Staying fit and keeping motivation high long term can be tricky. Without the need to be in a bikini every day, or without a specific vacation or event on the horizon, your summer health and fitness goals can fall to the wayside in favor of cozy nights in and one too many pumpkin-spiced treats. Need some extra inspiration for achieving that hot bod or healthy lifestyle? These are my top tips for maintaining your motivation!
- Set realistic goals. Not-so-fun fact: Goals not on-point? You can pretty much expect to fail, or at least not to succeed in a way you’d like. You probably aren’t going to lose 10lbs in one week or drop two sizes in a month–it just isn’t realistic. Save yourself the disappointment and set realistic, logical, sustainable goals. Whether your goal is losing a pound a week, getting in five morning workouts, or committing to ditching meat twice a week, pick a goal that challenges you and stick to it. Pick carefully! If a goal is too intense and unachievable, you’ll want to give up. If it’s too easily attainable, however, it won’t be motivating either! Try not to be too extreme and to give yourself wiggle room in either direction.
- Monitor your progress. Checking in with the scale, tape measure, or your ‘skinny’ jeans on a regular basis is pretty much a no-brainer when it comes to keeping the motivation alive. Trainer Kayla Itsines, for example, encourages her clients and Bikini Body Guide users to take weekly progress photos in an effort to stay motivated and on track. Seeing a physical change in pretty much any capacity always makes me want to keep going.
- Treat yourself with fitness-related gear. I’m all about treating yourself whenever humanly possible, so if you feel like a new pair of Nikes or a new workout headband will make you excited to hit up the gym, feel free to bust out that plastic. Other fitness-friendly treats include new workout DVDs, passes to group classes, issues of Oxygen, Shape, Self, or Women’s Health, fitness trackers, or new songs on iTunes.
- Connect with like-minded people. Having a support system is MAJOR. Whether you find like minds online (Tone It Up encompasses an amazing group of women, and the fitness community on Instagram is constantly expanding!) or in person, having someone to work out with or check in with has the power to make you and keep you motivated long-term. It’s built-in accountability, support, and encouragement–all good things. You are who you’re around, so surround yourself with people with similar goals and lifestyles as much as you can.
- Change up your routine to prevent burn out. Ever had that OMG-working-out-has-gotten-SO-freaking-boring feeling? Yeah?? Ick. This tends to happen, at least for me, when I’ve been doing the same old thing for entirely too long. If you’re finding a program too strict or simply aren’t inspired by whatever it is you’re doing anymore, ditch it. There are tons of workout methods, modalities, and programs to try. I mean, have you seen YouTube?! So many options! Prefer a more regimented approach? Consider opting for shorter 6-8 week programs, or creating your own system that encompass multiple workout styles and change as frequently as you’d like. #diyworkout
- Give yourself an excuse! Sometimes having a deadline can seriously re-ignite lost passion. Buy some concert tickets, plan a girls weekend, hey, book yourself a trip if you can swing it! Knowing you’ll want to look and feel your best by a specific date can be seriously motivating and help keep you pushing through your routine.
How do YOU stay motivated?