Starting a new diet or fitness regime is probably the easiest thing in the world to do. You can wake up one morning, look in the mirror and think, “I’m gonna get in shape this year. I swear!” For the first week or so, you eat great, exercise on time, and overall feel great! However, for most sudden dieters, after another week, your motivation begins to wane significantly and you’re right back (or in a worse position) than you were before. Yet, there are those select few that can begin one and stick with it for the rest of their lives. While some of these steps won’t work for everyone, here are a few ways to really stay motivated and maintain your fitness or diet regimes!
1) Keep Your Exercise Apparel / Equipment Readily Visible – We all hate the smell of dirty gym socks and sneakers, but having them always present keeps the idea of working out on our minds. Imagine waking up in the morning and the first thing you see is your gym outfit and shoes beside the door with your regular work clothes. You’ve now told your mind that you wanted to work out today and during the day, you’ll keep this on your brain. It works similarly to an alarm or reminder on your phone except since it’s an image and not an annoying text post, your brain is able to retain it far better.
2) Gameify Your Workouts / Diets – The main opponent to a continued diet or workout routine is thinking of it as WORK or a CHORE. In short, you are putting in work but it should be something you enjoy rather than hate each time you step into the gym. A good way to get around this is to make everything you do into a game. There are a number of wearables out there including the Fitbit and some online services as well that can help you make your goals into fun projects instead of tedious and boring things to do.
3) Make Workout & Diet Friends – While going alone is fine, a great way to maintain your fitness or diet regime is to make friends! While you can always invite known friends into the fold, meeting someone at the gym who is in similar shape or has the same goals can do wonders for your regime. The biggest benefit is if you don’t feel motivated to go, but your friend does, they can often help you get your butt up and hit the racks! The same goes for diets. When you feel like it’s time to cheat, your friend’s update on their diet may cause you to reconsider scarfing down that cheeseburger and instead eat healthy for the day. Friends are wonderful things, workout friends are even better!
4) Really Reward Yourself – Similar to Pavlov’s Dog, we are also creatures of habit and sometimes need that extra motivation that comes in the form of a reward at the end of the day. This reward can be an after workout smoothie or an end of the diet week ice cream cone on a cheat day. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that gives you joy as an individual and not something that anyone else suggests. Working out is for you and to maintain your fitness goals, you have to make incentives that are right for YOU!
5) Get a personal trainer! – Let’s be serious for a minute. Sometimes it takes a very special person to get up every day and feel like working out. Even more so if you don’t have anything to lose. Now think about exactly what a personal trainer is. You hire a person for lessons on how to live a healthier and more fit life and if you don’t like the outcome, you try someone else. However, from a motivation point of view, no one likes to lose money. So once you find someone who is both knowledgeable and makes working out fun, your motivation becomes wanting to make sure you make every appointment as most personal trainers don’t offer refunds for classes purchased. The biggest benefit of a personal trainer is having someone who is on YOUR side and pushes you beyond what you expected to do. Even if you only go to the gym once or twice a week with a PT, you can be certain you’ll leave with a far better workout than if you “tried” to go three or four times a week on your own.
That’s our five tips to stay motivated and maintain your fitness or diet regime and I’m sure there are plenty more out there so feel free to share them in the comments below! Until next time, think healthy, be healthy!