8 Practical Ways to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Fitness Goals
If there's an ideal time to stick to your fitness goals, now would be it. With beach season, BBQs and fire-roasted marshmallows just around the corner, your body will thank you for keeping it in check before all the summer indulgence and laziness fully hits. If you feel like you struggle to stay motivated and keep with your fitness routine, here are 8 practical techniques that you may not have tried yet:
1. Get an accountability partner (or a handful of them).
Just about everyone at one point or another falls off the health wagon and needs a helping hand back on. Ask your partner, friend, sibling, coworker, or whoever you trust to hold you accountable to your fitness goals, to be your accountability buddy. This will be the most successful if they, too have fitness goals they are trying to reach so that you're both invested in the process. Each day, text or call your fitness buddy to share with them what actions you're going to take toward your health and fitness goals that day, and follow up with them at the end of the day on whether of not you fulfilled those actions. If you did not, reflect on what stopped you so that you can improve.
2. Join a fitness community.
There are hundreds of fitness-focused groups on Facebook filled with motivated people that will help keep you on track, not to mention the group fitness opportunities available that make working out a fun social hour. Find your local running group, yoga in the park, or whatever communities get you pumped up for exercise.
3. Create a vision board.
Gather all of your fitness magazines or browse online for clippings of fitness-related imagery that inspire you and are aligned with your goals, such as challenging yoga postures, a group of people running together, and so on. Images of healthy, nutritious food go hand-in-hand with your fitness vision so save those too.
4. Join your local gym.
It's simple yet true: when you're paying to be fit, your bank account will hold you accountable to making the most of it. Find a gym that's as close to home as possible (distance will be one less excuse not to go) and has the variety of group fitness classes, machines and other amenities that you need to keep you interested longterm.
5. Take regular progress photos.
Take front, back and side progress photos in just your undergarments once per month. Once you start seeing the results you'll be excited to keep going, and looking back you'll be happy that you documented the transition. Be sure to stay kind to yourself if you aren't making progress as quickly as you'd hoped. Don't give up — a little progress each day adds up to big results!
6. Leave yourself notes.
Be your own accountability partner by leaving yourself notes by your bed, on the fridge, on your bathroom mirror — anywhere that will get your attention — with reminders as to why you're striving toward your fitness goals. Is it to look and feel good, to be able to wear whatever you want, to fit into the new bathing suit you bought? Whatever your reasons, write it down because when reminded of the why behind something you'll be more likely to stick to it.
7. Build it into your schedule.
An easy way to use the excuse of "not enough time" is by making the mistake of not actually building it into your schedule. So at the start of the week, look at your schedule and figure out the wheres, whens and what kinds of fitness activity you'll be fitting in. Block these times in your calendar and set reminders a few hours before so that you don't "forget." And if a lack of time is still an excuse, see my final suggestion...
8. Take advantage of YouTube.
With the thousands of "5 minute abs" workout videos on YouTube that you can do from the comfort of your own home, there really is no excuse to not work toward your fitness goals. Find your favourite fitness accounts, subscribe, and incorporate a variety of quick or long workouts into your routine. Below are some of my favourites:
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