By Janine Delaney, Psychologist and Fitness Expert
The difference between those who throw in the towel and those who actually reach their goal is simple: staying motivated. It’s not a matter of IF your motivation will wane, because it will. The question is, what actions you take when you hit that wall? Here are some simple tips to staying on the right track to achieving your fitness goals, and remember no one is perfect, so if your motivation falls short, just pick yourself right back up and start again!
Set weekly check-ins to celebrate small successes
It’s a good idea to check in with yourself every Sunday about your progress for the week, specifically what went well. This can be helped by creating something physical like a journal or diary. It doesn’t matter if it’s on your phone or written on the back of an envelope — when you document your wins, they can keep you motivated. This is your journey and you should recognize and take time to bask in your achievements, but also to go back and reflect on what to improve upon in the coming weeks. Setting challenging but attainable goals a hundred times in a row can have a very powerful effect.
Schedule “cheat meals” and gym breaks into your routine.
It’s hard to be consistently motivated and always be on your game. Give yourself a little bit of a reprieve. Mentally, it’s not normal to constantly be on all the time, we need to unwind and relax. By doing something that’s not perfect, were allowing ourselves to revel in the moment and celebrate our success. Give yourself a break so you can sustain that motivation. It’s an allowance instead of creating the ‘I messed up syndrome’ which causes you to get off track. Getting into a routine of one “off day” will do wonders when you feel like giving up.
Know your why.
Most goals don’t come to fruition because they’re motivated by spurious or vague goals. When you set a goal, write down why that goal is important to you. Because when you mess up, and everyone does, you can go back and read what you wrote and why it was meaningful. That will make you remember why you started – as we all know, no matter of someone else telling us to do something will actually motivate us. That has to come from within, and what better way to motivate yourself than by reading a letter from your past self to the new you?