Most people who want to get in shape have started a fitness program only to find themselves slowly edging back towards their former lifestyle. It often begins innocently enough. Perhaps with a small piece of office party cake. Before you know it, though, you’re right back to eating takeout on the couch instead of prepping healthy meals and working out.
While it can feel difficult to take control again after you’ve wandered away from your plan, it’s not impossible. It’s much easier if you have a plan in place.
Here are four ways you can get your fitness program back on track today.
The best way to get back into a habit you’ve moved away from is to jump in immediately. Don’t wait or stall for any reason. What can you do today, right now, to get your plan back on track? Can you do a quick home workout to boost your endorphins and improve your enthusiasm? If you’re at work, maybe you can take a quick break and walk around the office. If it’s lunch time, order something healthy. If nothing else, drink a big glass of water.
Whatever you pick, do one thing right now to recommit yourself to making healthy choices and jumpstart your fitness program. After you’ve made the commitment to yourself, you can stop saying you’ll “start tomorrow” and get back to making better choices immediately.
If you struggle to stay motivated with your fitness program on your own, getting a partner to keep you accountable can be a great way to stay on track. Accountability partners can take many forms, and you can have more than one. Great examples of accountability buddies include:
- A personal trainer
- A nutritionist or dietician
- A friend who wants to walk on breaks
- Any co-workers interested in a healthy lunch club
Groups can also act as accountability partners. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are great examples for weight loss. You could also consider joining a local cycling, running or power walking club. Almost anything will work for accountability if someone is expecting you to show up and do something related to fitness.
Track Your Progress
We’ve all seen the side-by-side weight loss photos on Instagram, and there’s a reason some of those photos get millions of likes. Progress is a powerful motivator. Yet it can be difficult to notice how much progress you’re making yourself, especially if it isn’t reflecting on the scale.
Tracking your progress is a great way to keep yourself motivated and see how far you’ve come on your fitness journey. Taking photos as you go, whether they are simple selfies or full-body shots, is one way to watch the pounds come off.
Another non-scale way to track your progress is to monitor your progress medically. Before starting any fitness plan, you should check with your doctor who will probably run a series of blood tests to gauge your current level of fitness. You can use a program such as MyMedical to store all of your records and review your progress at any time. Watching key markers such as your blood sugar and cholesterol levels drop as you get healthier can be a serious motivator to stay on track with your fitness.
If you’re concerned about storing your medical records in an online app, you can use secure proxy software to protect your data and keep it private.
Change It Up
One fast way to kill your motivation is boredom. If you find yourself getting bored with your new fitness program, it’s probably time to change things up for a day or two. If you’re feeling ho-hum about working out, try something totally different such as rock climbing or a Yoga class. If you can’t imagine eating one more salad for lunch, treat yourself to sashimi instead.
Self-care and listening to your body is a big part of any fitness program. You might also be able to increase your motivation by doing something else special for yourself, such as getting a massage or a manicure. Trust yourself and change it up when you need to, but don’t use boredom as a reason to quit.
Losing weight isn’t complicated, but the process isn’t necessarily easy either. It can be tempting to give up when things get hard, monotonous or boring. The keys to staying on track are using the resources you have at your disposal for support and to remember why you started in the first place. You can do this. It doesn’t matter how many times you stumble, as long as you never stop moving forward.
What’s your favorite way of staying motivated in your fitness program? Share it in the comments below.
About the Author: Caroline is a writer who loves using her knowledge and skills to help people improve their lives through fitness. When she’s not writing or working out, she can usually be found at the beach with a good book. Catch her on Twitter at @ehealth_inform.