How to keep motivated, when trying to be fit

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When trying to start a new regiment to maintain fitness, in the first few weeks you may have a burst of energy to continuously take on your new health goal. Whether it’s always going to the gym after work, hitting up the Pilates class, or enough steps in a day, we sometimes hit a wall when trying to maintain a new routine or sometimes have trouble when a routine becomes old. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated on your fitness journey.

1. Set goals

Start with a simple goal and once it’s achieved, make it more complex. For example, if you are just beginning to start walking and want to work your way to 10,000 steps a day, start with 4,000-5,000 steps a day and once that feels achievable, increase your step count. Setting goals can refresh workouts that otherwise may become boring.

2. Give Yourself a real reward

Sure, it’s great to have an abstract goal in mind like “better health” or “better weight management” but give yourself a reward that make being fit worthwhile. Set something tangible like treating yourself to a smoothie or an episode of your favorite tv show after you finish your workout. By creating a feedback loop, your brain will begin to associate sweat and working out with a reward. Eventually it will become a habit where the workout will release enough endorphins- feel-good chemicals- after your workout that you may not even need the reward anymore, solely because you’ve trained your brain.

3. Change your routine

If you find yourself growing bored with your fitness routine, trying to add some variation. Whether it’s changing your walking or running path, adding more intervals while you’re lifting, or trying a new class, a change to a routine can add excitement and keep you motivated by keeping your routine fresh.

4. Don’t feel guilty for missing a day

Even when we try to achieve our fitness goals, life happens. Sometimes we end up missing a day or two from our workout regiment. Don’t let that stop you from keeping a habit. If you accept that there will be times you will miss days, the easier it will be to be prepared mentally for these setbacks. It’s okay it skip a workout. It doesn’t mean it should derail you from your fitness goals.

5. Join forces with others

Sometimes the hardest part of staying motivated to stay fit is doing it alone. Fortunately, you don’t have to be alone. Reach out to friends or coworkers who may have similar fitness goals and do those activities together. If you don’t have any peers who have similar goals, consider joining or organizing neighborhood teams or running squads. Or try playing sports with your kids. Working out with others will make it seem less like a chore too. By being in a group, each member can motivate each other to reach their respective goals.

6. Get your own cheerleader

Sometimes the biggest motivators aren’t ourselves but those closest to us. Ask your kids, parents, friends, or even coworkers to hold you accountable for your fitness goals. Having a partner who can cheer you on is encouraging and they can help keep tabs. You’re not alone. Knowing that someone cares about your health can be more than enough motivation to keep pursuing that workout regimen or to keep attending that new spin class. Plus, if your cheerleader is also trying to keep a fitness goal you can motivate them as well, being a cheerleader for them.

Try these tips to motivate yourself to achieve your goals. Do you have other ideas and tips you use to stay motivated on your fitness journey? Let us know in the comments!

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Micah Peterson

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