I am often asked by others, "How do you stay so motivated?" The truth is, I also have those days when I could easily snuggle up on the couch and skip my workout. I am not a robot like some may think :). But there are a few helpful strategies I use with myself and with clients on how to stay motivated that I would like to share with you.
First, set a goal. This goal has to be a SMART goal. A SMART goal has to be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Setting a goal such as "I want to be able to run" is not specific or timely. How will you know when you have achieved this goal? What categorizes a run vs a fast walk? As you can see, making sure your goal fits into these guidelines will help you know when you have achieved your goal and help you know exactly what you are working towards. A better goal would be “I want to be able to run 5 miles by November 26th.” This fits all the criteria of a SMART goal.
Second, find something you enjoy. It is much easier to look forward to exercising if you like what you are doing. Don't force yourself to do sprints every morning if you absolutely dread it. Exercise should not be something you hate. Let’s face it: if you dread it, you are not going to do it. When working with clients, I make sure to try different styles of workouts and different types of equipment to see what they like. Everyone is different and in order to be successful you must like what you are doing.
Third, get your friends and family involved. The more accountability partners you have, the better. Tell them your goals and what you are going to do to get there. I always encourage my clients to do their workouts with a friend or spouse. If your significant other knows you are supposed to do a work out that night, they may give you that extra push you need, or better yet, join you.
Fourth, reward yourself. Not with food, though, as that is not a good habit to get in to. Make the reward something like a new dress you have been keeping your eye on, or maybe a weekend away with your friend or significant other. Make it something extra special that will keep you excited about making progress. It helps to be working towards something!
Lastly, don't give up. It doesn't matter if it has been 3 weeks since you have made progress. Never, ever, ever give up. Keep trying new strategies. Ask friends for support. Read inspirational quotes. Watch motivational videos. Remind yourself of why you are doing this. There is a reason you set this goal, and you better not stop until you achieve it!
Thanks for reading!
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