The Biggest Fitness Challenge: Staying Motivated

The biggest challenge for most people when it comes to exercise is not the exercise itself but rather having the motivation to exercise.

Most of the clients I have worked with over the past 5 years have all said the same thing to me…they don’t have the motivation to stay committed to their workouts. It happens often; you decide you want to start exercising, you amp yourself up, get yourself kitted out with new gym clothes, maybe some gym equipment you can use at home and all is going well, you feel happy and excited to be on this journey, but then a week or two passes and suddenly you are finding excuses not to work out and you have lost all motivation to keep going. The good news is, you are not alone! This is really common. The bad news is, this lack of motivation is going to hold you back from achieving your goals and will in turn impact your overall health and fitness.

So today, I want to give you some tips to help you stay motivated and in turn stay committed to your health and fitness journey.

  1. Remind yourself why you started
    On those days where you really just want to give up and feel like fitting exercise into your life is just too much effort, take a moment to sit and think about why you started in the first place. Each person has a reason that is unique to them and your reason is important to you, otherwise you wouldn’t have started in the first place.

    Perhaps put some reminders on your phone or around the house to keep you motivated. This could be an encouraging message, a picture of what you want to achieve, an outfit hanging up that you want to fit into or anything to remind you of what your goal is.

    Everyone’s journey is different, never compare your journey to that of others. We are all unique and have different goals and things we want to achieve. I have worked with clients who want to lose weight, clients who have injuries and are using exercise as a way to recover and strengthen, clients who just want to keep fit healthy…whatever your reason, make it a priority in your life. We seem to be able to make time for all sorts of things, but when it comes to ourselves and our health we don’t make the time. Your health is a priority and you are the CEO of your journey, don’t cancel on yourself!

  2. Don’t give it power, make exercise part of your routine
    I have noticed that people tend to give the idea of exercise so much power, they overthink it and make it seem like this big obstacle they need to overcome. Make exercise part of your routine, the same way you wake up, eat breakfast, have a shower, it is just another one of those things that you do in your day. The moment it becomes part of your routine, it stops feeling like an overwhelming task and rather is just another normal part of your day.
  3. Get a trainer to help you
    A lot of people battle to commit to a regular exercise schedule on their own, they need someone to guide them, push them and keep them accountable. A personal trainer is that person for you; they will encourage you to make exercising part of your lifestyle and help you discover the amazing benefits of regular physical activity. Since you have scheduled appointments that you have to pay for, you will also find that you are less likely to cancel which helps you stick to your workouts and get used to having exercise as part of your routine. A trainer will help you to stay committed and push you harder than you would push yourself.
  4. Don’t exercise alone
    Find a workout buddy. Having someone to workout with will help you stay motivated and committed. Humans, even though we don’t all admit it, are naturally competitive. Having someone to workout with will help you push yourself harder than you would if you were on your own. You will also help keep each other accountable.

    You can also join in a group fitness class. Here you can join a group of like-minded people and again having other people around you doing the same thing will help you push yourself harder. Having a workout buddy or joining a group can also help make workouts more fun.

  5. Track your progress

Having something for you to look at that shows what kind of progress you are making is a huge motivator. Naturally, we tend to be very critical of ourselves and often don’t see the changes that are happening. We also see ourselves all the time and as such don’t notice the small changes that others may see. Find a way to track your progress that works best for you. Here are some ways for you to do this:

  • Take photos – these are just for you to see so that over time you can watch the changes happening. Take a photo of yourself from the front, the side and from the back. Do this every month and compare the photos, you will be surprised of the changes happening
  • Take measurements – Every month take body measurements and keep them in a chart so that you can track and compare each month. You will need a tape measure and preferably take the measurements without clothes to keep them as accurate as possible. You will measure your chest, waist, hips, thigh and upper arm.
  • Use your clothes – use your clothes as a measure, take note of how they currently fit you and over time see if they start to feel looser.

    Seeing the results of your hard work is always a great feeling and will keep you motivated to  keep going. You will feel proud, happy and excited and you’ll want to show people how far you have come. This positive energy is what keeps us motivated, we are results driven by nature.

I want to end of by saying – It is important to remember that you are only human at the end of the day. We all have bad days, days where we want to give up, days where we think this is just an impossible task. BUT don’t fall off the bandwagon, don’t give up! Accept that some days will be harder than others and that a bad day doesn’t mean a bad journey, use it as a learning experience…take it as a day to look after yourself and remind yourself what it is that you want to achieve.

There are going to be some days where you’ll feel like a superhero and some days where it will feel like you’ve never exercised before and it feels like your workout is never going to end, this is completely normal! We all experience this…my advice is to just do the best you can each day; anything that you do is better than doing nothing and waaay better and more rewarding than giving up!