It’s easy to get motivated – the difficulty is in staying motivated. Here are five principles to use to keep yourself motivated for the long term.
Few people have trouble getting motivated. You know you need to shed some body fat and add muscle mass – you may even have a deadline in mind. After several weeks, when you realize how much work is involved in reaching your goal, you start to lose your motivation. The problem is not in getting motivated, but in staying that way. Here are five key principles you can use to stay motivated until you achieve your goal.
- Make goals that are specific and measurable
You need to carefully define your goals in measurable terms. Simply saying you want to lose fat or increase muscle is not sufficient. Tell yourself that you want to lose five pounds of body fat around your middle, or that you want to increase your muscle mass by a set percent. If you can measure your goal, you can attain it. If you can’t, then you never know how much harder you have to work to get to the finish line.
- Break down big goals
A measurable goal that will take six months to reach is not motivating. Instead, break down that big goal into smaller goals that will eventually get you there. Here’s an example: if you need to lose 8 percent of your body fat in two months, then redefine the goal to aim for a loss of 1 percent each week. You’ll be able to stay motivated to push for a goal for one week, but waiting eight weeks to be able to attain your goal may kill your motivation.
Training and nutrition journals help you track and monitor your progress. This also helps you see what you have been doing wrong or right to help you meet your goal. It’s greatly motivating to see how far you’ve come in your efforts, and this will fuel your desire to stick with it. Looking back over your progress can also help push you to keep going when you start seeing slower results. If you need to make adjustments, it will be easier.
- Don’t worry about perfection, just strive for excellence
Setbacks can be de-motivating. However, if you learn to strive for excellence instead of perfection, then a slip up won’t cause you to give up. Everyone makes mistakes, but as long as you are continually driving towards your goals, you’ll end up getting there in spite of any stumbles along the way. If you insist on perfection, you’ll quickly sabotage your results, and at the same time, your motivation.
- Give yourself a break as part of your plan
Working yourself to death is not going to improve your results. You have to give yourself breaks. Maybe your break will be taking one day off per week. Maybe you will stop working on your training journal after a set time at night. You decide when your break is, but work a break into your plan. Rest and time away from your goals will renew your motivation to continue reaching for them with greater energy and strength.
Keeping yourself motivated is the key to success with any fitness plan. Whether you’re trying to lose fat, bulk up or simply get healthier, you need to follow these five principles. Once you do, then you’ll find that your motivation stays higher and you’re able to keep pushing to reach your goals.
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