Most of us realize that achieving our fitness goals will take a lot of hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, even with the best intentions it’s easy to get sidetracked by work or other responsibilities, and before you know it, one missed workout turns into three or four and before you know it another year may go by with dreams of that ideal physical shape gone out the window.
Even if you have the best workout and diet plan in the world, if you don’t stick to it the majority of the time, you’ll never reach your ultimate goal. But how do you keep yourself motivated long enough to achieve this?
It’s all in the mind
Everything begins with a thought in the mind. All that you have accomplished as well as what you hope to accomplish in the future which is what makes the mind/body connection so important. In order to achieve your fitness goals, you must believe that you can.
Studies have shown that positive reinforcement is imperative for success and staying motivated to exercise. That positive reinforcement must come from your own mind. Try banishing negative thoughts and transforming them to messages that are positive such as phrases like, “I can do it,” or “My body is strong and healthy.”
Picture yourself accomplishing your goal as often as possible.
Change things up
If you run the same path or exercise to the same workout video over and over, it’s easy to lose motivation and become bored with exercising. Find a way to change things up by running a new route, checking out a new fitness class or trying a new exercise video. Trying a new activity can not only help break up a boring routine, but by working new muscles you’ll increase the odds of achieving overall fitness.
Make sure you’re having fun – if you don’t enjoy your workouts, it’s hard to stay motivated. Find an activity you do enjoy and it won’t be difficult to get out and do it.
Keep an exercise journal
Kaiser Permanente conducted a study that found when it comes to reaching fitness goals writing down all of your physical activities increases the odds of staying motivated. Take it a step further by posting your workouts on Facebook or a fitness social networking page. Your friends will know when you’ve decided to skip a day which can make the difference in the motivation to workout.
Make yourself a priority
Don’t put yourself last on your list of priorities. Keep in mind that by working out you’ll be giving yourself more energy to get through that busy day and take care of responsibilities. Without your health, you won’t be able to take care of others – putting yourself first is crucial.