Every year people around the world test their willpower and make New Year’s resolutions only to find that months later they already have lost sight of those goals. Goals are important but if you don’t pay attention to the real motives behind accomplishing them, you may find that your motivation and consistency fall short. While setting your goals try not to think only of extrinsic rewards, but look inwards and evaluate your feelings attached to them. The best way to cross the finish line is to set goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Timely.
Even if we do set SMART goals, staying motivated can be a struggle no matter where we are on our journey. Some days I’ll admit, with my fitness goals, it would be much easier to roll over and hit the snooze button on the alarm in the morning or to curl up on the sofa with a good movie. Here are some pointers on how to stay motivated, even on the toughest days. Although many of these tips are primarily fitness-oriented, they can be applied easily to other areas of your life.
1. Set a goal
This could be a weight loss goal or a budgeting goal. Aim high and put it in writing so you can remind yourself on those difficult days of the promise you made to yourself. Post your goal above your bed, on your bathroom mirror, or somewhere you will see it when you need it most. Goal success is all about discipline.
2. Lay out your workout clothes the night before
This might seem unnecessary but can serve as a good visual prompt to get you in the right mindset and out the door. Plus planning ahead always saves time!
3. Find a workout buddy
Find someone who ALREADY has the same goals or interests as you to be your fitness, budgeting, or saving buddy. This way your good habits rub off on one another. Make a pact to stick to a workout or budgeting routine even if your workout buddy is unavailable.
4. Believe in yourself and the bigger picture
Self-motivation is important! If you look in the mirror and think “that’s impossible,” or that you will never reach that fitness, budgeting, or savings goal, you most likely won’t. Baby steps and a positive frame of mind (remember “Progress not Perfection”) can do wonders.
5. Get Involved
Your family, friends, and co-workers certainly care about you but if they don’t have the same mindset or related goals you might find that you aren’t getting the support needed to get you through the lows of training, budgeting, or saving. Take the time to get involved in groups and organizations in your area with people that have similar interests. You will find great support and maybe even some new ideas.
See the change you want to make in yourself and go after it. What do you have to lose?
Leah Cottle has been in the fitness industry for 12 years in a variety of settings from physical therapy to corporate fitness. Leah has degrees in Exercise Science, Human Performance & Nutrition. Leah believes that fitness is for EVERYBODY! She is passionate about helping special populations. One of Leah’s life missions is to get a barbell in the hands of as many women as possible. She is passionate about women’s rights and safety issues and thinks that fitness and health is one of the most impactful vehicles for empowering women to feel strong both inside and out.
Brendan is the Managing Director for Waymark Wealth Management. He has extensive experience in comprehensive wealth management. His focus includes retirement planning, behavioral finance, investment portfolio construction, education funding, insurance & risk management, taxes, charitable giving, and estate planning. Brendan has an ability to take clients' complex visions and distill them down to simple action plans, helping them move from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow.