Goals: Motivation is derived from goals. Think of 1-3 attainable health and fitness goals– keep them achievable and realistic. Now think of a date you would like to complete each of your goals by. Time sensitivity provides extra motivation, especially as the date nears.
- Bad Example of a goal: “Lose weight”
- Good Example of a goal: “Lose 5 pounds by July”
- Bad Example: “Exercise more”
- Good Example: “Take a 20 minute walk 3x a week for the entire month of June”
- Good: “Hit a 300 pound back squat by December”
- Good: “Enter in the NPC Bikini competition this summer.”Starting to get it?
Come up with some good ones? Now, write down your goals. put them somewhere you can see them EVERY DAY. whether it be a post-it note on your refrigerator, at your desk, on your computer, or in your car. Share your goals with your friends, talking about your goals to peers provides extra motivation because they will hold you accountable for those goals–even if it’s the occasional office small talk, “How’s the diet coming along?” or “How much weight are you down now?” It always feels good telling someone you have succeeded!
Variety is the spice of life! I will tell you firsthand, exercise WILL GET BORING if you continue to do the same routine over, and over, and over again. This is coming from a true creature of habit and a fearer of change–you HAVE to switch up your routine and keep things interesting! It will feel odd at first, but you will love every second of it afterwards. Instead of doing your usual gym routine, go to a local high school and complete a track workout. Do bodyweight exercises and interval runs– running the straight and walking the bends. Go to a trail for a trail run–enjoy the scenery and experience running on a different terrain. Take a spin class. Go for a swim! Zumba? Try different things often and add the ones your like into your routine every so often. It will keep the enjoyment in exercise. This is one thing I LOVE about crossfit– it is never the same. Your coach will always keep you and your muscles guessing. If you haven’t tried crossfit, I highly recommend it. You can even search crossfit workouts online and complete them at home or at your gym.
Even if you’d rather stay in the gym, switch up your routine!!! Instead of doing 3 rounds of 10 reps, try 5×6 with heavier weight! Try an exercise machine you normally don’t use! Go into the basketball court and run shuffle sprints!
Find a buddy! Find a friend with similar interests and goals. Collaborate recipes, workouts, and advice. Motivate each other to continue on and keep each other on track. Schedule workouts together. You’ll rarely miss a workout if someone else is counting on you to be there. If you are starting at square one, usually personal trainers will work with two people together–take a few sessions together until you feel comfortable utilizing the workouts they taught you on your own.
Stop comparing yourself to others! This is YOUR journey. Do NOT compare yourself to other people you see at the gym. Compare yourself to YOU. Notice the changes in you. Who cares if the woman next to you is lifting 30 lbs heavier? Worrying about that isn’t going to make you any better! The only person you should be competing with is you. The moment you accomplish something you weren’t able to accomplish—say, two weeks ago, or when you first began at the gym, is the most rewarding and motivating feeling. Use those accomplishments to motivate you to continue on.
When I first began working out seriously–I couldn’t do a push-up. I was barely able to do knee push-ups. Within a couple months, I surprised myself when I was able to muster a few REAL push-ups! Months later, I was able to do 20! Months after that, I was able to do clapping/plyometric push-ups.
I was excited and motivated by EVERY SINGLE advancement and this motivated me to continue on! This example is just with push-ups. I had this mentality with squats, pull ups, YOU NAME IT! I wanted to get better and I believed that I could.
Believe that you can and you will.