How many times have you solemnly sworn to get fit? And how many New Year resolutions have you broken? Most people find it difficult to stick to a fitness regimen and never meet their goals. Whether you intend to lose weight or start building muscle, you can’t just achieve your goals overnight.
Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. Here are the most effective ways to push yourself beyond your limitations and stick to your fitness goals.
Tip #1: Find motivation for fitness
This is easily one of the most important steps in achieving your fitness goals. Find a reason to keep working out and pushing yourself, even when you feel like giving up.
- Your motivation could be anything; what motivates one person may not necessarily work for another.
- Of course, you can simply motivate yourself with the knowledge that you’re going to look and feel better if you achieve your fitness goals.
- But it can be easy to quit if you're just focusing on yourself. If you find a reason to keep going for other people, you might find added strength to keep pushing yourself. For example, if you have kids, you could use the fact that becoming fitter will help you live longer and make playing outdoors less tiring.
Tip #2: Find solutions to your excuses
What are all the excuses you’ve given for quitting in the midst of a fitness plan? Make a list and try to find a solution for each of those excuses.
- Maybe you find that exercising tires you out and prevents you from doing your after-work chores. Try to work around it by taking baby steps instead of overexerting yourself from day one.
- You may say that you're too busy to exercise, but is there any way you can wake up earlier to fit a short routine into your daily schedule? Even just 10-15 minutes of exercise could make a huge difference in the long run.
- Better yet, try to build your schedule around your exercise routine instead of adding it in as an afterthought.
Tip #3: Have a fitness plan
Think of your fitness goal as a business goal. In your business or organization, you will have a set goal for a given quarter or timeframe. To achieve that goal, you will have certain milestones and action plans to guide you. Everything is well-planned, preventing you from getting off track. Similarly, your fitness goal should have an action plan along with several milestones along the way.
- An action plan outlines what steps to take in order to achieve something.
- For instance, let's say that you want to start exercising every morning. To help you do so, you need to map out what you should do in order to achieve that goal. Maybe you could start going to bed earlier or sacrifice a few minutes of your sleep time. Whatever it may be, that step will be part of your action plan.
- A milestone refers to a small achievement that you make in the process of achieving a larger goal.
- For example, your goal could be to lose a certain amount of weight in one year. To help you get there, you could set a quarterly milestone, in which you need to lose at least five pounds every three months. If you're reaching these milestones, it's a sign that you're on track to achieve your ultimate goal.
Tip #4: Test your limits
I often say that limitations are self-imposed. And my goal is to help people push themselves beyond their limitations.
- Although you'll start out slow initially, you need to keep testing yourself as you enhance your capabilities.
- Avoid sticking to a workout routine within your comfort zone because once you stay there, your progress will stall. At the same time, you shouldn't push yourself too hard to the point of breaking.
- My advice is that you gradually test your limits and challenge yourself every day without going overboard. For example, you can’t just run an extra five miles in one day. You might end up overexerting and injuring yourself. Instead, set a deadline and run a little longer each day until you eventually achieve your goal.
In my opinion, these are the most effective tips to push beyond your limitations and achieve your fitness goals. Do you have any more ideas to add to the list? What has helped you achieve your fitness goals? Share your story in the comments below.
If you need help deciding on a new fitness goal, learn how one parent dedicated herself to Ironman training and delve into the physicality of working as a whitewater raft guide.
Chris Ruden holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and is an entrepreneur, model and motivational speaker. Despite his congenital birth defect leaving him with only two fingers on his left hand and a shorter left arm, he is an Elite Powerlifter that has Type 1 diabetes and works on an insulin pump. He has broken a number of state “powerlifting” records in Texas and Florida, and he hopes to show the world that limitations are self-imposed. Follow Chris on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.
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