Do you find it difficult to lace up your running shoes or step through the door of the gym once the initial excitement of a new exercise regime is over? Perhaps you get enthused by the thought of a new routine, only to get bored after a few weeks. If you, like many others, struggle to maintain your fitness motivation long-term, try this five-step plan to keeping happy and interested in your fitness plans.
1. Think of a goal. An inspiring plan includes a target or a goal you will be working towards. When you have something to measure your progress against you are more invested in the outcome and more interested in continuing to exercise on a regular basis. Your goal could be competing in a 5K race, losing 10 pounds, or running two miles on the treadmill.
2. Plan the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Make sure your goal is achievable yet not so simple you will get there within a few days. Work out what you need to achieve and when you can achieve it. If you can, schedule exercise at regular times during the week so it becomes a habit and part of your daily life. Once you reach your goal, reward yourself then think of another target to hit.
3. Focus on the benefits you are getting from your fitness regime and don’t dwell on the problems. Think about how your muscles are getting stronger, how you are dropping the weight slowly but surely, and how good you feel at the end of a workout. Don’t dwell on the difficulties of getting out of the door for a run on a cold night.
4. Erase negative thoughts and talk with positive messages. Replace things like “I can’t do it” with “I am doing it” or “I am good enough.” Fill your head with positive messages and you will start to believe your own hype.
5. Find support that will be there when you falter. Because you will falter – everyone has good days and bad days. If you are lacking motivation and feeling unfit today; tomorrow or next week may be a different story. Draw on the support of friends and family to encourage you to stay on track with your fitness goals.