How I Stay Dedicated to My Fitness Goals
If you're new here, hello and welcome! My name is Emily and I am an online health coach, a national level bikini competitor, and an indoor cycling instructor.
I've been on my fitness journey for a while now! Growing up, I was always involved in sports but it wasn't until my college years that I would discover the gym and weight lifting. I've been addicted ever since!
I often get asked how I stay dedicated to my fitness goals. We always have so much drive when we first get started in the gym. Something lights a fire under your butt and you get excited for the change and the opportunity to grow and improve yourself.
But over time, it gets harder and harder to maintain that! What do you do when the spark fizzles out? How do you relight the flame? How do you bring back that drive to achieve your fitness goals weeks into your routine, months later, or even years into your fitness journey?!
It's a tough challenge, but it's important if you want to achieve the kind of consistency it takes to reach your long term fitness goals. Learning that kind of dedication and consistency took a lot of time for me and sometimes a painful amount of trial and error.
Here are my best strategies for staying dedicated to fitness goals:
1. I treat the gym as a mandatory part of my day.
It sounds pretty militant but I absolutely will not allow myself to skip the gym on account of my feelings.
I don't ALWAYS feel motivated to go! I have bad days too! There are days when I feel down, tired, stressed, or overwhelmed, and I really would like nothing more than to skip it and sit in my pjs in front of the TV instead. But I go anyway.
My feelings don't even enter the equation!
Make the gym a non negotiable like brushing your teeth.
2. I track my progress weekly and with several different measurements.
Change takes time but it does happen! You see yourself every day, so chances are, you're not noticing all of the little improvements happening to your body.
Or maybe you're weighing yourself but nothing else. I can tell you from experience, if you get too wrapped up in the scale, you will find yourself frustrated! It's a great tool and you should definitely use it. But it can fluctuate with things totally unrelated to your consistency in the gym and with your nutrition.
That's why I recommend incorporating several methods of tracking progress. Pictures are everything!! I take progress pictures once a week, and I can place those side by side with old pictures to gauge progress. This is a great way to see body composition changes.
These progress check in pictures are about a year and a half apart. Same weight in both pictures but I have a lot more muscle and a lot less body fat in the second picture!
The more improvements you can track, the more encouraged you will be, and this will help your dedication a lot.
I talk more about methods for measuring progress here.
3. Spice it up
A huge part of staying dedicated for me has been switching things up to keep my routine from feeling stale. I started teaching spin classes as a way to diversify my fitness regimen and enjoy new forms of exercise.
If you're starting to get bored of what you're doing, change it! There are so many ways to reach your fitness goals. It should be fun for you!
If you'd like to try a spin workout, I have a fabulous one for you here.
4. I Visualize Where I Want to Be
Mindset is huge for staying dedicated! You have to firmly believe that you are capable of your biggest dreams and goals or you won't go all in on them.
I constantly aim to think about the person I want to become through this level of discipline and take action the way that version of me would take action.
I tell my clients to act as if they already have what they're aiming for. How would the healthier, fitter version of the client spend her time? How would she fuel her body? How would she train? How would she feel about discipline and dedication to her goals? Act from that place.
5. If I'm not feeling fired up today, I think about a time I was 100% fired up.
Let's be real here. None of us are 100% fired up to go workout every single day. If I'm not feeling it today, I can easily recall a time when my fire was super LIT for my fitness goals! For me, I am most fired up when I'm in my bikini competition season. There's a strict timeline I have to be ready by, and I know there's no room for slacking off. I have absolute tunnel vision during prep!
Even if I'm not in competition prep (which I'm not right now!) I can listen to playlists from my prep time, look at pictures from previous shows, or look back on my weekly check ins with my coach from that time. All of that helps me get back to that motivated mindset.
6. I remember how I feel post workout.. even on the bad days!
I have never once left the gym and thought to myself, "well, I wish I hadn't done that!" Seriously. Every time I leave I think to myself, "wow, that was so fun! I needed that and I'm so glad I get to do that."
Every single time I have left with a feeling of accomplishment and pride that I stuck to my commitment, even if I originally didn't want to that day.
7. I incorporate both aesthetic AND performance goals
I think it's great to have both! Sometimes, we can get very caught up in physical changes. We want to see the scale change, we want to lose a pant size, or maybe we want more toned legs. Whatever it may be, those aesthetic goals are not only ok but also an awesome way to keep yourself focused on a particular result.
I just think it's also important to set performance goals so we don't get too wrapped up in what's on the outside. The strength and function of your body is so important for your long term well being and quality of life!
Plus, the performance goals allow you to see little changes in progress much more easily. Noticeable physical changes to your body take time. In between the waiting, those performance goals can keep you encouraged and excited by your progress.
For me right now, a really motivating goal has been to increase my weight on my barbell hip thrust. Right now, I'm at 225 lb for 10 reps, which is by far heavier than I've ever lifted.
Each week, I get excited for the opportunity to lift heavy and see if I'm ready to throw another plate on the bar. Those strength gains keep me feeling dedicated and excited to work!
Feeling strong is empowering, and it's a great way to keep that dedication alive.
8. I Remember that a Crappy Workout is Better than No Workout At All
Sometimes, you just know that it's just not going to be a great workout. Maybe you have cramps or something happened at work and your head is just not in it today. That's okay!
I firmly stand behind going even when you KNOW the workout is going to be pretty ugly. This isn't because of the results you may or may not achieve because you chose to go.
It's for the sake of maintaining your routine.
A workout skipped here or there quickly becomes 2 skipped workouts, then 3, and so on. Go for the sake of upholding your good habits. In the long term, you will stay a lot more consistent because you didn't skip or quit even when you may have had a good excuse.
9. I remember that I GET to do this.
You don't HAVE to work out. You GET to work out. You have the beautiful opportunity to better yourself each and every day. You are blessed with a body that CAN move and function healthily.
The greatest reason I stay dedicated to my fitness goals is because I genuinely love and appreciate my opportunity to improve my health. I love the way exercise makes me feel. It's like structured, adult "play time!"
I hope this post helps you amp up your own dedication! It's all about creating a perspective shift around exercise as a gift and taking action from that place.
Are you looking for extra guidance and accountability to reach your fitness goals?
I've been helping women just like you build muscle and lose fat with an easy to follow flexible diet and FUN, time efficient resistance training routine.
If you're ready for the rest of my workout and nutrition secrets and want to transform your body the fun way, APPLY HERE for 1:1 coaching so we can get you to your fitness goals in 90 days. I will be there to coach you every step of the way so we can get you better, lasting results.
Not convinced? Check out some of these amazing success stories from women JUST LIKE YOU.
If you're immediately hearing yourself say things like "I'm too old, I'm too tired, I don't have time, it won't work for me" STOP. That's your ego trying to hold you back from the life and health transformation that's TOTALLY possible for you.
If we wait for the perfect time and circumstances to pursue our goals, we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives. Choose to start now.
To Your Good Health & Success,
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