Finding, and keeping, inspiration to achieve your fitness goals

Finding, and Keeping, Inspiration to Achieve your Fitness Goals

Many people never start to get back in to shape not because they don’t know what to do but because they lack the inspiration to do it.

Others may get started but fall off the wagon after a few weeks or months and oftentimes walk away from their fitness journey very discouraged. Again, without the right inspiration, no fitness tips or workout plans are going to be effective long term.

Anyone can find their inspiration to run, (or swim, bike, weightlift, etc.) toward their fitness goals. However, because we are all different, we’re all going to have something different that really inspires each one of us. Ultimately, inspiration is a matter of knowing yourself and what motivates you to be better. Still, here are a few general tips for finding, and keeping, inspiration:

Know why you are doing it

Businesses often spend a lot of time developing mission statements. Although you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money writing your own fitness mission statement, you have to know why you want to get healthier.

One good question to ask is “What event or series of events put that little voice in my head that told me I need to get in to better shape? “ The answer could be something as simple as seeing yourself in the mirror and not liking what you saw. Whatever it is, going back to that point where you felt motivated to do something can keep you focused on your fitness goals.

Stay SMART

As many businesses remind their employees, goals that inspire, including fitness goals, have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

Someone who thinks they are going to go from not swimming or running at all to doing an Ironman in a matter of three months, or someone who just wants to “get in shape,” is not going to stay inspired to do so for very long. A person who has the goal of losing 10 pounds in a month and being able to run a couple of miles most days has a far better chance of succeeding, and success breeds more inspiration.

Take care of yourself as you go along

Although it’s not a good idea to buy stuff one does not need or will not use, it is also important that people not go around feeling deprived of the equipment, clothing and even food they need to succeed. So, if you are running regularly, don’t wait on buying the new shoes. If you are swimming more and need to keep better track of your times and laps, it might be good to save some money for a waterproof fitness tracker and give Fitbit swimming a shot.

Be ready to tell yourself “no”

No matter what one’s motivation is, getting in shape is still going to hurt and take sacrifice. When it comes to exercise, there is no such thing as easy or instant gratification. Be prepared to tell yourself “no.”

Don’t make it just about getting trim; do what you love

If an exercise program is all about just losing weight or getting that perfect figure, that can put a lot of stress on a person because they feel like they have to do an exercise or activity they don’t really like in order to get results they may not see for months. That’s not exactly inspiring.

One’s favorite sport in school might be a good place to start if it’s time to get back in to shape. Or, for those who do a little exercise here and there already, it might be easiest just to run that extra mile or swim a few more laps. Whatever the activity, it’s important to be able to enjoy it for its own sake.