You just purchased a new gym membership. You even got some new workout clothes to go with it. You’ve done this three or four times before, but this time is different.
This time you’re going to stick with it. This time you’re finally going to get the results that you’ve been wanting.
Fast forward a few months later and your membership card is collecting dust while those new workout clothes are buried in your closet. What happened?
For many casual gym-goers, sticking with an exercise program can be difficult. It’s common for those beginning a training routine to start off strong but fade back into their sedentary ways.
To prevent this from happening again, here are five motivators to keep you on track to crush your fitness goals.
1. Log Your Workouts
Logging your workouts may not seem like something that will keep you going, but all it takes is one look through old workouts to see how far you’ve come. It’s easy to lose track of progress when you’re going through the day-to-day motions, but taking a look back can show you how much your fitness levels have improved.
Also, logging workouts keeps you on a consistent path to progression. It helps you avoid questions like, “How much weight did I use last week?” and “How many sets and reps did I do?”
All you need is a notebook and pen, or you can use a workout tracker on your phone. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just be sure to stay consistent.
2. Reward Yourself
Reaching a fitness goal can be a tremendous accomplishment. Depending on what your goals are, it can take months or even years to achieve. Treating yourself to a prize can help ensure that your goals are met.
Tell yourself what your prize will be once you reach your goal and stick to it. Whether it’s a mini vacation, new clothes, or some other gadget you’ve been dying to have, the reward for your future triumph can be an excellent motivator.
Competing in a fitness-related event can add a huge boost to your workouts. Having a competition date set gives your training more purpose and direction. It motivates you to be in the best possible shape for the event and sets you up for that nice reward we just talked about.
Many casual gym-goers have no desire to compete in a fitness-related event. However, there are some who are curious about competing but turn away from it due to feeling that they aren’t good enough for a competition.
My advice would be to not worry about how your performance will look compared to others. There are plenty of people who compete simply for fun. You don’t have to be a champion athlete to enjoy the thrill of competition.
Whether it’s a marathon, bodybuilding/figure competition, or a weightlifting/powerlifting meet, there are plenty of options to choose from. Focus on giving YOUR best performance and have a blast doing it.
4. Remind Yourself Why You Do It
When motivation starts to slip away, remind yourself why you’re doing what you do. Maybe it’s a necessity to prevent impending chronic diseases. Maybe it’s to simply feel better about yourself.
Whatever the reason is, make sure you don’t forget it. Write your reasons down if you have to. Hanging them on your wall or setting a reminder on your phone can be wonderful for retention.
Even the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts go through lulls in their training, but they don’t let it take over. They find a way to rekindle the fire and get back after it.
5. Do Exercise That You Like Doing
I always hear people say that they hate running or getting on the treadmill/elliptical, yet they continue to do those activities every week. My question is, “Why?” If you dislike it so much then why keep doing it?
You don’t have to do exercises that you despise. Don’t like running long distances? Run shorter sprints instead. Don’t like running at all? Ride a bike. Jump rope. Try boxing. The list goes on.
Yes, there are certain situations where you need the discipline to do things you don’t particularly enjoy (split squats come to mind), but this should definitely not be the case for the majority of your training program.
Constantly forcing yourself to exercise in ways that you can’t stand is an easy way to throw yourself off the path to your goals. Find exercises and activities that you truly enjoy doing. Exercise should be invigorating, not tiresome.
Have any others to add? Put them in the comments below! After you comment, share it with others so they can stay motivated.