Did you ever start a new exercise regime full of enthusiasm but wind up two weeks later sitting on your couch, wondering how to summon up the energy to go for a run? Everything is fun and exciting at the start but the problem is how to keep your motivation for the long term. Here are five ideas for maintaining your momentum through thick and thin.
1. Think of a fitness goal, plan how to achieve it, and start to get excited about the goal. It is easier to maintain momentum if you have something you are working towards – for example, a sponsored walk or a 5K run. Or, your goal could be to fit into a new pair of jeans or lose pounds for a wedding. Make your goal achievable so you feel good once you get there, and write it down to make it more real.
2. Find inspiration for when things get tough. If it gets hard, think about people who inspire you – someone who has run a marathon, or achieved the same goal you are working towards? Someone who works hard to maintain or improve their fitness and has a great body as a result? Talk to people you admire, and read stories about people who inspire you.
3. Make your goal public so it is harder to back out. If you want to run a marathon, tell as many people as possible – they will ask you about your training and it’ll be hard to lie. Easier to actually do the work so you don’t lose face. You can also track your progress and publicize your fitness journey online.
4. Get support. Once you have made your goal public you will also benefit from the support of others who know what you are trying to achieve and will help you meet your goals. Get your family onboard as your cheerleaders for fitness. Or join an online forum where you can post your progress.
5. Just get out of the door. If you can’t face going for a 30-minute run, get out of the door for a five-minute run. If you don’t want to do an hour-long aerobics class, put your kit on and go to the gym for a walk on the treadmill. Once you are out there you will probably end up doing the thing you thought you had no energy for.