So you’ve started a new workout, and you’re super pumped. You’ve set your goal, and nothing can stop you until reach the finish line — not a hot date or a new cold — until one day, all that energy and all that motivation vanishes without a trace. You don’t know how or why, but you’re just SO DONE.
This isn’t the first time you’ve done a complete 180 when it comes to your fitness goals. You begin to think you’re destined for the lazy life, watching Netflix on the couch. You find yourself wondering why you’re such a failure, inevitably quitting everything you start.
(Psst! We’re here to tell you that you’re none of those things — not a quitter, not lazy, and definitely not a failure.)
It’s all about what’s going on inside (your mind, that is). And we’re here to help you get into the right headspace before you jump on the next fitness bandwagon.
In fact, before you jump on anything, ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I trying to fit my fitness routine into my life, or my life into my fitness routine?
2. Am I beginning my workout from a place of self-love, or self-hate?
- Do my fitness goals align with my life goals?
The answers to these 3 questions are the keys to your success. Because we can assure you that you’re fitness plans are doomed from the get-go if…
- you’ve committed to an early morning workout when you are anything but an early bird.
- you vow to lose those extra pounds so you can stand to look at yourself in the mirror again.
- you value “everything in moderation,” but are overexerting yourself at the gym to reach your fitness goals.
In all 3 of these scenarios, you aren’t starting from the right (head)place. Now go back to those questions and think about your own schedule, your own relationship with your body, and your larger life goals. You’ll be able to quickly determine whether or not you’ll be able to stick with your next workout regimen or not. And we’re going to guess that you got at least one of those questions “wrong.”
Not to fear, you aren’t the only one who needs to redirect their focus. And now that we’ve acknowledged what the issue is, the fix is easy. Keep reading for the secrets to aligning your fitness goals with your life goals… and making your workout work for you.
Goals, goals, goals
Okay, let’s start with your goals. Sure, we all want to lose a few extra pounds. But in order to sustain your motivation, it needs to be more than that. Think about what’s important to you beyond the numbers on the scale. Do you want to strengthen your muscles, improve your flexibility or work on your endurance? Is your goal to age with strong bones and good balance, or do you simply want to move your body more than you are doing right now?
Once you’ve figured out what your larger goal is, the good news is that it will be a lot more fun to work towards than the typical “lose 15 pounds.” Even better? By weaving it into your life in a way that works for your habits and your schedule, your fitness goals will naturally fall into place.
So what’s your (other) goal?
Weight loss goals aside, below are some workout ideas that will help you achieve positive health outcomes that will benefit you in more ways than one.
If you want to…
- build muscle and feel good, try resistance training. (If you’re new to this form of training, be sure to give this article a read before you begin.)
- burn some calories and have fun, you might enjoy aerobic exercise or cardio.
- improve flexibility and decrease stress, give yoga a try.
- maximize the health benefits in a minimal amount of time, HIIT might be for you.
And these are just a few examples of the sort of workouts that will help you reach your fitness goals. You don’t necessarily need to get a gym membership or enroll in a class to get moving. Here are a few examples of DIY workouts you can easily incorporate into your life:
- nature walks or hiking
- at-home yoga (find a level you love on YouTube!)
- skipping rope or going for a bike ride
- lifting weights or using a resistance band
- blasting your favorite music and having a dance party by yourself
To make your at-home workout extra effective, try a mix of aerobics, weightlifting and flexibility training. You can do this by mixing things up each week. Just don’t forget to warm up before and stretch afterwards!
Fit your workout schedule into your life
It’s no secret that one of the biggest reasons for not sticking to a new workout regimen is TIME. So make sure to start yourself off on the right foot by fitting your workout into your schedule — and not the other way around.
- If you’re an early riser to begin with, try incorporating your workout first thing in the morning. It shouldn’t be hard to stick with unless you’re a ‘repeat snoozer.’
- If you do hit the snooze button more times than you can count, try working out later in the evening. This option is also great for parents of small children who prefer working out after the kids are in bed. Just be sure to find a 24-hour gym near you!
- If, by afternoon, you find yourself suffering from brain fog or low energy, fitting a workout into your lunch break might just be the energy boost you need to get through the day (without reaching for a sugary snack when the 3 o’clock slump hits). This option might be preferable if you prefer a nice, slow morning and a relaxing evening.
- Or maybe you like to eat like the Spanish (read: late in the evening), and if so, hitting the gym right after work and then heading home to cook dinner might be ideal for you.
Sticking to your fitness goal is simple — as long as it meshes with your lifestyle and schedule. And remember, the best workouts are the ones you want to stick with because you enjoy them. So if you’re dancing the night away to your favorite hits at your bi-weekly Zumba class, the positive benefits are just a BONUS. Can you imagine?!
And don’t forget that being active in some way — any way — is better than nothing at all. If that means parking farther away from the office so that you add a 15-minute walk to your day (twice a day) or taking the stairs, that’s something! You know what else is something? Scheduling short stretch breaks during your work day… or spending half or your lunch hour going for a walk. The possibilities are endless! It’s just time to find the option that suits your personality, your life, your schedule and YOU.