Feeling stuck in a rut with your fitness? Try these six tips to get the motivation and accountability you need to stick with it.
1. Start Small
Starting to work out again after a hiatus can feel intimidating, but it's important to do it gradually.
If you used to run 5 miles a day at your peak fitness, try running just 3 miles a day to start. If lifting weights was your bag and you lifted Monday through Friday, ease back into it with two to three days of weightlifting starting with lighter weights.
Starting small will help safely transition you back into a full routine.
2. Set Detailed and Realistic Goals
When you’re returning to a regular workout routine, setting short-term, achievable goals is the ticket for success. Avoid lofty goals or making commitments that might be overwhelming—it’s better to start small and work your way up!
As you begin, commit to a timeline and specific action steps.
Although many people set fitness goals based on how they want their bodies to look, studies show that those whose goals are not body-based are far more successful. Try “I want to run 3 miles without stopping” instead of “I want to slim down so I can fit into my jeans again."
3. Focus on Consistency
When you are rebooting your fitness regimen, it is important to create a solid foundation. Consider signing up for a weekly group workout class or paying in advance for one month of personal training sessions. Having a strong start with proper guidance can really help build momentum.
Block out your workouts at the same time each week to create a weekly routine. If you can’t make it, try either doing those exercises later in the day or fitting them in for an abbreviated version during lunch hour. Even going for a quick walk counts!
No matter what your goals are, you must stick to a routine of consistency in order to be successful.
4. Don’t Look Back (You’re Not Going That Way!!)
Resist the urge to compare your current fitness level to that of your past or other people. It's natural for motivation and morale to flag, but comparing yourself is not a productive way to change behavior and improve well-being.
Reviewing old workout logs to see how fast you ran or how much weight you lifted might tempt you, but this habit is damaging to self-esteem and can hinder progress.
Track and celebrate your progress to help you towards meeting your goals.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” He was definitely right!
5. Be Accountable to Someone
One of the key ingredients to any exercise routine is accountability. In order to make sure you are showing up, find a friend with whom you can work out or hire a personal trainer.
Celebrating your progress is a great way to stay motivated. Take some time each week and look back o