Even the most active individuals go through periods where it’s challenging to get up and moving. Do not panic! Here are 5 tips to stay motivated with your exercise program:
1. Get to know yourself better!
I always ask my clients two questions at the beginning of their journey:
What have been your obstacles in the past?
Why is it going to be different this time around?
Once you identify past barriers, you can prepare and plan for how you will overcome them in the future. Set yourself up to succeed.
Staying on track involves an enormous learning process. You will learn things about yourself – your likes, your dislikes, your interests, and your inspiration. Maybe you learned that you need more variety in your routine, or that you get bored walking on the treadmill. Maybe you think you’d do better in a group environment and that’s fine! No program is perfect, so stick with activities that give you joy.
2. Follow through with your plan.
In my experience, clients who schedule their workouts in advance are more consistent with their exercise program.
Life gets busy if you don’t plan ahead! If you are unable to work out at the same time each day, look ahead at your calendar each week and schedule your workouts. Treat your workouts with the same importance as a meeting or appointment.
Have a plan B.
Valid excuses come up, i.e.: “I ended up getting held late at work,” or “the carpool ran late.” What’s your plan B? Have your trainer create a 20-minute workout plan to do at home, sign up for a personal training session online, or pop in a quick workout DVD. It may not be your original plan, but you’re still sticking to your schedule. Something is always better than nothing!
3. Track your goals.
Once you’ve set your goals, I recommend frequently tracking your progress so that you follow through with them. Write your milestones down and reward yourself (in a healthy way of course)!
Remember that you may not see immediate results right away! We look at ourselves in the mirror daily, and a lot of times get frustrated when we don’t see much change after all of our hard work. Try not to let this discourage you! If you do not have access to accurate body composition measurements, use cues like how your clothes are fitting and how your fitness level is increasing to measure progress.
4. Reach out to others for support!
You are not alone and there are numerous support communities available for you in case you need help. Here are some examples:
– Small group training
– Weight loss support group
– Online training community
Allowing others to hold you accountable is just as important as holding yourself accountable. It can be hard to accomplish things on your own sometimes – allow your friends, family, trainers, and coaches to help you succeed in this journey!
5. Forgive yourself.
Life is full of obstacles and it is okay when things get messy! Many of us struggle with the “all or nothing” mentality, but living a healthy lifestyle is not about doing things perfectly. It’s about knowing how to get back on track when obstacles get in the way. Did vacation throw you off of your workout regimen? That’s okay. Forgive yourself and move forward with your program!
Leave your favorite motivational tools in the comments section below!
About the Author
Jillian McAfee is a Personal Trainer and General Manager for Downsize Fitness in Illinois. Jillian also coaches individuals all across the country in an online program called Downsize@Home, powered through Helpouts by Google. She received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Indiana University and is a Certified Personal Trainer through The American College of Sports Medicine. She has played a large role in many individuals’ weight loss journeys and hopes to do so for many years to come.
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