If you have ever embarked on a quest for better health, you know all the “tricks” and countless excuses to keep you from reaching your goal. Motivation can be in short supply at times, but there is hope for those who tend to put off changing their health for the better.
When looking for a gym, you will need to find one that is compatible with your schedule as well as a gym that offers the type of exercises you will enjoy for the long haul. Any gym that offers a variety of classes, as well as various machines and weight training, is the best fit for most individuals.
Here are several “doable” ideas on how to set up and stick to an exercise routine:
Everyone wants to look better, feel better, fit into the latest style of clothing, and be beach body ready all season long. But these are large and long-term goals and can often feel unattainable on a day-to-day basis.
When you set up micro-goals, you are more likely to keep working towards them and reach them at a faster pace. If you reach a goal, no matter how small, and see the results, you will be more motivated to continue.
Set SMART Goals
SMART stands for “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely” and is another way to become and stay motivated on your path to better health.
When you say to yourself, you want to lose a lot of weight; you are setting yourself up to fail. When you tell yourself, or better yet, write down, I will lose 8 pounds by April 15th; you are defining and setting a realistic goal. If you write down your goals, they become a more solid part of your plan.
There is Strength in Numbers
When you begin a workout regimen, try to enlist a buddy, someone who will hold you accountable. This workout partner may need you as much as you need them, and that way, you can lean on each other while you work towards a healthier body.
If you don’t have someone who can help push you along, sign up for classes at your gym. When other people are doing the same movements and exercises, you are more likely to stick to the routine. Also, a short competition is good for everyone.
Mix it Up Now and Then
Even the most die-hard exercise fans will get bored with the same routine. To keep from getting tired or falling into a workout rut, mix things up a bit now and then.
Check out a new class at your gym, going outside your comfort zone in terms of what you like to do or are capable of doing. Most of the classes have introduction events or a “mild” version for those who are unsure if they can make the moves or will like what the class has to offer.
Change Your Attitude
Instead of thinking about how you will look after several months of working out, think about how you will feel instead. When you stop focusing on your physical appearance, you will feel much more motivated to stick to an exercise routine.
Instead of thinking about a six-pack set of abs or well-defined arms and legs, think about how your stomach will feel after getting slim and tone. Think about leaving gas and bloating behind when you have been exercising regularly for several months.
You Are Only Human
Sometimes life happens and can derail our progress. It happens to everyone, including the people who are on track to meet their goal.
When you experience a setback, ride it out, do what you need to do and then get back to the gym. There is no shame in taking some time off if you need to take care of something like a family member or a demanding project at work. Just don’t stay away forever. To keep your momentum going, start exercising at home. Even if you can only carve out about 15 to 30 minutes a few days a week, you will feel better and want to get back to the gym as soon as you are able.
Make Exercise a Priority
As you are paying for a gym membership, start treating it like a priority. Schedule your workouts in your daily planner like you would any other meeting. If you are serious about becoming healthy, you will find the time.
If you have paired up with a friend, they will help you get to the gym on time and with consistency. And you will do the same for them. Neither of you will want to disappoint the other one, and that helps keep you both on track.
Remember Your Progress
When you are about to make excuses for not going to the gym, think about how far you have come. Remembering how much progress you have made will help to keep you going.
Motivation isn’t always something in the future. Of course, you want to look and feel your best for a certain event, or on an everyday basis. However, remembering how you felt at your lowest point of health and how much better you feel now will give you a lot of motivation to keep going.
Soak up the Compliments
You may not receive a ton of compliments about your new healthy look, but that’s okay. Compliments are not the reason you get to the gym every day or working hard at eating right. You are doing all this for yourself.
Speaking of yourself, be sure to compliment yourself. Be kind with your inner voice because what we think about ourselves matters. Compliment yourself as if you were a good friend and have just reached a micro-goal. Never dwell on what didn’t happen; only acknowledge the positive.
In the end, it is up to you to get to the gym, mix up your workouts to keep from getting bored and continue on a path of healthy eating to feel your best. No matter how much you mix up your workouts, how many exercise buddies you enlist to help, it will ultimately come down to your determination.