In fitness, just as with any other notable pursuit in life, getting started is easy. It’s exciting. The promise of a new beginning and the goal that seems within reach puts the fire in the belly of most people.
They’re raring to go and get off to a fantastic start. However, most often than not, their journey to get to the goal is longer than they expected it to be. Much much longer.
The initial excitement starts to wane and the daily workouts start to become a grind. The diet which promised a lean body starts to become plainer and more unpalatable than cardboard.
So, what happened?
Simple. People lose motivation. It happens and it’s perfectly normal. The truth is that you only need motivation to get you started. After that, it’s just discipline and habit that will carry you through.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to keep your spirits up. Knowing how to motivate yourself is crucial to succeeding with any fitness program.
There will be days when you feel like skipping workouts. There will be times when you don’t wish to give it your best. Knowing how to rally yourself to stay on track and keep improving will be helpful in your fitness journey.
Check off each day
This is a very useful technique that will help you stay motivated. If you’re following fitness programs such as P90X or Insanity Max, you’ll notice that they come with calendars.
Print these out and stick them on your wall. Your goal should be to check off each day (and writing your timing, if needed) and stay consistent.
This is also known as the ‘Seinfeld strategy’ that’s mentioned in many productivity books. The comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, used to have a big calendar.
Every day, he’d spend some time writing jokes. He’d then put a big red cross on that day to mark his journey. After a while, he’d have a chain and his goal would be to keep the chain going for as long as possible without breaking it.
Use this effective technique to stay motivated.
Track your progress
Another way to stay motivated will be to track your progress. Start a journal where you write down how you feel after each workout and also your personal bests.
If you’re following Insanity Max, this will be your ‘Max Out’ time. If you’re following a program on Alo Moves, this will be the ease of execution with the different moves.
The goal here is to know where you’re coming from… then where you’re at… and to improve to get to where you want to be. Journaling will serve as a roadmap with mile markers to keep you on track.
Ideally, you should aim for 100% compliance. That means sticking to your diet and training to a T. You’re aiming for progress, not perfection.
Generally, if you’re 75% to 90% compliant, you’re doing a great job and will see results. If you fall within this range each week, always reward yourself once a week to motivate yourself.
Ideally, your reward should be something other than food. But if you want, you can have a cheat meal and eat whatever you want for that meal. Remember – cheat meal and NOT cheat day. This is especially true if you’re on a diet.
Feed your mind
Watch transformation videos of people who lost weight or became fit. There are many such videos on YouTube. This will help to motivate you and make you trust the process.
If they can do it, so can you. All you need to do is stay on track and you’ll get there in time to come.
There will be some days when your arms or legs are sore. Skipping the workout may be at the forefront of your mind. DO NOT give in.
Instead, carry on with the workout but modify the moves. Most fitness programs understand that people start at different levels… and they have options for those who are beginners or need more help.
The modifier moves will help you do the workout without annihilating you. Sometimes you just need to go easy… a little. So, be flexible in your approach and let your body tell you what to do.
To conclude, the 5 methods above will be helpful for keeping you focused on your fitness program and get you to the finish line. Use them wisely.