Fitness Friday: Staying Motivated

Motivation: The driving force by which humans achieve their goals.

This finallly came to me this week!  I'm half-way through my "Eat Real" challenge, I've just started a new workout/lifting schedule, and this follows last week's FF up quite nicely. 

First, Do Something.
Second, Stay Motivated!

It's pretty easy to start something and it's really easy to get excited about something.  The finish can even be quite thrilling.  But it's the middle part that counts.  The part where you keep on keepin' on.  Where you're a little tired, and a lot sore, and you feel like maybe you should just quit.

Here are 7 steps to Staying Motivated ~ Easy, Doable, Essential!

1. Find your why.  Why are you doing what you're doing?  Is it to look better?  Feel better?  Run a certain distance?  Once you figure out your why, it will be a whole lot easier to stick with it.  And go a step further: put your WHY in front of you.  Whether it's a written reminder on your bathroom mirror or a board in your office with pictures of your goal, make sure you can see it.

2. Get some support.  In or order to stay motivated, it is absolutely crucial to surround yourself with a positive support system.  If those closest to you aren't on board, find people who are and encourage and learn from each other.  You need someone to lean on when you start to fizzle out.  Tough love, not just, "Well, you tried!"

3. Set short term/long term goals.  This is pretty easy.  Set some goals and get them on paper.  A short term goal could be, I want to be able to run 3 miles by Christmas.  A long term goal: I want to get off xyz medication by this time next year.  Make your goals doable but also slightly out of reach.  You want something to work for.

4. Push through lulls.  You're not going to feel like working out, eating right, and just generally staying on course every single day.  On those days when you're just not "feelin' it," do it anyways.  Feelings often follow action.  When was the last time you regretted working out?!  Another sure fire way to bust through a rut?  Mix it up.  Run a new trail, or pick out some new workout music.

5. Reward your progress.  Whatever the length of your goal is, be sure to reward yourself either along the way or at the finish line.  Rewards give us something to look forward to and help us keep our eyes on the prize.  Maybe you want a new pair of jeans once you lose 10 pounds.  Or promise yourself a fancy-schmancy kitchen gadget after you eat clean for a month.

6. Take a break.  Um.  Doesn't this contradict #4?  Not neccessarily.  Every now and then, IT'S OK TO TAKE A BREAK.  A lot of times our bodies *and minds* will respond even better and come back stronger after a short break or rest period.  Use common sense and don't feel bad if a break is what you reallly need.

7. Be disciplined!  No one can do the work for you.  Whatever your goal, big or small, find a way to KEEP GOING.  Learn what motivates you, and use it! 

I'd love to hear your thoughts!  How do you stay motivated?  And - let me know if you have future topic ideas or questions for Fitness Friday!

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