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If you’re not a person who thrives off routine, structure, and strict guidelines on how to achieve your goals, finding fitness motivation during the new year can be difficult. As we begin another challenging (and perhaps scary) transformation from January 1 until whenever we finish that New Year resolution again in November, our minds may not be as ready to tackle a new diet or workout plan. However, this does not mean you cannot find ways to fit fitness into your life. Finding fitness motivation can be a struggle for anyone at any time. The best way to keep yourself accountable is by finding ways that motivate you without limiting you. Here are some ideas for helping you find a little more motivation when it comes to getting fit.
Set small, achievable goals
Before you even get into a workout plan, you should set yourself up with some achievable goals. You may have a large goal of losing 50 pounds, but if you don’t have a smaller step to get there, you’ll never stay motivated. A great way to do this is by setting SMART Goals.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. These are the qualities of a good goal. A common example of a fitness SMART goal could be to do 10 pushups a day for a month. This is specific because you know what the goal is and how you are going to achieve it. It is measurable because you will know when you have achieved it. It is attainable because you can do 10 pushups, no matter how out of shape you are. It is relevant because you are improving your strength. It is timely because you have a set amount of time to do it. You can also set other kinds of fitness SMART goals as well.
Make a plan you enjoy
If you force yourself to do a workout plan that you hate, you aren’t going to stick with it. Make a plan you enjoy and can see yourself doing for the long haul. You can use one of the many online fitness trackers or apps out there to help you make a fitness plan. You can also use a fitness notebook or journal to keep track of your workouts and food. If you enjoy outdoor activities, you can make a plan that incorporates running, hiking, or other outdoor sports. If you enjoy indoor activities, you can make a plan based on yoga, pilates, or other strength-building exercises. If you prefer a more classic workout plan, there are plenty of options for you as well. There are many workout videos and books that can help you come up with a plan. Just make sure you choose something you enjoy so you can stick with it.
Get an accountability partner
If you struggle with motivation, working out with a partner can be a great way to stay accountable. Working out with a partner who is also trying to stay fit can help you stay accountable to your goals and help you push yourself to reach new heights. You can also meet up with your partner before or after your workout to have some friendly competition. You can also meet up with someone who isn’t necessarily trying to stay in shape. You can set up a friend who isn’t trying to be fit to help you stay accountable and reach your goals. That way, you still have the incentive to reach your goals while they can help you stay on track and not give up because you’re bored or tired.
Find your why
While you’re making a plan and finding ways to get motivated, it’s important to figure out why you want to get fit in the first place. Find your why and write it down. Put it someplace where you can see it every day to remind you of why you’re doing this. This will help keep you motivated when you start to lose your drive. This could be anything from wanting to be able to go on a hike with your kids sooner to needing to be fit enough to run a marathon to help raise money for a cause you believe in. Find your why and keep it close.
Take care of yourself physically and mentally
Along with the ways to find fitness motivation, it’s important to take care of yourself physically and mentally. This can include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet (no, not just eating salads), and making sure you take time for yourself. It may also include not only doing exercises that challenge you and help you reach your goals, but also exercises that help keep your body healthy. This could mean things like yoga or other forms of stretching, pilates, or meditation. It could also mean taking time to read, write, or watch things that inspire and motivate you. Something as simple as reading an article, watching a TED talk, or writing in a journal can help you keep yourself in positive, healthy headspace.
Just do it
You may have found all the ways to find fitness motivation, but if you don’t actually start doing something, it won’t help you at all. Going to the gym when you’re tired, don’t have time, or feel like you “shouldn’t” have no longer has to apply to our lives. Once you actually start working out, you’ll realize how much more you can do than you thought. So just do it. You don’t need all the motivation in the world to change your life. All you need is determination to actually make it happen. And by taking these six ways to find fitness motivation into account, you’re one step closer to making it happen.