The road to fitness can be dispiriting at times: your weight may fluctuate, your running pace may waver, and you may not be able to bench press as much weight as you did last week. The key to staying motivated during these tough times is to shift your focus from short-term health goals to long-term ones. You’ll have ups and downs, but that’s a normal part of cultivating a healthier lifestyle. Establishing this mindset, however, can require some behavioral changes. Check out these suggestions from the Washington Post to help you turn your fitness goals into a lifetime of good health:
- Create structure. Take a tip from pro-athletes: Create a structured fitness routine by planning specific activities. For example, don’t resolve to just walk more; instead, resolve to walk one mile on Monday and Wednesday at 4 pm.
- Have a plan B. Make sure you have a backup exercise plan in case you aren’t able to complete your planned activity. Here’s a list of creative ways to sneak exercise into your day.
- Hold yourself accountable. Accountability can help you follow through. Invite a friend to exercise with you, or join a fitness group where you’ll meet like-minded people who can encourage you to keep working toward your goals.
- Gain confidence. We tend to invest time in activities we’re good at. So, figure out what you’re good at! Taking a fitness class or a cooking class is a good place to start. Or, try hiring a professional trainer to help you become more comfortable with the gym. Bonus: with all these new activities, you’ll be less likely to get bored and quit.
- Focus on the process. As you learn and gain confidence, you may find that your goals change. For example, you may switch your focus from losing weight to gaining strength. Be flexible and go with the flow.
Source: Washington Post