There’s nothing more critical to reaching a goal than sticking to a routine, and for that having the confidence to do your task is indispensable. Don’t give in to your fears or inhibitions, and don’t assume they’ll just go away either. Facing them requires confidence, and at the end of the day confidence is paramount to achieving any goal.
Let’s say that you want to be able to bench-press 200 pounds by the end of the year. The first step is believing you can reach your goal, and the next one is committing to achieve it. That means you shouldn’t give up either – it’s entirely reasonable to go through phases where you don’t think you’ll ever achieve your goal. But if you give into such thoughts then it’ll be all but certain that you will not get what you want.
If you set fitness goals for yourself that you cannot possibly reach, you’re never going to achieve them also. That does not mean you shouldn’t aim high, but rather it means there’s no way that you’re going to be running eight miles in a day by the Ides of March if you currently have to stop for breath halfway up the stairs. You can have a lofty goal, and you should commit to achieving it, but you shouldn’t set one that is impossible. Doing so is only going to demotivate you, and it serves you no good to want to run eight-minute miles if you’ve not been working out in the last ten years and can hardly sprint past the mailbox.
Sticking to a routine is the best way to achieve a goal, but sometimes life just gets in the way. That doesn’t mean you should give up, and besides, life does get in the way sometimes. That fact should strengthen your resolve, not detract from it. But let’s be realistic here – many people will give up once they get distracted from their routine. It’s no exaggeration to say that most people end up giving up on many of their New Year’s resolutions well before the end of January. Don’t fall into this trap.
One way to get yourself to stick to a routine is to make a commitment you can’t back out of easily. A road bike or a gym membership is an investment which you should take advantage of, and making an investment means you’ll have more motivation to utilize it. Feeling lazy or demotivated for a while? That doesn’t mean you should cancel that gym membership or sell off your Bianchi. It means making good use of them and using them as a motivation to meet your goal.
If you’re embarrassed by your weight or not being physically fit, that makes for a pretty good motivation to achieve your goal. It’s not cool to disparage other people for their physical attributes, but let’s face it – if it helps for you to stay motivated on your fitness routine, thinking that “I don’t want to become morbidly obese” is not counterproductive. Just know that fat-shaming is a pretty nasty thing that society does, so don’t judge other people for their bodies. But if it helps you stay motivated to lose 30 pounds and follow through on your routine, then it’s not as outrageous as it would seem if you said it out loud. That being said, don’t disparage yourself – there’s no shame in being overweight, so even if your goal is simply not to be overweight, don’t hate yourself while you’re working on changing that.
January is one of the coldest, bleakest months of the year, and February really isn’t all that much different. That is noteworthy, because conditions like Seasonal Affective Disorder are actually quite common, and they sort of get you down. Don’t let it demotivate you to the point that you can’t follow through on your resolution. You won’t feel up to sticking through on your fitness routine every single day. Acknowledge that to fight demotivation.
Most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions, and if you fall into this, you’ve got only yourself to blame. No one is going to check whether you’re exercising or going to the gym every day, obviously. You’re an adult, and you’re responsible for your choices, so make sure that you hold yourself accountable for following through on your regimen. Maybe you can remember to do things on your own, but if you can’t, there’s no excuse in this day and age not to set up reminders on your phone. There are plenty of apps and tools if you’re doing something like cycling or running and having a distance-oriented goal. And if that still doesn’t work, ask a friend to join you, because he or she can also be your source of motivation.
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