Achieving fitness goals is as much about getting to the gym as it is about actually doing the work. After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and that first step is motivation. Luckily, there are a few hacks you can apply to keep yourself in the right frame of mind. Even on those tough days when you want to skip your workout, the following five ways will help you to power through.
Accountability plays an important role in our lives. Whether at work or with your family or friends, there are things that you are expected to do. Your job description keeps you accountable to your colleagues and supervisors while your responsibilities at home keep you accountable to those who depend on you in your family.
Remaining accountable to yourself is equally as important as coming through for others. The way to do this is to make your fitness goals and your progress public. It’s easy to neglect ourselves if we’re the only ones that know about our goals. If you make your milestones public, you will be less likely to back out.
Posting on social media will keep you honest. Post your goals and your progress, and people will be more likely to call you out if your fitness posts on social media become sparse.
2. Set Goals
Setting goals for fitness involves two different aspects that should coexist. The first is that your fitness goals should be tangible, and the second is that you should aim for the sky.
If you are not in the shape that you desire, don’t set a goal of becoming a chiseled statue within the first month. This just sets you up for disappointment. It’s important to set short-term goals that are realistic so that you do not quit early on. Realize that understanding how your fitness progress works will keep you motivated to keep going to the gym during the first couple of months. Those months will be the most difficult.
The second part of goal-setting should include a more ambitious approach. Find a poster or photo of your favorite fitness personality or other celebrity. Place it near your bathroom mirror or in your room as a reminder of what you are shooting for.
For this to be an effective strategy, make sure the person you choose is close to your age range and goals. Your desire to reach the best version of yourself should propel you out of bed, out the door, and off to the gym.
3. Measure Your Progress
The best way to maintain motivation is to observe measurable progress. By keeping a journal of your workouts and your measurements, you will be able to spot the incremental improvements in your body. Weigh yourself often, and record it in your journal. Also, as the amount of work you are able to do in the gym increases, you will have a visual confirmation of how you are getting stronger.
Revisit the photo of your favorite fitness role model every few months. Check to see if your waist is getting slimmer. Can you see your abs start to come through? How about your muscle tone? Is your body becoming more defined? By seeing the progress with your very eyes, getting to the gym will become more than a task; it will become a necessity.
4. Build Your Circle of Power
You can always find people at the gym who are looking to waste time by being social. They’re not bad people, but like enablers for addicts, they can draw you into their world.
Find like-minded people at the gym who are set on reaching their goals. People who already have achieved the level of motivation you seek will have their habits rub off on you.
Furthermore, look for people in your workplace and your network of friends who will be supportive of your quest. Keep clear of the naysayers as they can draw you into their vortex of negativity.
5. Reward Yourself
Motivation cannot last if you are on a draconian regimen. Make time for fun, and reward yourself with a cheat meal every now and again, especially after you have achieved an important fitness goal. Remember that the most motivating factor for getting to the gym is to make it a part of your life. When going to the gym is a part of who you are, you will no longer need motivation to get you there.