March 5, 2014
It’s the beginning of March, which is usually about the time people begin to have trouble sticking with their New Year’s Resolutions. For whatever reason, it becomes difficult to remember why you set this goal in the first place, causing you to lose your motivation. To help you find it again, we’ve asked some of our top health and fitness experts to provide some inspirational tips on how to keep working toward your health and fitness goals, even when you feel discouraged or lack motivation.
To help stay motivated throughout the year, I will pick a fun fitness-related event every quarter (three months)—this provides me with a specific training goal and something to look forward to. Events include obstacle-course races, mountain biking a specific trail system or an old boys/master's athletes rugby tournament. Constantly planning various events that are both exercise-based and fun ensures that I stay committed to an exercise program.
—Pete McCall, M.S., ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Follow Pete on Twitter at @fitexpertpete!
Unless you hold yourself accountable, it's easy to stray—or forget all together—your goals and resolutions. Have your WRITTEN word visible around key places, not telling you to do certain things, but WHY you are doing certain things. Furthermore, create a support system comprised of those around you who are SUPPORTIVE of your choices to make positive change, and ask them to help hold you accountable. Nobody plans to fail, but oftentimes without support, we fail to plan.
—Lawrence Biscontini, M.A., ACE Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor, Mindful Movement Specialist
Follow Lawrence on Twitter at @findlawrence!
At the beginning of the New Year I encourage my clients to use social support and social media to hold themselves accountable for their fitness (or any!) resolutions. Through Facebook, blogging or Twitter, share your plans and goals for the New Year and have your friends hold you accountable. Keep everybody up to date with your successes, and possibly have some friends join you on your journey!
—Shana Verstegen, ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Follow Shana on Twitter at @shanamartin!
Many people lose motivation because their results aren’t happening fast enough—and they start beating themselves up. Some may give up because they lose confidence. Defeating thoughts and self-doubt will derail you, so it’s important to keep empowering yourself with positive thoughts and mantras, and keep your inner dialogue confident. It takes awareness of your thoughts to control it. You also have to stay persistent and know that success always comes after hard work!
—Chris Freytag, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach
Follow Chris on Twitter at @chrisfreytag!
First, remember that a single workout or good meal won’t make you fit or transform you, so missing one won’t either. We often beat ourselves up excessively for making a single bad choice when the impact of it is actually minimal. It’s important to treat it just like a bad day at work or a fight with a significant other—as a little difficulty to work through and keep getting better.
Second, consider what you would say to your best friend if he or she was struggling with similar challenges. What would you say to help support and help your friend find a way back to a positive mindset and to feel equipped to make healthier choices? Whatever you would say to him or her, say it to yourself. We are so much harder on ourselves than we’d ever be to a friend or loved one facing similar circumstances.
—Jonathan Ross, ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @jonathanrossfit!
Staying motivated is tough; my secret is to celebrate the small victories. It’s great to have a specific goal that is in the future, but sometimes you have to create little milestones along the way to celebrate. Choose one thing EACH day that, when they add up, will have you close to your ultimate goal and then celebrate!
—Shannon Fable, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor
Follow Shannon on Twitter at @sfable!
By the American Council on Exercise