How to Stick with Your Plan to Get Fit
While it’s commendable that you fully intend to stay with your fitness plan and get in shape, following through with such a plan can be a different matter altogether. It’s easy to quit an exercise plan and to rationalize to yourself that it makes sense to do so. Here are tips that help you stick to the fitness plan that you create, and get to where you need to go.
Begin With The End In Mind
Often, fitness resolutions fail simply because people neglect to couple them with a clear plan. While it can be great to head in with lots of enthusiasm, vague or nonexistent goals often result in aimless exercise routines and a lack of results.
It’s important that you set out with a well-defined target. It could be the ability to run a half-marathon or dropping a few dress sizes. When you have a clear goal in mind, it can motivate you, and help you focus your mind on achieving it.
Set Real Goals
When you try to set goals for yourself, it’s important that you find ones that are achievable for your level of physical fitness. Being overly ambitious setting your targets can backfire. If you’ve never run over a mile, aiming to run even a half-marathon can be an overreach. You may burn out, lose motivation, or injure yourself.
Aim to run a mile at first, and a 5k next. It’s important to understand that the capacity for physical exertion builds gradually.
Create a Workout Schedule
To make sure that you stick to your fitness plan, you need to ensure that your workouts each day are non-negotiable. Carefully plan out a couple of hours each day when you can manage it, and make sure that you put it in your calendar. You need to schedule time in your calendar to make sure that you find the time each day, and aren’t distracted by other responsibilities.
Write it Down
Start an exercise diary, and put in how much exercise you get each day. As you fill up those pages, you’ll come by a feeling of accomplishment. When there are pages that are empty because you had to skip a workout, it’ll fill you with regret, and resolve not to let it happen again. A journal is a great way to hold yourself accountable.
Join a Group
Joining a running group or another fitness group can be a great way to stay committed to your plan. If going to the gym is your plan, sign up for some exercise classes, or buy time with a personal trainer. When you involve other people in your plan, you’re less likely to give up.
Mix it Up
As important as it is to create a routine, you should remember that routines aren’t the same thing as monotonous repetition. You’re less likely to stick with a plan if you’re bored with it. Mix up your exercise routine to make sure that it stays fresh. Plan a long swim or some cycling a couple of times a week in place of your regular run, for example.
Plan For All The Excuses You Will Likely Make
You are often likely to be tempted to skip a workout. Your mind may come up with all kinds of excuses for why you should take the day off. You may tell yourself that your muscles are sore, or that you deserve a day off for the hard work you’ve put in.
Finding ways to win the mental battle against the desire to slack off can sometimes be harder than the exercise that you need to put in. To help overcome the temptation to give in to the excuses that your mind comes up with, write down all the reasons that you’re likely to think of, and find reasons why your fitness goals are even more important to you.
As much of a struggle as it can be to get yourself to get exercise, sometimes, you can get so involved in your workouts that you forget to feel good about how far you’ve come. You must always remember to pat yourself on the back or to give yourself a day off every once in a while, as a reward. Rewarding yourself can help you stay with your plan.
Listen to Your Body
You are likely to be forced to quit even if you don’t want to if you come down with an injury. While you should overlook minor aches and pains as you work out each day, you should recognize when you’re injured and give yourself the rest that you need. It’s important not to make an injury worse than it is by continuing to put pressure on it. If you make an injury worse than it has to be, you may be forced to give up exercise.
Invest in Good Training Gear
You’re not going to be able to train for a 10k in tennis shoes, and you won’t be able to swim well if you don’t protect your eyes with a good pair of goggles. Going in without the right gear will only make exercise more uncomfortable than it has to be, and make it easier for you to quit. While you don’t have to splurge on high-end equipment, you should get quality stuff to help make sure that your time working out is as comfortable as it can be.
Sticking to an exercise plan can be hard work. When you understand how your mind works, however, you can help yourself stay with your plan over the long haul.