We are always making new and revised goals when it comes to our fitness and health. Then life happens. We get sick, work gets busy, our family needs us, unexpected stresses arise. We stumble, we lose motivation, we don’t see progress and we feel overwhelmed and defeated.
Don’t give up.
Its easy to throw in the towel and come up with every excuse in the book (even valid excuses). But easy isn’t what’s best. If there’s a reason out there to not workout, I’ve used it. But let me share 5 things that have helped me stick to my fitness journey.
- Make Small Goals:
When your goals are so huge that it takes 6mos to obtain them, its easy to become bored and to miss the progress we are doing. Create goals that can realistically be accomplished in a week, or a month. Or if you have a big goals, break it down to smaller timely goals. If you want to lose 50lbs, break it down by weekly weight loss goals. If you want to squat 300lbs, make a plan to work yourself up to that. Smaller goals will allow you to celebrate sooner and to see the progression as you go.
- Schedule it into your week:
I started this fitness journey barely able to fit one personal training session into my very busy schedule. To now working out 4-6x a week. When you make it a priority it will get done. There is lots we schedule into our week that are non-negotiables, they get done no matter what. Make your fitness a non-negotiable. This also includes scheduling out your meals for the week. When you schedule it out you tend to buy the groceries needed for those meals and not the additional junk – and have more success with staying on plan.
- Post Goals and Motivation all around you
I find it hard to stay away from the gym when I have my goals glaring at me. Same with motivational pictures. I created a “Motivation Board” where I put some goals, “Why I Started” as well as motivational pictures with inspirational sayings. It is hung in my room just under my hanging race medals and bibs. I see it on a daily basis. It reminds me to get my butt up outta bed and give it my best today. Plus the more motivation you have around helps block out the naysayers. And we all have them. The ones who wish they could be as motivated as you to work out, but aren’t, so they mock. Override them with the positivity and show them how its done.
- Have supports who will keep you accountable.
These supports might be different. For me it started out as my personal trainer. And now I formed a full #fitfam and I have a select few people around me that can see the signs when I’m not following my plan. They’re the ones that will kick me in the butt and tell me to pick myself up and get going again. They are the ones I can be completely open with when I stumble or struggle. They do not judge me, they help me stand up again. If you’re struggling with getting yourself to the gym, maybe hire a Personal Trainer who can help keep you accountable, or find a gym buddy that you trust and will be open and honest with.
- Love yourself
This is actually the most important step. Love yourself. It sounds simple, but most of us don’t. We can negatively talk about ourselves til the cows come home. Or we consistently do things that are harmful to ourselves. Love yourself and put yourself first. It took me a LONG time to figure this out. I kept telling myself that I couldn’t put me first, the needs of my husband and children had to come first. Then I realized one day that if i dont take care of ME, there’s nothing I can offer my children and my husband. By loving myself it allows me to love those around me and be a BETTER me! So love yourself, take care of yourself!
Don’t get me wrong, even with these steps in place – i still stumble. But these supports help me to not stay down. We all will have a bad day, or even a bad week. The important thing is that you don’t give up, you stand up, brush yourself off and get going again. After all, a river cuts through rock, not because of its power but its persistence.
Liz Burton is the Promotions and Event Planner for 360fit in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She resides in Cole Harbour with her husband, one son and multiple foster children.