In 2019, the fitness tracking app Strava compiled data on 31.5 million activities and declared the second Friday in January to be “Quitter’s Day.” According to Strava, this is the day when most people quit their New Year’s fitness resolutions.
It’s okay, we all have drop-offs in our motivation occasionally. The important thing is figuring out how to get back on track for sustainable fitness. If you’ve found that your motivation is beginning to ebb, discover nine great workout motivation tips to recommit to your fitness goals and build a sustainable workout routine.
HOW TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE WORKOUT ROUTINE
Motivation comes and goes, especially when starting new fitness goals. It is up to you to take charge and keep the ball rolling. Fortunately, with the right mindset and the right support, you can achieve a sustainable fitness routine. If you are struggling with how to make working out a habit, keep these workout motivation tips in mind.
1. RE-ENGAGE WITH YOUR WHY
Why do you want to complete a 10k or start strength training? Is it to improve your overall health, set a good example for your children, or gain more self-confidence? Your why is the driving force in figuring out how to make exercise a habit and wanting to maintain it.
Don’t just come up with your why and then tuck that idea into the back of your mind. Your why is a powerful motivating force. Re-engage with it, especially when your initial enthusiasm for New Year’s fitness goals begins to wear off. Write your why on a sticky note and put it on the bathroom mirror, or say it aloud each night. Keep it front and center so that you remember why you’re putting in the work.
2. REASSESS YOUR FITNESS GOALS
Your specific fitness and exercise goals seemed like a good idea as the new year crept closer. However, now that you’ve settled back into your post-holiday routine, are those goals still the right ones? After pursuing your fitness goals for a few weeks, take a step back and reassess.
Are your goals too challenging or too easy? Are you coming to realize that they aren’t the right goals at all? Maybe you need to clarify your goals. Instead of losing five pounds a month, it may be more reasonable to commit to going to the gym three times a week and prepping your meals each Sunday.
It’s okay to change your goals. If you’re feeling worn down, scale back a little. If your goals turned out to be too easy, crank up the challenge. Remember, figuring out how to stay on track with your fitness goals starts with choosing realistic and attainable goals.
3. REVISE YOUR FITNESS PLAN
The key to sustainable fitness is developing a realistic workout plan. You likely developed a plan to implement your New Year’s fitness resolutions. Now that you have a few weeks under your belt, how is the plan going?
Oftentimes, when the rubber meets the road, you’ll discover new challenges that you didn’t anticipate. Maybe you intended to work out in the morning, but you’ve missed several workouts because the kids needed help with their homework. Or maybe you haven’t been able to run outside because of freezing temperatures.
Now is the time to revise your fitness plan—it needs to work within the reality of your life. Try switching your workouts to lunchtime instead of in the morning or sign up for a gym membership so you can run indoors during the colder months. Consider spending 10 minutes stretching in the morning to shift your perspective from negative to positive at the start of each day. A realistic workout plan is crucial for maintaining a sustainable workout routine.
4. WHAT’S NEXT?
Rather than burden yourself with one big and intimidating goal, try breaking your fitness goals into smaller, achievable steps. Want to run a marathon? Start by first running a mile without stopping. Smaller goals are more approachable and achievable and allow you to see a clear path to your larger overall goal.
The key to this process is to line up a row of increasingly challenging goals that build upon each other. Make sure you have your next few exercise goals in place so that you have a target to reach. Can you now run a mile with ease? It might be time to sign up for your first 5k race (3.1 miles) to begin building up more mileage. Keep increasing the challenge so that you continue making progress.
5. VARY YOUR WORKOUTS
If your New Year’s fitness goal was simply to begin working out, you might notice something after a few weeks. The New Year’s workouts will get easier. What once felt extremely challenging is now doable. When you challenge your body, it will gradually adapt.
Many new exercisers make the mistake of performing the same fitness routine over and over. Not only will this repetition cause your progress to stall, but you might begin to feel bored by doing the same thing each day.
The answer is to continually vary your fitness routine. You can vary your workout routine by boosting the intensity of your current workout (i.e., moving faster, performing more reps, or lifting more weight), cross-training (trying different types of exercise), or changing the sequence of your workouts.
If you aren’t sure how to mix things up with your fitness, try a different cardio machine, switch from resistance machines to free weights, or sign up for a Group Fitness Class.
6. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Tracking your stats is an excellent way to stay motivated and ensure progress. Tracking can include keeping a food journal, writing down all your workouts, and even using apps or wearables to track your sleep, steps, heart rate, etc. While tracking your fitness goals can initially be exciting, you may lose interest in tracking over time, especially if you begin to feel like you can manage your goal progress without tracking.
However, it’s easy to slowly drift away from good behavior when you aren’t keeping a sharp eye on the numbers. For example, if you stop tracking your exercise reps, you could end up forgetting when to increase the weight, causing you to slow your progress.
Find a tracking method that works for you and stick with it—start by checking out this article on the best fitness apps of 2023 by Very Well Fit.
7. DON’T LET SETBACKS SLOW YOU DOWN
Did you miss a day at the gym or demolish half a pint of ice cream after a stressful day? These things happen. From first-time exercisers to bodybuilding pros, everyone experiences setbacks—the key to sustainable fitness is not to let them sabotage your goals.
Maybe you had a bad day, a bad week, or a bad month, but you can always start again. Achieving a goal is a journey, and fitness is about building habits that you follow most of the time (not all the time).
Expect setbacks. When they happen, acknowledge them but don’t dwell on them. Give yourself grace. Then, the next day, go after your exercise goals again.
8. CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
Each day that you take the steps you need to achieve your goals is a day worth celebrating. Take the time each day to congratulate yourself on changing your life for the better. When you hit a milestone, enjoy the feeling and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Share your success with family and friends and reward yourself.
The more you acknowledge and celebrate your successes, the more empowered and motivated you will feel, and the more you will want to stay on track with your fitness goals.
9. ASK FOR HELP
If you are struggling with motivation or aren’t sure how to complete your New Year’s fitness dreams, reach out to those who can help you. Ask your partner or best friend to hold you accountable for weekly or monthly goals. If you have someone in your life that also has a fitness goal, work out together. The added accountability will prevent you from letting your resolution fizzle out.
Better yet, if someone in your life is already where you want to be in your fitness, ask them how they did it or even go to the gym and work out with them. Finally, if you need the ultimate accountability partner, hire a Personal Trainer to help you craft a sustainable workout routine and provide even more workout motivation tips.
FORGET THE FITNESS FIZZLE
Sticking with your New Year’s fitness resolution isn’t easy, especially if you aren’t sure how to make exercise a habit. Yet, by continually reassessing your goals and plans, remembering your why, expecting setbacks, and celebrating your wins, you can build a sustainable workout routine that lasts all year. EōS Fitness is here to help you keep your New Year’s resolution alive.
At EōS Fitness, our priority is your fitness success, and we’re here to provide you with the tools to help you reach it. Whether you could use the help of a Personal Trainer or would benefit from the motivation of one of our EōS G-Fit Classes, we have you covered. Find an EōS Fitness near you to get started today.