If my fitness routine was a relationship status, it would be “it’s complicated”!
For a month I’m all about it; exercising daily, eating healthy, clearing my mind. Then, as the months start to go on, I start to taper off. Daily exercising turns from every other day to every other week to the point where I’m not exercising at all.
This summer, just like every other one, I vowed to start a fitness plan which consisted of:
- Daily workouts (10 – 30 mins max)
- Eating healthier (cutting down on my sweets, increasing fruit & veggie intake)
- Meditating (15 mins of yoga music – Pandora has a great Meditation playlist)
And to my surprise, I actually stuck with it! But how, you might ask?
I changed my mentality with these 4 tips and plan to keep it in mind past summer.
START WITH SMALL AND REALISTIC GOALS
Before this summer, I would throw myself into these ridiculous fitness programs hoping to see immediate results (I’m talking after one exercise) then getting so disappointed that the motivation to continue was gone.
Measuring out how much time I can devote to exercising – even if that means I do 10 mins one day and 25 the next – and realizing that every little bit counts and will help me be healthier, is my biggest motivation.
ACCEPTING MYSELF AND MY BODY
Not to get too deep, but once I realized that trying to attain the “perfection” that’s portrayed to us on social media was ridiculous and downright terrible for my self-esteem/mental health, it completely shifted my main goal for exercising.
For years, I’d been exercising trying to look like the next runway or social media model then getting so frustrated with myself because my body didn’t look like that no matter what I did. News flash, my 5’5” self. can’t. look. 5’10”. Can’t happen won’t happen.
Once that clicked, I started focusing on getting healthy and less on losing the weight
MAKING IT FUN
I’ll be honest, working out never seemed fun to me and I couldn’t help but stare in envy at the people smiling while running or working out (you should be dying and reaching for water like me).
To stop making exercise feel like a chore, I started trying different fitness programs that I thought I’d like. Dance class? Barre? Yoga? A ton of fun and it doesn’t even feel like I’m working out!
Point is, when you find a workout that you consider fun, you’ll enjoy it a whole lot more.
GET A WORKOUT BUDDY
For those days when I’d feel not so motivated, having a friend/workout buddy was Godsent. Not only were they there to hold me accountable, but we kept each other motivated and even pushed each other to work harder.
Bonus? You can both complain together about how you can’t hold a yoga pose to save your life!
CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Sometimes we forget to reward ourselves for all the hard work we’re putting in.
It takes weeks to see real changes, so celebrate even a pound of weight loss or muscle gain.
I agree that you should set realistic goals and don’t be too hard on yourself. Finding a fun exercise program is what keeps me dedicated to my daily workouts, once I get bored I tend to tapper off. To avoid this i switch up my regimen often! YES we must cheer ourseves on and every small win that leads to a bug win!
Shout out to you for daily workouts! I’ve gotten into the habit of switching up the workouts too and those small realistic goals help so much!
I love this and I couldn’t agree more. I think that each point is equally as important as the other in order to stick to a fitness plan. I know for me personally, if it isn’t fun or I don’t have a good mindset about my body, I honestly never stick with it and discouraged quickly.
What a great post with great points, thank you!
Love that you love this! Sticking to a fitness plan is almost just as much work as the exercises themselves!!!
You definitely need to find something you like and it fun. If you don’t like to run, don’t run! I also make sure to schedule in my workouts like any other meeting. This way I won’t cancel on myself.
So true! I never thought to schedule my workouts so I’ll have to try that. I usually pick a day and try to stick to that 🙂
I have struggled with this all my life. At one point this 5’4″ body was carrying 300 lbs and hardly able to walk a block. I just started with short, easy walks. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed it. Once I was walking a couple of miles I started hiking with friends and even climbed Mt St Helens. (I was still over 240 lb at the time. Then I walked the Portland Marathon and met my goal: 26.2 miles in under 8 hours (7 hr, 56 min). Then I made a HUGE mistake. I took a break, a very very long break.
Later I got into water exercise, which I also really enjoy. I think that here too, I enjoy it and push too much. I need to learn to stop before I push too hard. Maybe like in show business, we should Leave them (ourselves) wanting more.
Thanks for sharing! Go you for climbing Mt St Helens and walking a marathon! Those are items I definitely want to try and tackle.
Taking a break was one of my biggest mistakes too! I went from exercising every day for 2 months to zip, nada! Worst move ever! Going slow is something I have too work on as well 🙂
This is a great list of ways to stay motivated! I need to follow these for myself!
Aww! Glad you found this helpful.
How try all this is. I to always seem to have a problem sticking to a workout routine. I have gotten better over the last year using all your suggestions. Goals – I agree that keeping them small is easier and more realistic (and I get to reward myself more often). I too have tried different activities and found I really like yoga and playing pickle ball! Great post!
*Happy dance* The working out part is so much easier than sticking to it for me!
Yoga is one of my favorite alternatives, even if I can’t get all the poses 😀
I love your point about making it fun. If it’s not sustainable, I get burned out so quickly. Volleyball is my favorite way to stay active.
Fellow volleyball player here! Such a fun way to workout besides the traditional going to the gym session. Sometimes the gymtimidation is real!