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dedicated student at Stanford.

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fitness enthusiast.

aspiring surgeon.

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10 ways to stay motivated on your fitness journey

It’s Motivation Monday!!

Welcome to the new week Fit Fam!

New week means a fresh start and yet another opportunity to reach toward our goals.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about how to stay motivated in the gym or with respect to achieving your fitness goals, so why not write a whole post about it?!

Motivation is something that everyone struggles with at one point or another. Yes, even the fitness veterans. Hopefully you can find these tips helpful and implement a few into your lifestyle!

Let’s GO GET THESE GOALS!!

10 Ways to Stay Motivated on Your Fitness Journey

1.) Remember Why You Started

This is a common method, but it is SUPER effective. Sometimes, all it takes to give you that extra push you need is to remind yourself why you started your fitness journey in the first place. Was it because you wanted to improve your health? Was it because you didn’t feel confident in yourself? Regardless of the reason, it was important enough to get you started in the first place! So dig deep, think hard, and remember why you decided to make a change.

2.) Focus on a Single Goal

I wrote about this idea in last week’s post 5 Steps to Getting Back on Track, and it’s appearing here again because I think it’s really important! It can be overwhelming to think about all of the things you should do or need to change, so just pick ONE of those things that is the most important to you at this moment. Narrowing your focus will help you see that your goal can be attained, and it will allow you to approach your fitness journey with confidence rather than fear or discouragement. Feeling like you CAN accomplish something is a big part of feeling motivated to do so!

3.) Create a Visual Reminder

This method is something I have utilized since the very beginning of my fitness journey. I found that physically seeing a reminder of my goals helped me stay motivated and on track through some really tough times.

Some examples of visual reminders I have used are:

(1) Your Phone Background → For about 3 years, my phone background was a motivational saying or a photo that represented the goals I wanted to achieve. We look at our phones so many times throughout the day to not have some sort of motivation on there! The quotes served as a constant reminder that I was working toward something, and a lot of times when I didn’t want to go to the gym or I wanted to eat poorly, I just took a peek at the quote to remind myself what I wanted to achieve. (Also peep a past post about apps to help you stay on track here!)

(2) A Fitness Bracelet → During the majority of my fitness journey, I also wore a bracelet every single day that read “I Promise.” Similar to the phone background, the bracelet was a visual reminder of the promise I made to myself at the beginning of my journey to KEEP GOING. I actually highly recommend this method because it really helped me through times when I had literally zero motivation. You can see a photo of the bracelet on my wrist here and you can purchase the bracelet here (it’s only 5 bucks!).

4.) Set a Countdown

(Peep the most legendary "Countdown" of all time from the Queen)

This method is kinda in the same realm as the visual reminder, but I felt it different enough to make it it’s own category. Countdowns have played an instrumental role in my fitness journey, because they provide a clear end. Now this is not to say that your fitness journey has a set end, but it is much easier to commit to 30 days of clean eats than a lifetime of clean eating. Right?

If you’re going to take the countdown route, I recommend doing the following:

(1) Choose a Goal → Everything always comes down to this dang goal lol. But really! Choose something you want to work towards. For example, when I used this method I chose a pretty broad and strict goal of working out according to my program and eating clean 100% of the time. Your goal does not have to be that crazy, but it’s just to give you an example!

(2) Choose a Time Period → For that goal, I decided to stick to that goal until I left for college approximately 60 days later. Choose a time period that is long enough to challenge yourself, but short enough for you to see an end in sight. I recommend 1-3 months depending on the goal.

(3) Create a Visual Countdown → Here we are back with the visuals again! But this is really where the money is! Seeing yourself make progress will help you stay motivated to continue your progress. For my visual countdown, I got a stack of sticky notes, and wrote on each one: “__ days left”. I even added some cute motivational phrases (Great Job! Woohoo! Nice!) on the big milestones (50 days left, 25 days left, 10 days left). And every single night for the next 60 days, I would tear off a sticky note from the stack. The act of tearing the sticky note felt was a physical representation of me working toward my goal. And seeing the number get lower and lower made it that much easier every day to stick with my commitment.

The best part about the countdown method is that by the end of the countdown, you’re fully on your grind! So you probably won’t even want to stop! You’ve just proved to yourself that you can make it X amount of days, so what’s 5 days after that? Or 10? Or 20? HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend trying this method!! It is one of my favorites!

5.) Create a Workout Schedule

One of the hardest aspects of fitness is finding time to workout when you have a busy schedule. If fitness is something you truly want to prioritize in your life, find a place for it in your daily schedule. It should be as important as work or homework, meaning you don’t move it around for miscellaneous activities. Having a set plan of the time you are supposed to workout, and having that time blocked off for working out ONLY, makes it harder for you to make excuses!

6.) Take Progress Pictures

This is SUPER SUPER important!! A lot of times, we don’t realize how far we’ve come until we compare our present selves with our past selves. And that moment of seeing that you have made a physical difference can help kickstart your motivation to continue! Take progress pictures throughout your entire fitness journey, and try to take them from similar angles so they’re accurate!

7.) Join a Fit Fam

Community and support is really helpful when you’re working toward a goal. So what better way to stay motivated than to find people with similar goals who can hold you accountable?! Find a friend who you can exercise with a few times a week or who will join a clean eating nutrition pact with you. Or find an online fitness community of people with some of the same fitness goals as you! Everything in life is easier with a friend and with support!

8.) Mix Up Your Workouts

Boredom is a huge cause of motivation loss. A simple fix can be to switch up your workouts a bit! Try some new crazy exercises that you found on the internet or try a new way of exercise entirely like swimming, hiking, or even just working out outside! A simple switch up can change your mindset about working out from something you find boring to something you’re excited to try!

9.) Wear Cute Workout Clothes

Okay this one seems dumb but it actually works!! What better motivation to go to the gym than the fact that you get to look bomb af doing it?! I lowkey look forward to going to the gym when I have new Gymshark to wear because I know I’ll look good. And when I look good, I feel good and consequently workout super hard! Seems weird...but definitely give it a try. Find an athletic outfit that you’d be excited to wear while working out and see then if you can still skip your next workout.

10.) Build in a Reward System

Rewarding yourself along the way is so important for long-term success. Whether this reward comes in the shape of a cheat meal or a new pair of leggings you’ve been wanting, it is necessary for a successful fitness journey! You should be proud of yourself for working toward your goals. And if you acknowledge when you’ve been successful then you will continue to want to be successful. Don’t wait for others to reward you for your hard work! Reward yourself! You deserve it!

There ya have it! 10 ways to help you all stay motivated on your fitness journeys! Even if you’re just beginning, I hope these tips can help you out along the way. As always, let me know if you have any questions! You can follow me along on my fitness journey on my Instagram!

See you next Monday!

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