- Define a Realistic Fitness Goal
Avoid the temptation to go for maximum goals--you will inevitably become overwhelmed. Instead, think in terms of "baby steps" and break your fitness goals into manageable short-term chunks. A personal trainer can help significantly in developing manageable fitness goals that you can follow.
- Lose 1-lb per week rather than 4-lbs per month
- Workout for 20 minutes three times per day rather than 1 hour at a time
- Don't Expect Perfection
Avoid the all-or-nothing mindset. Missing one workout day will not doom the achievement of your fitness goals. Expect some missteps along the way and accept these as insignificant occurrences.
- Don't Compare Yourself to Others
Consider yourself as a unique human being with personal fitness goals.
- Keep Weekly Logs and Chart Your Progress
Seeing incremental improvements can boost your exercise motivation level. Here are examples of parameters that can be tracked:
- Waist size
- Cardio activity (i.e., intensity, duration, calories burned)
- Mealplan (i.e., serving size, macronutrients, caloric intake)
- Workout exercises (i.e., loads, sets, reps, rest period)
- Get a Workout Buddy or Join a Team
- Similar fitness goals
- Similar strength level
- Will push you
- Provides inspiration
- Spotter you can trust
- Social support network
- Join a Fitness Social Network (i.e., Fitocracy)
- Listen to Your Favorite Fast-Tempo Tunes or Create a Playlist
- MP-3 player
- Find an Activity You Like
It has to be fun (i.e., yoga, pilates, Zumba) or you'll likely become bored and lose interest.
- Create a Deadline
- Needs to be realistic
- Make a Bet (i.e., free dinner, a few bucks)
- Make the Exercise Convenient
Remove any and all obstacles that would dissuade you from exercising.
- Workout at home rather than the gym if you have limited time available
- Exercise in the morning if you feel too tired to workout after work
- Go to the gym immediately before or after work
- Find a gym that's conveniently located and not too far away
- Change What You're Doing
- Reduces boredom
- New workout plan
- New mealplan
- Change Your Mindset
- Replace the word "hope" with "will" (i.e., "I will do it!")
- Use positive self-talk and tell yourself, "I feel fantastic!"
- Instills confidence
- Talk to Someone Who Has Done What You Aim to Achieve
- "If he/she can do it, than so can I"
- Use Visualization
- Imagine being successful (i.e.., breaking a barrier such as a particular squat weight)
- "See" yourself achieving your goal
- What you can conceive, you can achieve!
- Take a Break
- Recharge your batteries
- Fire up your enthusiasm and passion
- Develop a Workout Habit
- The body loves a routine
- Workout at the same time of the day
- Schedule your workout time on your calendar and think of it as an appointment
- Convenient time with a remote chance of interruption
- Time when you can feel comfortable with others around you
- Workout at the same gym
- Break your workout into chunks and increase the intensity
- Get Support from Loved Ones
- Close friends
- Reward Yourself
Buy a movie ticket, do some clothes shopping, or indulge in some ice cream.
- Become More Educated on the Benefits of Exercise
Understand how exercise can improve quality of life, improve posture, instill confidence in yourself, improve health, get stronger, etc.
- Drink Coffee or a Pre-Workout Drink
This will stimulate your nervous system and increase your endurance.
- Workout in Front of a Mirror
This may enhance your motivation due to more proficient oxygen consumption.
- Sip a Cold Drink
This may lessen the strain you feel and increase your endurance.
- Hire a Personal Trainer
When nothing else seems to provide the motivation you need, go with a personal fitness trainer. A personal trainer can provide feedback, positive reinforcement and the support you may need to build confidence and become compliant in making exercise a lifestyle habit. A good trainer will ensure your prescribed workout program contains exercises which are fun as well as effective. He or she can also provide guidance on how to eat healthy and maintain a healthy eating plan indefinitely. Ultimately, the trainer may become a role model for you. A good trainer has done his or her job when you feel good and believe the sessions are worth your time.
Whether you're trying to lose weight, gain muscle or increase strength, implementing any or all of these tips will help you succeed on your journey to accomplishing your fitness goals. Remember this:
Exercise to stay healthy and enjoy life!
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."