultimately, YOU must work for the results that you want. No one else can do it for you. The only way to make your dreams a reality is to go out and get them! You can do this!