Start by writing down your goals. This sounds like an easy step to skip, but it’s important to actually write them down, and review them. Are your goals realistic? Have you set yourself up for failure by expecting a lifestyle change overnight? Set goals that are achievable yet challenging. You won’t push yourself if the goals are too easy, and you’ll give up if they’re too hard.
Partner with a friend. Friends are always great for company, and they also double as additional motivation when you work out together. Create a schedule that you can both stick to, and then make your partner stay accountable. Share your goals, and track your weight-loss progress together. Even friendly fitness emails throughout the day can help you both stay motivated.
Commit publicly. You don’t have to take out a billboard ad, but mentioning your fitness goals to your friends and coworkers can help you succeed. They’ll get the clue that fast-food lunch spots are out, and maybe they’ll stop bringing in leftover desserts from home. In fact, you might find a few friends to join in your fitness commitment! Plus, sharing your commitment to fitness will help you stay accountable.
Get in on the competition. A little friendly competition is a great way to rev up your workout engine. Look online for local fitness-based events or high-energy group-fitness classes like Zumba and Cardio Boxing. You can also find a program, like a community Biggest Loser competition, which incentives you to work out while you compete against others for prizes and bragging rights. Sometimes, that added incentive is all you need to get moving!
Be positive. There will days when you don’t feel like working out. Try to remember why you started the goal sheet to begin with — you wanted to make a change, and every day you chose whether you work toward that change or not. Give yourself a cheat day, read your goals again and get back to it. You can do it!
Steve Orlando is fitness consultant and personal trainer in Oldsmar, FL with more than 15 years of industry experience.