Wanting to improve your fitness or body composition is one thing. Doing it, however, is the hard part.

If you’re struggling to stay ‘on the wagon’ and commit to your fitness goals, you are not alone. But there are things you can do to drastically increase your chances of sticking with it once the initial motivation wears off.

How to Stay Motivated

1. Set a Goal and Write It Down!

If it doesn’t excite you, it won’t ignite you. Use these tips to create a goal that excites you and that you’re excited to work towards.

Then, write it down. Studies show that the simple act of writing  something down increases brain activity which can help  you remember it and adhere to your goals better. It also provides you with a visual, and a starting point for breaking your big goal down into smaller goals, which also helps. And if you foresee any obstacles as you write your goals, then remember for every obstacle, there is also a solution – to help you discover yours, try this goal setting worksheet.

2. Give Yourself a Target and a Specific Deadline

Once you’ve identified your goal, set a realistic timeline to achieve it. Having a finish line (or milestone) to work towards is critical for remaining motivated and on track. (There’s more advice on this one in our SMART goals blog post).  

3. Measure Along the Way

Determine how you will measure progress and success. Change happens incrementally, so you might not notice a big difference ‘on the surface’ even though progress may actually be taking place.

The key is to find a metric that makes sense for you and your goal. For example, if your goal is a smaller waist, measure it! Plan a time each week to take those measurements and keep track of it. If you want to hit a certain number of workouts per week, you can also track this by checking it off (To keep you on track, use our Habit Tracker).

4. Follow a Consistent and Intelligent Plan

Winging it will never produce results. Instead, you need a customized plan designed for you and your goals. Is this achievable on your own? In theory, yes – but this is where a trainer can be invaluable. They know what’s possible and how to achieve it – in a safe and efficient manner.

They/we can also take care of revising your plan as you go, and redirecting when necessary, which are critical for constant improvement.

5. Celebrate Your Success

While your small successes aren’t your ultimate goal, it’s still important to celebrate every little milestone. From not hitting snooze and getting that workout done in the morning to staying on plan for a month or more, to doing your first push up – celebrate it. This will provide encouragement and motivation to keep going.

6. Don’t Let Setbacks Derail You

Progress is not linear and setbacks will happen. The key to long-term success is not letting those setbacks derail you completely; instead, get right back up and continue forward, reminding yourself that this is about the ‘long game’.

Remember, success happens when you do something consistently. It’s never about being perfect.

7. Share Your Goal

If your goal is to walk each day, find a friend to walk with (or join a local walking group!) Some people find the element of competition to be motivating – if you’re one of them, find someone who will ‘compete’ with you on things like number of workouts or a specific physical challenge (doing 30 push ups in a row, for example).

Research clearly demonstrates the importance of the buddy system for weight loss. In one study, researchers found individuals who had an accountability buddy maximized their weight loss efforts, losing more weight and significantly reducing their waistline when compared to those that didn’t have an accountability partner.

8. Think About the Bigger Picture

Maybe this means setting a good example for your children. Or perhaps this means, as a grandparent, being able to have more vitality and live a longer life where you’re able to watch your grandchildren grow up. When you obtain optimal health and fitness, you can show up for the people you love more and put more energy toward those relationships. In turn, you experience more meaning and increased fulfillment in your life.

9. Let Us Help

With Nielsen Fitness, we can help you create a plan, track your progress, and celebrate with you along the way. From virtual personal training to in-person personal trainers in Toronto, you can choose what makes the most sense for you and your life. Get in touch with us today to finally begin making progress toward your health goals.

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