It’s inevitable. We’re all bound to fall off the exercise wagon once in a while. For some, the relapse into a less than active lifestyle is brief (like 2 days or 2 weeks), while for some it’s much longer (like 2 months or 2 years). And with each passing week, month, or year, getting back on your fitness game can become a bit harder- especially if you’ve put on a considerable amount of weight. You think about hitting the gym, and your mind says “yes” but your body says “naw, I’ll start tomorrow.” Or maybe both your mind and body would rather take the day off. In either case, now’s a better time than any to get your butt off the couch and back into commission. Yesterday you said tomorrow. Now quit talking and start taking action!
Get a Workout Buddy
When someone else is counting on you to show up for a workout, it’ll make it much harder for you to flake out. No one likes being labeled a “flake” or an “all talk but no action” type of person. And enlisting a workout buddy to join you on your fitness journey can be one of the best ways to light a proverbial fire under your butt. You can take turns spotting each other while you lift, hit up Zumba class together, or maybe they can just be the proverbial alarm clock you need to walk up for that early morning run. No matter the workout, having someone hold you accountable will help boost your motivation and performance. In fact, studies have shown that people who use the buddy system when working out are more likely to stick with their routine and get results faster.
Revamp Your Playlist
Music can be an incredible motivator and studies have shown that people who listen to music during their workout tend to workout with more intensity than those who don’t. So what songs get you pumped up? Put them all together in one killer playlist and you’ll find yourself movin’ and sweatin’ without even realizing it! And while you’re at it, don’t just stop at music, check out inspirational videos too.
If you need a bit of visual stimulation, check out Pinterest, Instagram, grab some magazines, go read your favorite fitness blog *wink, wink*, or even watch a few workout videos. Not only will you absorb helpful info, you’ll also find success stories of people just like you who lead busy lives filled with work and family obligations, but still found the time to make fitness an important part of their lives. And, if they can do it, so can you!
Set Short Term & Long Term Goals
Failing to plan is planning to fail. I want you to always remember those words. Whether we’re talking fitness or life in general, your success will hinge on your ability to set realistic short term and long term goals. For example, though its certainly possible, for many people it’s not realistic to aim to lose 20 pounds in a month. But losing 2 pounds a week, or maybe even 10 pounds in a month, is definitely a goal that can be achieved with commitment and hard work. Learn to think in terms of “long term success.” And the best way to accomplish that is by setting smaller and more incremental goals that you’ll be more likely to reach. Then whenever you accomplish a short term goal, use that momentum to boost your confidence and help propel you towards your long term goal.
When you reach a goal, it’s always worth celebrating! For example, if you kept up your end of the bargain and made it to the gym 5 days this week (while also eating healthy), make sure to reward yourself. Perhaps you’ll want to buy yourself those cute pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing or you maybe you’ll want to treat yourself to a cheat meal.
Just make sure your rewards are truly earned and don’t go ham on a cheat meal that blows your whole progress for the week—otherwise what was the point of going to the gym in the first place? It’s all about balance, and in the end you want to celebrate reaching your goals in a balanced and healthy way, so you stay encouraged and on track to your long term fitness goals. – Doc