If there is ever a time when someone who starts a fitness program is going to be at the most risk of giving up, it tends to be not long after they first start. This might sound counterintuitive as it could be argued that someone’s motivation is going to be at its highest when they first set out on their fitness journey. In many cases that is true. However, after the initial surge of determination, many people start seeing their motivation drop quickly for several reasons, which include:
- Realising the amount of time and effort which are going to be required
- The early aches and pains as the body becomes used to exercising
- Knowing their friends and family are out there enjoying themselves whilst they workout
- Not seeing any noticeable difference in the early stages
- Seeing that their fitness journey has a long road ahead of it
There are more, but if you are in the early stages of a fitness program, and any of these ring true, even if slightly, then be content that almost everyone has some level of doubt once they begin. The key is not to let those doubts linger or increase, and that can be achieved by using some of the excellent motivational tools and techniques which we have outlined below.
Break Your Fitness Goal Into Milestones: Trying to hit one huge, far-off goal can seem tough, whereas aiming for and hitting lots of smaller goals or milestones is rewarding and motivational. So, instead of losing 24 lbs this year, aim for losing 2 lbs per month which, if achieved, means twelve wins instead of just one.
Have Non-Fitness Goals Too: In addition to the specific fitness goals, set goals for what they can lead to. For example, being able to fit into that new suit, or being able to play with your children/grandchildren for longer without feeling out of breath?
Write A Motivational Letter To Yourself Before You Start: Before you so much as lift a dumbbell, take time to sit down and write a motivational letter to your future self, outlining all the reasons you should keep going should your enthusiasm start waning.
Tell As Many People As Can About Your Goals: The more people you tell at work, at college, on social media and wherever else you have friends and family, the less likely you are to give in. No one likes others to see them as having failed, so the motivation to continue towards succeeding is high.
Keep A Fitness Journal: Sometimes just writing thoughts down, including negative ones, can dissipate any doubt you have about continuing. It is also a great motivator when you look back and see your progress from day one until today.
Have A Workout Buddy: If you have a friend, a family member, a work colleague, or just someone in the same class at the gym to partner up with, it can be beneficial to both of you as you drive each other on, and support each other when doubts creep in.
Reward Yourself: What better way to motivate yourself to continue towards your fitness goals than to reward yourself each time you achieve something. It can be whatever you like, and even it means a sneaky chocolate bar occasionally, just make sure you do a few extra minutes exercising to burn off those calories.