Wednesday, April 25, 2012

After day 1: How to stay motivated

Ok, you got started with a program. Good for you! Now, how do you keep going? How do you complete a 60 or 90 day fitness program at home or keep going to your favorite classes at the gym? Here are some quick tips that I have found helpful. I hope they keep you motivated!

#1- Take pictures of yourself. Before you begin or ASAP, pose with your shirt off and shorts for guys and a swimsuit or sports bra and shorts for women. Take a picture from the front, side, and back in a normal pose and in a pose where you flex your muscles. This picture is not something you have to share with the world, but I want you to keep it on your computer. Look at it. Picture how you see yourself in the future. This picture will help motivate you to keep going when you see changes down the road. Remember, change happens slowly. You may not notice much by looking in the mirror every day, but here is the next step: retake these pictures every 30 days. Put them side by side. You will notice some changes in just 30 days if you stick with your routine correctly! And by 90 days, you will amaze yourself! That’s how we stay motivated.

#2- Weigh yourself weekly. Pick the same day and same time and keep track of your weekly weight in a journal or online. You will not always see big changes, but even a pound a week can help keep you motivated and on track! What if you don’t lose weight one week? Or what if you gain? Then you better use that to really keep going and to work harder! Remember, if you are not seeing the results you want, you may need to reflect on your nutrition, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t see weight loss right away. 

#3- Patience is key. This idea ties directly into the two previous tips in that I want you to be patient with yourself. Change happens slowly, and if change happens too quickly, then that is not healthy either. The best programs aren’t ones that claim you will drop 10 pounds in one week. The best programs are the ones that encourage you to incorporate smart fitness and a healthy diet into your daily lives.

#4- Look forward to compliments. Sooner or later, someone will tell you, “Wow, you have lost weight!” Or they will ask, “Have you been working out?” Aren’t those just two of the best things you can hear. The compliments will come. Be patient for them, and celebrate when you hear them.

#5- Make a calendar for your workouts. We are more likely to stick with a fitness routine if we write down what we plan to do each week or even each month. Life is full of conflict, so you will need to revise at times, but try to keep to your calendar as much as possible.

#6- Prioritize your workouts. I want you to think that finding time for your daily workout is as important as showering, eating, going to work, and all of the other things we do every day. I am constantly surprised by the people who claim not to have time to exercise. Somehow they find time to shower every day, right? Our lives are busy, but we learn to prioritize what is important.

#7- Find a workout buddy. Working out alone is difficult. The best bet is to find a friend to do workouts with you, even if you only meet up a couple of times of week. If nothing else, search for online fitness groups like on Facebook where people can encourage one another from a distance.

#8- Reward yourself for your commitment. I wrote about several possible rewards in a previous post, like having a dessert night or a shopping night for new clothes occasionally. Check out that post here.

What helps you stick with a fitness program once you begin? Let us know!

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