How to maintain motivation
Setting fitness-related goals can be a great way to improve both physical and mental health but staying motivated and determined to reach said goals is often harder than it seems. Whether it be aiming to get in your 10,000 steps a day or running a marathon, implementing some of these tips will help you achieve your current fitness goals.
Set realistic and achievable fitness goals
If you only ever run for the bus, then setting a goal to run hundreds of miles a week is only going to leave you feeling defeated from the outset. While there’s nothing wrong with ambition, setting goals that are realistic and achievable increases the likelihood that you will stick to them. Increase your goals slowly and you’re much more likely to succeed in them.
Don’t expect to be Olympic ready after one week of working out; remember that progress takes time. You can use the acronym SMART to help set your goals by ensuring that they are:
- Time bound
Check out MindTools for more help with setting SMART goals. Getting yourself a fitness journal where you can write aims and achievements is a great way to hold yourself accountable to your goals once you’ve set them. If you want to track both exercise and nutrition, we love this journal from Fitlosophy.
Fitness tracker benefits
Investing in a fitness tracker can help you stay on top of your daily movement. From counting calories and steps to recording the distances you’ve walked or run, a good fitness tracker can be a great tool to keep you on target. Many fitness trackers also monitor your sleep and act as an alarm clock.
The abundance of fitness trackers on the market means that there really is something for everybody. Our all-time favorite is the Fitbit Versa 2 because it can track over 15 types of activity and will last up to four days without needing to be recharged. If you want something less bulky, then the Lintelek fitness tracker offers many of the same features, including monitoring of your heart rate, calories and sleep at a lower price.
Find a workout partner
Roping in a friend, family member or colleague who has similar goals to you will mean you’re far less likely to give up halfway through your fitness journey. On the cold winter mornings, having someone to exercise with will keep you committed to getting up and out of bed. This way, you’re not only accountable for yourselves, but each other, too. Plus, exercising with friends is much more fun.
Meal prep in advance
With fitness comes nutrition, and if your health and well-being goals are centered around food, then planning and preparing meals can help you stay on track. Many people like to prepare meals at the start of the week then freeze or refrigerate them for use throughout the rest of the week. Doing this not only saves money and time but also reduces the likelihood of relying entirely on convenient fast food. If you’re especially short on time, companies such as Hello Fresh can deliver fresh, healthy ingredients to your door with quick and straightforward recipes for you to follow.
Reward yourself for reaching your fitness goals
Establishing a rewards system can be a great way to keep you driven and moving toward your goals. Knowing that there’s a reward waiting can really motivate you on the days you want to call it quits. Try making a list of rewards and allow yourself to choose something from the list each time you hit a new goal. This could be anything from a new item of clothing to a book to a relaxing spa day.
Don’t compare your fitness progress with other people’s
Comparison truly is the thief of all joy. Everyone around you is on their own journey with health and fitness, so comparing yourself to others is both pointless and demotivating. Instead, focus on yourself and your own progress and allow everybody else to do the same.
Be kind to yourself if you skip a workout or two
Maybe you talked yourself out of going to the gym and stayed in bed instead, or you ate a whole pizza instead of the salad you planned — that’s OK! Working to become the healthiest version of yourself is a big task, one that requires a lot of time and effort. So, don’t beat yourself up if you slip up occasionally. Remind yourselves that we’re all only human and that going off track happens to the best of us.
The most important thing is not to let your small slip-ups derail your entire fitness journey. Reset and remind yourself of why you set these fitness goals in the first place.
Heather Roy is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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