Motivation, Dedication and Crushing your Fitness Goals!
With New Years resolutions right around the corner it seems like everyone in Vancouver is thinking about fitness and health motivation. How many times have you set a resolution at the beginning of the year just to watch it fade away a few weeks later? Below you’ll find our best tips on how to stay motivated with your fitness goals…
Motivation is what pushes our lives and what pulls us to make decisions. You’ve probably experience high motivation, such as starting your new years resolutions, the first time you meet that special someone or when you notice your weight loss efforts are starting to pay off when you slip on those new skinny jeans. That can be really motivating! You’ve most likely also experience motivation lows… when your new years resolutions starts to dwindle by mid January, your 5 times a week workouts slowly become once a week, you start hitting the snooze button more and more…
How to Stay Motivated with your Fitness Goals…
Why is motivation so extremely hard to keep? This quote from former Navy Seal and ultra endurance athlete David Goggins got me thinking…
“Motivation is crap. Motivation comes and goes. When you’re driven, whatever is in front of you will get destroyed.” – David Goggins
With that said, it seems like motivation is much like an emotion… It comes and goes. Often without our control. You’ve probably noticed from your own experience that motivation highs make us feel really good and motivations lows make us feel less than par.
You’ve also likely noticed that after a bought of high motivation you crash and burn only to be in the same position you were at the start. That’s because sometimes we tend to set too huge of expectations and goals for ourselves that cannot be sustained for long periods of time. Perhaps trying to chase high motivation all of time is unrealistic. Perhaps we should think about it in terms of staying dedicated or driven, instead of highly motivated all of the time.
Read on to Find out 7 Key Steps on how to Stay Motivated and Finally Accomplish your Goals.
1) Baby Steps.
I’m a big believer in setting small baby step goals that won’t flip your current life completely upside down! Think small attainable goals that can fit nicely into your lifestyle. This may sound meek but I promise that taking small steps can lead to big sustainable changes. I’ve seen it work firsthand with all of my personal training clients!
Choose no more than two goals to stay dedicated to at a time. When that becomes a natural part of your weekly routine or more of a habit then you can tackle another ‘baby step goal’. For example, if improving your health and wellness is a goal then your ‘baby step’ would be to drink 8 glasses of water/day until it becomes habitual. Once that is a constant you can take on a new baby step goal and turn that one into a habit. Then keep going and going until you become a super human!!
“Motivation is what gets you started habit is what keeps you going”. – Jim Ryun, American Track and Field Olympian.
2) Create a Vision.
“…unless you create a vision, see the person you want to be in your mind, your life will remain the same. You need to see the future ahead of yourself, how you want to live. Keep in touch with that vision every single day.” – David Goggin
Take a minute to envision just how it would feel to achieve your goal. How would you feel physically and mentally if in two months you reached your final weight loss goal, or finally completed that 10 km charity run? Staying in contact with your vision and thinking of it often will result in more consistent motivation.. or should we say dedication? Whatever the word is – just keep your eyes on the prize!
3) Find Your “Why” and Write it Down.
Having a goal is one thing but knowing why you want to achieve that goal is what will help fuel it. If losing weight is your goal you need to clearly define your reason for having that goal. Maybe you want to lose weight to prevent heart disease, reduce joint pain, look good for a big event coming up or to keep up with your kids. We suggest writing your goal down and then beside it the “why’s” and reading through it daily. Or better yet write it on a sticky note and post it to your mirror where you’ll see it every morning.
4) Positive Self Talk.
When it comes to achieving any goal your mind set and mental toughness play a highly important role.
Elaine Mead Bsc of Positive Psychology explains the research agrees that positive self talk can have a crucial impact on behaviour change as well as other benefits like reducing stress, easing anxiety and increasing self confidence. From my experience as a personal trainer and competitive gymnastics coach I have found that individuals who have a positive outlook on their goals and their abilities to achieve them will succeed significantly more than someone with a negative outlook.
Examples of positive self talk may sound like:
- “I have the power to change and I will”
- “I am resilient and I will give it my all to make it work”
- “With the lessons learned from this week – next week will be even better”
Positive self talk may sound cheesy, and you might feel a bit silly at first but I challenge you to come up with your own statement and recite it often especially when you’re faced with a challenge or a set back.
5) Build a Process Goal.
Focusing on the final outcome of a goal can often feel distant, overwhelming and leave you feeling uninspired. For example if your goal is lose weight, that’s great but it’s too general. Let’s come up with a specific number and create some small steps to get you there.
I always encourage my personal training clients to make S.M.A.R.T goals:
Specific: To lose 10 lbs
Measurable: We’ll use a scale and take measurements with a measuring tape.
Achievable: I know that from current weight, height and age, 10 lbs is a realistic and healthy amount to lose.
Realistic: Losing 10 lbs is relevant to me and this is the right time in my life to focus on this.
Timed: Set a deadline. Since we know losing 1-2 lbs a week is healthy set that deadline accordingly.
Now that we have some specifics let’s write down some action-oriented goals. Remember to keep them small and easily attainable. Baby Steps!
- I will walk for 30 minutes everyday this week.
- To eat at least 4 servings of vegetables each day
- Save the wine for Saturday night only
- Commit to my personal trainer twice a week
- Bring lunch to work 3 times this week instead of eating out everyday
6) Make it Public.
Consider making your goal into a public statement. Notify friends, family, colleagues of your goal or even post it on social media (don’t forget to tag us @rep1_fitness_inc!) Social support and positive feedback from others will help keep you accountable. Consider finding a friend with a similar goal, if it’s fitness – find a workout buddy and make an exercise schedule you can both commit to.
7) Reward Yourself.
Everybody loves a good reward! If for example your big goal is weight loss and you’ve hit your “baby step” goal of walking for 30 minutes every day this week then reward your excellent efforts with something not food related. You could plan a fun day with friends, a movie out, a pedicure or a new pair of runners!
With these key steps to keep your motivation high and practical ways to stay dedicated to your goals there’s no stopping how far you’ll go! Remember to celebrate the small successes and ask for help when needed. Here’s to a happy and healthy new year and staying motivated with your fitness goals!