When you start a health and fitness program, everyone has the intention of sticking with it. Often though, motivation fades, boredom may set in, and time constraints make it easy to quit.

If you feel yourself getting off track, remind yourself that your health is very important.

Tips to Help Adhere to Your Goals:

Set an appointment

Schedule a workout with a friend, co-worker or trainer that you are forced to commit to. This can help you re-set and pickup right where you left off.

Buy some new workout clothes or shoes

Sometimes just getting some new workout gear or a new pair of running shoes can make you more excited to get your workout in.

Set a reward

Establish a behavior or action that you want to commit to and a reward for making it. For example, tell yourself if you work out five times this week, you’ll schedule a massage or if you stick to your nutrition plan all week, you’ll buy tickets to that show that you really want to see. Extrinsic rewards can be helpful to get you over any humps you may be experiencing. 

Journal

Write down the benefits you hope to achieve by sticking to your program. Reflect on your ‘WHY’. Write down your progress so far. Taking the time to remind yourself why you have committed to your health and fitness and the benefits you’ve experienced thus far can be helpful to keep you on track. 

Watch motivational clips

Podcasts, YouTube and TikTok are full of motivational clips that can get you fired up to reach for your best. 

Do something new

Take a new class. Hire a trainer to design a new program for you to follow. Try a new piece of fitness equipment. Get outside. Find a new trail to walk, run or bike. Trying something you’ve never done before can help eliminate the boredom that can creep in when you’re doing the same thing all the time. 

Music motivates

When you’re not feeling it, put on some energetic music that motivates you to move and take action. 

Give yourself a short-term, easy goal

Sometimes we need to give ourselves a goal that is easy to hit, something to commit to within the next 24 hours, just to get us back on track. It could be as simple as walking around the block after dinner, eating a salad for lunch, filling your water bottle to take to work or doing 10 pushups when you wake in the morning. Feeling a sense of success can help keep you motivated. 

Set some benchmarks and performance goals

It can be exciting to see quantitative, measurable results. For example, walk or run a mile today and see how quick you can do it. Commit to sticking to your program for a month and then redo the mile to see how much you’ve improved. You can choose any type of performance gauge that will motivate you such as cycling, rowing, or swimming. You can do the same with strength moves such as pushups, pullups, squats etc. You can gauge your strength improvements in repetitions and/or resistance lifted. 

Change your mindset

Stop asking yourself ‘Should I workout today?” because the answer to that question should always be “yes”….unless you’re sick of course. You should always do something to move your body and focus on your health, but it doesn’t need to be a hard workout every time. Instead ask yourself “What should I do today to focus on my health and fitness” assuming that you will do something, and you just need to determine what that will be today. Likewise, stop thinking “I have to work out”, and change that to “I get to work out”, as not everyone has that ability. Remember to be grateful for your health and your ability to move your body. Don’t take that for granted!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 30 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and Salmon Creek, hosts races at WHY Racing Events, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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