Have you ever started a new year thinking it’s going to be the year that you get and stay fit?
You start off great, lose motivation and then do the same thing the next year?
Have you ever told yourself that you’ll start again on Monday, and then that turns into the following Monday? And then the day never comes?
It can be hard and super uncomfortable to commit to a consistent fitness routine that will help you stay on track with your fitness goals. I know, and I hear you.
But the truth of the matter is that if you keep starting over and genuinely want to stay on track with your fitness goals, then the intentions are already there. It’s something that you truly hope to achieve!
This post is all about how to get you there, so the next time it feels like you’re starting over will hopefully be the last time.
Here we go!
Have a game plan
Working out on-the-fly works for some, but not for most … especially if you have big goals to hit. Get specific and visualize how you’re going to complete workouts. Are you going to do them at home, at the gym or both? In the morning or at night? By yourself or with a partner or coach? What training program are you going to follow?
These are a lot of questions to think about, but knowing the answers will help you avoid unnecessary setbacks and give you a head start.
Keep things SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely)
Think about what you want the end goal to be and reverse engineer it. Break it down into time periods and baby steps, and put them in an order that makes sense and sets you up for success.
See my post on Setting SMART Goals and How To Achieve Them for more details on this!
Schedule workouts into your calendar
If you want to make fitness a priority, treat it like any other important event in your life and write it as an appointment in your calendar. Make it non-negotiable. If you have a more flexible schedule, the time isn’t as essential as knowing what days you plan to work out, but sometimes having a set time you know you’re dedicating to fitness helps get it done consistently.
Start slow and keep your eyes on your own paper
It’s easy to see someone who is absolutely killing it and think you want to do exactly what she is doing. If you do, you’ll get the same results, right? That’s actually very unlikely. You are two completely different people with different bodies and different schedules and responsibilities. Comparing yourself to others is a habit I think we can all relate to, but it’s not a good one. Instead, focus on staying in your own lane and adapt a workout program that is tailored to your needs and fitness level.
And if you’re not sure what that is, start small and build from there. If you’re completely new to working out, always start with the modifications or options given first, then move on to advance the movements and try more challenging workouts later.
Incorporate a variety
Doing the same workout or even the same type of workout several times a week will eventually get boring. Once you get bored or burnt out, it will be harder to stay motivated to keep showing up, so avoid that by incorporating a variety of different workouts into your routine!
My ideal week of workouts includes 2-3 days of strength training (at home or at the gym), 1-2 bodyweight workouts (HIIT, Pilates, yoga, barre, etc.), at least one run outside and at least one rest day. No two weeks are the same for me, and I like it that way. It’s okay to repeat workouts here and there, but don’t get stuck in a circle of consistent rotation. Keeping the body guessing is essential for long-term growth and success.
Dress comfortably and confidently
I think it’s safe to say that we all know to wear workout clothes instead of jeans to the gym. What I mean by this point is to dress in a way that makes you feel good. Confidence is key, and wearing something that you don’t feel comfortable in (mentally or physically) won’t do you any favors. You don’t have to go out and buy a whole new fitness wardrobe, but choosing outfits that excite you to wear can help motivate you to show up and get the work done.
Pay attention to what you’re eating
You can work out several hours a day and still not hit your goals if you aren’t fueling your body with mostly healthy foods. I’m not saying that you have to be on a strict diet or track every thing you’re eating, but you do need to pay attention to how your body feels during your workouts. Do you feel fueled or tired? Do you always feel bloated? Are you always hungry? These are indications that you may not be eating enough nutrients or the right types of foods.
I have been eating intuitively for several years now, and that always includes room for an occasional glass of wine, pizza nights and dessert. I focus on filling my plate with protein and vegetables first, eating whole grains when possible, and I have never had any long-term success with restricting anything I love out of my diet or with a fad diet. (This is because diets are meant to be short-term!)
You can track your macros, keep a food journal, or just focus on picking foods that fuel your body with a good mix of protein, carbohydrates, fresh produce and whole foods. Everyone is different, so do what works best for you!
Document your journey and celebrate non-scale victories
Sometimes it takes a look back to see how far you’ve come, and this is why I always encourage documenting your fitness journey. This could mean keeping a fitness journal, taking new photos at different angles every few months, taking your measurements, or writing down new personal records or achievements that you want to remember. The last thing you should do is rely solely on the scale for tracking your progress. Weigh yourself if you want to, but just remember that non-scale victories are even more important overall.
Plan for setbacks
Last-minute hiccups and disruptions happen. Vacations come up. Workouts have to get canceled sometimes, and this is unavoidable. A critical part of hitting goals is to plan for the set backs and learn how to swerve around them. Missing one workout or even a week of workouts isn’t going to affect your overall progress, but staying on track on a regular basis is how this stays true. Just remember that life happens, and that’s okay.
Remember why you started!
Take it one day, one week and one month at a time. If you ever feel unmotivated or overwhelmed, think back to why you wanted to start this journey in the first place. Was it to stay healthy? Was it to get fit and feel good? Was it to be active and mobile for your family? Remembering your WHY is a powerful motivator!
I hope post helps you stay on track with your fitness goals.
Just like anything else, staying consistent with your workout routine and hitting goals doesn’t happen overnight. Start incorporating these tips and takeaways into your everyday actions, and they will eventually come second nature as healthy habits.
Also, know that I am here to help if you need it!
You might also like:
- How To Easily Add Movement Into Your Day
- Tips On Finding Time To Work Out
- How To Work Out Smarter, Not Harder
- My Go-To Workout: Push, Pull, Squat
- 5K Training Plan For Beginners
[Photo credit: Jason Roth Photography. Always a pleasure to work with him!]