It’s one thing to set a goal to get in shape; it’s another to stay motivated. This is why New Year’s fitness resolutions tend to fizzle by February. This should not stop you from making realistic fitness goals, however – there are some things you can do to keep yourself motivated toward your goals. Here are some ideas to keep yourself on track.
Set Realistic Goals
If you’ve set a goal to lose 30 pounds in 3 weeks and run a marathon in 10 days, you may find yourself disappointed and discouraged. It’s not possible or even healthy to attempt such goals! Instead, do your research – find out what your ideal weight is for your height and build; be honest about your current physical state; take your family budget, diet, and time into account. Once you have a good idea as to where you are, you can get a better grasp of where you can realistically go.
Also, many sources point out that setting small goals is better than setting just one big one. You can have the larger goal, of course; but mapping out a series of goals that lead toward that may be quite helpful. Reaching small, weekly or monthly goals can go a long way toward keeping you motivated.
Don’t Be Too Strict
Part of your fitness goals probably involves a change in diet. While healthy changes are good, simply cutting out every “bad” food, such as sugar, white flour, processed foods, fast foods, etc., may end up backfiring. If you feel deprived, you might be more likely to break your dietary restrictions and binge on treats.
To avoid this, you might try cutting out a “bad” food each week, or maybe cutting out one sugary food every week. Maybe you could start by replacing sugar-sweetened iced tea or sugary sodas with stevia-sweetened teas or colas. If you eat fast food daily, cut back to twice a week to start. These are just some of the ways you can make significant changes in your diet without feeling deprived and frustrated.
Find a Workout Partner
Having someone who will hold you accountable for your goals can be invaluable. Make this person aware of your long-term and short-term goals, and ask him or her to work out with you or call up and see if you’re exercising. Knowing that there’s someone else expecting you to meet your goals can go a long way toward keeping you motivated.
Make It Enjoyable
As much as you can, make your workout time something you look forward to. Maybe you can choose a beautiful, attractive location for your exercise, such as a lovely outdoor area or gym where you feel comfortable. If you like to socialize, you can make your workout time social time by meeting up with friends. If you enjoy time alone, finding a location where you can be by yourself may help entice you to keep doing your workout.