What thwarts us from reaching our fitness goals? Many of us go into the new year with the utmost zeal and enthusiasm towards our fitness resolutions but find our commitment and drive waning after the first few weeks. What can help us increase the likelihood that we will achieve our fitness goals? Here are some tips to employ when you find yourself short on motivation.
Put Your Health First
Many of us are reactive towards our health, when something goes awry, we wait until the very last minute to schedule a doctor’s appointment. We prioritize work, family, social occasions and everything in between. We rationalize that we’re much too busy for exercise because so many other things are more important. Meanwhile we forget that when our physical and mental health suffers, other priorities will quickly fall by the wayside as we desperately try to get our health in order. Nothing is more imperative than prioritizing your health and putting forth the actions to make it happen. Simply put, we cannot thrive without good health.
Change it Up
One of the major reasons that I don’t continue with fitness goals is due to my fitness routine becoming redundant and boring. Like most people, I grow weary of doing the same thing over and over. Diversity is key when pursuing a fitness regimen. Try changing up which exercises you’re engaging in, do a mix of both cardio and strength training and challenge yourself to try a new exercise which targets a different set of muscles. Ready to take it up a notch? Sign up for a fitness class like barre, pilates, spin, or kickboxing. The group dynamic can be energizing and motivating, plus you may even make a gym buddy which adds to your motivation to keep working out.
Reward Yourself Appropriately
When you’re just starting off on your fitness journey, you may find yourself getting discouraged when you don’t see results immediately. Maybe you’re not feeing healthier, stronger, or more energized at the get-go. Not everyone feels happier after working out and this may be counterintuitive to what we think “should” happen post-workout. Identifying healthy external rewards that you can utilize during this time may be helpful. You successfully worked out three days per week for a whole month? Time to invest in that new pair of gym shoes or that cute yoga mat you’ve been eyeing.
Discomfort is a major barrier that may stop us from a regular workout regimen. Instead of ignoring discomfort that may arise during your workouts or discomfort that is a constant presence in your life, start listening to what your discomfort is communicating to you. Meet with health professionals to understand triggers and contributing factors which may be exacerbating your discomfort and seek out treatment.
“Health is wealth”, a mantra Jessica’s mother regularly repeated throughout her childhood. Jessica values achieving balance and wholeness in both arenas of mental and physical health. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a practicing mental health therapist, Jessica promotes healthy living, self-care, mindfulness, and above all, kindness towards self.