You may have started the New Year with all sorts of extensive resolutions and goals only to make mistakes and give up shortly after. In 2015, the top two New Year’s resolutions were to stay fit and healthy and to lose weight. It’s easy to say you want to start working out every day or that you want to get strong and fit, but when your alarm goes off at 6 a.m. and all you want to do is sleep or you get invited to a happy hour that sounds a million times more fun than a leg day at the gym, keeping your resolution can be difficult.
Sometimes the smallest things can keep you motivated, encouraging you to stick to your goals so you can attain the results you’ve been wanting. It’s all about finding what motivates you and keeps you going when the novelty wears off.
1. Schedule a regular workout time
Find a set hour in the day that you can commit to fitness. Spend time looking at your schedule and evaluating your energy levels as they fluctuate throughout the day. For some, an early morning is the way to go, while others feel more energized after work or even after the sun goes down. Be honest with yourself in finding a time you can stick to regularly. When you get in the rhythm of a set workout time your body will adapt and you’ll find yourself craving that time in the day when you can burn off steam, enjoy alone time, and give your body the attention it craves.
2. Set a goal that drives you
Find something that motivates you and remember it when all you want to do is bail on your workout and watch TV. Maybe signing up for a 10k or a half marathon will ensure that you get out of bed every day and run. Maybe you’ve got a high school reunion coming up, want to impress someone, or know you’ll be spending spring break on the beach. Whatever your motivation is, meditate on it daily and use it to propel you off the couch and to the gym.
3. Take advantage of technology
There is nothing like the feeling of getting tons of feedback and support on social media. Use sites like Facebook and Instagram to share your body progress photos, check-in at the gym, or share your bike route. Your friends, family, and even old acquaintances will hold you accountable and encourage you on your fitness journey. If public sharing isn’t your thing, invest in a FitBit to track your steps, heart rate, water consumption, and calorie intake. You can use this tiny tool to keep yourself on track and to challenge yourself to move more. Set a daily goal of hitting 10,000 or more steps and vow to go to bed only after you’ve reached your goal.
4. Reward yourself
To keep yourself motivated along the way, reward yourself once you meet small milestones. If you have trouble even getting to the gym, you could give yourself a reward once you complete two full weeks of working out. If you are weight loss focused, reward yourself after you lose three pounds. Find small goals you can set and accomplish to keep you motivated as you move towards your overall fitness goal. Rewards create a neurological habit loop, which involves a cue to trigger the good behavior, a routine, and the reward.
5. Keep it interesting and fun
After a month of hitting the gym regularly, you may give up on your fitness goals out of pure boredom. Keep yourself motivated by switching up your routine to keep your body and mind guessing. This may mean joining a rec sports team, trying out a fitness class, boxing with friends, or any other activity that varies from your typical workout. Not only will switching things up keep you sane and motivated mentally, but also your body will be physically challenged when you shock it with a new form of movement and exercise.