Getting into a regular exercise routine can be a challenge, but once you’re there the challenge isn’t over! As you start meeting your goals and plateauing in your progress, you may find your motivation begin to wane. Catch yourself before you get too far off track. These tips can help.
- Stick to a schedule. Dedicate a specific time and day to exercise. Allocating the time before you get caught up in other things leaves you with little room for excuses to skip a session.
- Pull your exercise clothes out and keep them where you can see them. This is especially helpful if you’re a morning exerciser.
- Even better, as soon as you begin to approach your normal exercise time, put on your gear. It is easier to follow through with exercise if you’re ready to go, and more regrettable if you skip and are in your workout clothes!
- Choose an activity you love. Performing activities you enjoy helps increase the likelihood you’ll exercise.
- Think of it as “me time.” If you’re constantly on the go, helping others, or working, exercise is a great way to work on yourself, reduce stress and boost your mood. Plus, it can give you more energy to keep moving.
- Buddy up! Exercising with a friend, family member, or coworker can keep you accountable to your goal and make it difficult to ditch the exercise.
- Make it a social event. Chances are you may have a group of friends, family members or coworkers who would like to stay active, too. Create an exercise “club” of sorts as a way to spend time with each other.
- Create competition. A little friendly competition can help increase activity and make it more enjoyable.
- Journal your efforts. Even if you’re using a fitness device or app to track your activity, keeping an exercise journal can help you be more specific and detailed in tracking your progress. Plus, you can keep track of the way exercise made you feel and reflect back on it should you find yourself unmotivated.
- Be a good example. Think of exercise as a way of helping your kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews, etc. to see and understand that physical activity is important and necessary.
- Reward yourself. Set small rewards as you progress in your exercise and maintain your routine. For example, if you exercise 5 days each week for two weeks, treat yourself to a movie, cup of coffee, ice cream, etc.
- Continuously set goals. If you’ve met your goals and aren’t sure where to go next, or even if you haven’t quite reached your goal, but are struggling, it is helpful to assess your goals and determine what else you’d like to accomplish. Having something to work towards is helpful for follow-through.
These creative ways to get yourself back on track can help you stay on pace with your fitness goals year-round.