5 Ways to stick to your fitness goals
Keeping your fitness goals on track at this time of year can seem pretty darn difficult. But there are some things you can do to keep up your motivation and continue on your way to success.
Get a friend involved
Two heads really are better than one, especially when it comes to motivation. When selecting a fitness buddy, however, make sure it's someone you feel is equally driven. If you know someone tends to be a little flaky or isn't quite as determined as you, having her as a buddy may make you work out less rather than more. Although there will be times when your pal is reluctant to hit the gym — just as there will be times when you feel that way — it's important that there be a give and take so you're both working together.
It also doesn't hurt to pick a fitness buddy you don't know overly well. With a close friend you may be more likely to talk each other into taking the day off. But with someone you don't know so well, you may be more hesitant to back out — which will keep your fitness goals in check.
Start a blog
Starting a blog can help you maintain your fitness goals for several reasons. First off, it will give you a place to celebrate your victories and purge your defeats. Rather than getting frustrated and angry with yourself when you miss a gym session and choosing to give up altogether, you can vent about it on your blog. Once it's out in the open, you'll feel better and can refocus your energies on what the next day holds for you. A blog also gives you a place where you can celebrate the times you do well and hear encouragement from others.
A blog will help you form a support system to encourage you and keep you accountable. If you choose to let family and friends know about it, then they can read how you're doing and help keep you accountable. Or if you prefer to have an anonymous blog, you can count on the blogging community to help you out. Bloggers tend to be supportive and encouraging people who are eager to make connections, so chances are good you'll make some new, similarly minded friends along the way.
Create realistic goals
Have you ever set a goal along the lines of "I want to lose 10 pounds by so-and-so's wedding"? If so, you aren't alone. We all like to think big and set high goals for ourselves to work on. But when they're too unrealistic, we just wind up disappointed and less motivated. Instead of aiming for lofty goals that will be almost impossible to achieve, set smaller goals you can realistically meet. For instance, if you can run 3 kilometres right now, aim to run 4 kilometres in three weeks. Or if you can do five full push-ups in a row, make it a goal to be able to do 10 by next month. Little victories will keep you motivated to continue working toward your fitness goals.
Although being a little bit faster and stronger every week are rewards in themselves, it doesn't hurt to set tangible rewards for yourself. And they don't have to cost you a lot either. They can be as simple as giving yourself a half-hour bubble bath or getting that novel you've been eyeing at the used bookstore. Just a little something to remind you that you've been working hard and deserve to be rewarded.
Make smart purchases
You don't have to spend a fortune to stay fit, but a few smart purchases can go a long way. For example, investing in a gym or fitness club membership at a place near your home or work will give you someplace you can conveniently go to work out. Make sure the location targets your specific needs. For instance, if you thrive on yoga, make sure it offers classes. Or if you can spend more time on a treadmill when a TV's attached to it, look for that amenity. Make sure you won't have any excuses down the road for not going.
It also doesn't hurt to invest in clothing you feel great in. Heading to the gym in an old T-shirt and shorts that are too tight is no way to make you feel good about yourself. So pick out a few key pieces, such as a fitted T-shirt, a comfortable sports bra and some attractive capris, you'll love putting on and showing off.