You’ve decided you want to exercise more and get fitter, but what exactly does that mean? Telling yourself to just get fit doesn’t always work, the best way to motivate yourself and stay motivated to exercise is to avoid generalizing and be more specific with yourself. You need to set specific bite size goals so you know exactly what you need to do to stay on track towards achieving the new you. This is especially important for those just beginning a fitness campaign, as feeling a sense of accomplishment in the early stages of exercise is critical to motivating yourself to want to do more. Ideally, you should set short, medium, and long-term goals that are challenging yet achievable.
long term goals
These are ultimately what you want to achieve. So do you want to eventually be able to run 3 miles in thirty minutes, do 25 push-ups in a minute, grow those biceps by 2 inches, or lose 30 pounds in six months? You need to decide this first and write down exactly what you want and how long it will take to get there. This is what you are ultimately looking for. The next step is to break your long-term goals into smaller chunks and timeframes to get to medium-term goals.
These will allow you to measure your progress towards your long-term goals so that you hopefully feel that all-important sense of accomplishment as you reach each mid-term goal. So, for example, if you want to lose 30 pounds in six months, this would break down to just over a pound of weight loss per week. This is the medium-term goal to aim for, if you achieve it, you know you’re on your way to finally losing 30 pounds. As each week’s goal is reached, you’ll be motivated to continue your exercise routine knowing you’re on target.
These are important when first starting out with an exercise regimen. These should be relatively easy to accomplish, but should still give you a sense of moving forward. For example, deciding to walk the fifteen minute round trip to the shops instead of taking the car, or deciding to start over with the yoga class you used to love but gave up because you never had time. These goals are best when written on paper so that you are more inclined to stick to them. The purpose of your short-term goals is to get the ball rolling and get you taking the first steps toward taking action to exercise. Once you have the drive to exercise, you can set your medium- and long-term goals.
So the key to staying motivated to exercise is to set goals and monitor your progress against them. You should have a long-term goal that is broken down into achievable medium-term goals that are on a small enough time scale that you can see for yourself that you are making progress toward your ultimate long-term goals. Achieving your mid-term goals will motivate you to keep going and stick with your exercise regimen.