By: Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
How many times have you started a fitness plan only to have the wheels fall off before achieving your fitness goals? Well, you’re not alone. However, there’s some good news! Most people fail because they lose motivation or were never really motivated to begin with.
In this article, we will showcase some surefire ways to get motivated and fast-track your fitness goals. Implement one and test it out or implement a few (or all) until you start seeing the results you desire.
Disclaimer: It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before starting any exercise program to ensure you are healthy enough to do so.
Think Small for BIG Results
Too many people think TOO BIG, too soon. You first learned to crawl before you ran, right? Same thing with achieving your fitness goals. Set smaller, more short-term goals that align with your long-term goal.
For instance, don’t set a goal of losing 50 pounds and call it a day. How will you get there? Set smaller weekly goals, such as a 1-2 pound weight loss goal for each week. What you essentially want to do is take your ultimate goal and reverse engineer it in order to help provide yourself with a roadmap on how to achieve your fitness goals.
You also want to make sure your goals are realistic, attainable, and able to be tracked.
Who doesn’t love to get rewarded? By rewarding yourself for achievements, it can help create positive reinforcement.
For instance, if you hit all of your workouts for the week, have a day where you have a cheat meal. If you are hitting your goals for an entire month, maybe go enjoy a massage, get a new pair of workout shoes, or whatever “reward” would motivate you to stay on track.
Personally, I take my wins every day. We all live insanely busy lives. We have jobs, run businesses, have a family to take care of — the list goes on and on. My reward is my post-workout shake following my daily workouts. As soon as I’m done crushing an intense workout, I grab whatever flavor of MuscleSport Lean Whey I’m in the mood for, and that’s my reward.
Using a delicious protein shake is a great reward system following workouts. Not only do you get to enjoy what many would consider a treat post-workout, but it also provides you with the benefits of boosting recovery and muscle growth.
Using a protein powder that you enjoy is a great reward system that doesn’t cost a ton of money. Rewarding yourself doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy something expensive and go into debt.
Wear Workout Clothes You LOVE
When you look good, you feel good, right? Why should your workouts be any different? Wear something you feel good in. Maybe it’s a nice pair of tailored-fit joggers and a super comfy T-shirt? Perhaps you’re a sneaker-head and want to wear a fashionable pair of kicks to the gym? Go for it!
Motivation can come from anywhere, and if you can toss on apparel that makes you feel good, you’re more willing to adhere to your program, get motivated, and achieve the fitness goals you set out to hit.
Schedule Your Workouts Like a Date Night
If you forget a date night, you’ll quickly find yourself in the doghouse. Therefore, you probably schedule them and make sure they are in your calendar. In fact, anything that is important to you or a priority is probably in your calendar, right? So, why wouldn’t you put your workouts in there?
Seeing your workout in your calendar can be motivating as it’s something you get to cross off of your list each day after you accomplish it. The feeling you get after finishing a grueling workout can help you keep you motivated to move forward and not give up. If you want to hit your fitness goals, you need to schedule your workouts each day.
Remember Why You Started in the First Place
This is a big part of motivation. Why did you start in the first place? What made you want to set health or fitness goals? Is it to lose weight and improve your health? Is it to make sure you’re around long enough to see your kids grow up?
Your motivation is probably different from the next person’s, and that’s why health and fitness are very individualized according to your goals.
Remember, if you feel you’re losing motivation and losing sight of your fitness goals, remind yourself why you started in the first place.
Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People
They say you are the average of the five people you are the closest with. Find yourself an inner circle that shares the same mindset and passion as you. Engage with those who want to better themselves, improve their health, and achieve their fitness goals.
If you hang out with five people who eat fast food daily, don’t exercise, and don’t emphasize their health, you’ll quickly be the sixth.
By surrounding yourself with motivated and like-minded individuals, you can help keep others in the group held accountable while at the same time, they will also help keep you accountable.
Find a Balance Between Life and Fitness
A key to staying motivated and hitting your fitness goals is to remember that balance is incredibly important. If you go too hard and put all of your focus into just one thing, you’ll eventually find yourself burning out and losing interest.
Enjoy your life while also finding healthy ways to fit in exercise and a well-balanced diet. Going to the extremes in one direction or another is never a good idea and can completely derail your motivation and results.
Use a Tracking App
Numbers and data can be helpful in allowing you to stay motivated and achieve your fitness goals. Using a tracking app such as MyFitnessPal can be incredibly useful as you can track your nutrition, weight, and even workouts — all in one easy-to-use platform directly on your phone.
Seeing results through your data can be incredibly motivating. This tool can be your best friend as well as being a means of keeping yourself honest with if you’re really putting in the effort to produce the results you’re looking for.
Challenge Yourself Daily
Make each day a challenge or game. How can you improve from the previous day? Can you add weight to your lifts today? Can you push out more reps or sets? The goal should be to push yourself harder than yesterday.
Every day is an opportunity to be better than the previous. If you’re not progressing, you’re regressing, and that will not lead you to your fitness goals.
Always find new ways to challenge yourself.
Only Do Things You Enjoy
If you were to think back to a time when you quit working out, what was the cause? Probably because you didn’t enjoy it, no? That’s the reason why most people quit. A simple solution and a way to stay motivated is only to do what you enjoy. If you hate the treadmill, don’t do it. Hop on a bike if you enjoy that more. Not a fan of “bro split” workouts? Try a push/pull/legs training style and see if you like that better.
The bottom line is, don’t force things. If you don’t enjoy them, you’re less likely to continue with them, you’ll be less motivated, and you probably won’t achieve your fitness goals. Trying different things is great, but leverage the things you truly love and enjoy, and you’ll find you’re able to achieve some amazing results.