5 Tips for Staying Motivated to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Written by on August 29, 2012 in Health - No comments | Print this page

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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?

Mind/body connection

The mind/body connection is perhaps the most crucial aspect of any successful plan. If you don’t believe you can achieve your goal, you won’t. Everything you accomplish, no matter how big or small, begins with a thought in your mind. It’s important to change that inner voice in your mind that tries to throw you off track.

According to Len Kravitz, PhD, and a 2005 research study conducted by Whaley and Schrider, how people view themselves plays a major role on whether or not they will exercise, and stay motivated to exercise. Positive reinforcement is imperative for success in reaching fitness goals.

Banish negative thoughts by turning them into positive messages. Instead of “I can’t do it,” believe in yourself, and picture yourself accomplishing your goal. Use words like, “I can make it,” or “I am strong and healthy,” until you truly believe you can.

Keep a food and exercise journal, set mini-goals and schedule your workouts

A study conducted by Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research found that one of the most important things you can do to lose weight and reach your fitness goals is to write down everything you eat. A leading author of the study noted, “Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records… the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer calories.” Writing down all of your workouts and other physical activities could be helpful in much the same way.

In addition to your long term goal, try setting mini-goals and picture them as stepping stones to the final destination. Whether they are monthly or weekly, it’s easier to accomplish your ultimate fitness goals by breaking them up into easier to meet, smaller goals.

Stay on track to each goal by creating a schedule each week for your workouts. Once you’ve completed each day’s physical activity, cross it off and you’ll be that much closer to reaching your fitness goals.

Rewards

Don’t forget to reward yourself when you’ve accomplished something, as the National Institutes for Health advises. It’s important to celebrate each success with positive reinforcement. Indulge in something you really love, preferably other than food, perhaps with a massage or spa treatment; whatever really motivates you.

Keep it fun

If you’re really struggling to stay motivated, your workouts are probably not much fun. Considering changing things up by signing up for a class (perhaps dance or martial arts) where you can learn something new to keep from getting bored with your usual routine.

You should be number one

Many people tend to make themselves the last priority in their own lives, when they should be number one. Working out and getting in shape will ultimately give your more energy that will enable you to take better care of your responsibilities and other people.

Creative Commons photo by Lululemon Athletica

This is a guest post.  Isaac Sanger writes for Cascade Healthcare, an online seller of thousands of healthcare products for individuals and medical clinics.

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