The hardest part of an online fitness program is not the burpees. It’s accountability.
Most people figure, “Hey – I paid for this, and I want to get trim before beach season”, not accounting for the fact that you actually have to open the program and do the workouts on a consistent basis to see the results. It’s that first step in the right direction and everything will just fall in line beyond this, right? Tomorrow, I’ll get up early and go for a warm-up run around the block. Then I’ll do my workout and have a fantastic water drinking, salad eating healthy day!
When in reality, the initial excitement might wear off within the first week, you might even make it 2, maybe 3 weeks. You might lose a couple of pounds. But one day you put it off, and once that day comes – it becomes easier and easier to keep putting off the workouts.
“I’ll double up tomorrow.”
“I can just do it after work instead.”
Every time you push a workout aside, reschedule, or just hit the skip button, you tell yourself that you are not worth showing up for. That your goals are not worth seeing to the end.
So, here are my recommendations for staying motivated to complete your fitness programs:
1. Set your SMART goals
Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound. What is your goal? Losing weight is not a specific goal, so make sure you are following the SMART acronym. Example: I want to lose 20 pounds within 6 months of today’s date.
2. Make it known!
Share your goal with friends, and family. Let people know what you’re doing, and ask them to help keep you accountable! This brings us to our next recommendation…
3. Get yourself an accountability buddy!
A friend, a neighbor, and online penpal – it doesn’t matter who, and they don’t even need to be doing the same program as you! Connect via video chat, and workout together. Many trainers who offer online programs, offer group connecting chats for all their clients presently enrolled in each program. It’s a great way to connect with someone doing the same exercise you are!
4. Plot your progress!
A visual representation of your journey is a great way to keep you motivated! A thermometer graph, or a line chart. Your starting weight at the bottom, and your goal at the top. Try to break down your goal into smaller sections, that way it feels easier to complete small parts at a time, as opposed to facing the one great big task.
5. Use rewards
It’s no secret that we love to be rewarded for our hard work. There is almost nothing more satisfying than doing good, and treating yourself afterward! Set rewards with your goals! 25% completion, buy yourself a new shaker cup! 50% completion, a new exercise outfit. 75% completion, new shoes. Whatever you see fit, and whatever your heart is set on (and budget allows for, of course!). Why shouldn’t you be rewarded?
6. Setting an alarm
My all-time, favorite trick for staying on track and accountable for my own exercise programs, is setting an alarm on my phone. I set reminders for everything. It’s how I learned to drink more water, it’s how I taught myself to step back from the crazy and meditate to clear my mind, and it’s how I have managed to take my vitamins every day for 2 years straight without missing a day! The one thing we always have near us is our phone – so, open up that alarms tab, and set your alarm.
Motivation is one of the hardest processes to understand. One minute we have it, and the next minute – bye, bye! It’s gone! Right out the window! But, working towards our motivation towards a positive mindset, and positive mental health is one of the best things we can do in the act of self-care.
If your physical health is suffering because you just can’t maintain the motivation, seeking help from a counselor or other mental health professional is always a great option.