Making the decision to lose weight, get fit, or eat healthy is exciting. It is easy to get started because you are pumped up about making a change, but it can quickly become frustrating and overwhelming. If you do not know what to expect, you may decide to quit before you really get a chance to give a diet or exercise program a try. Here are four ways you can stay motivated as a beginner in the fitness world.
1. Set Reachable Goals
When you begin your fitness journey, it’s great to have a big goal like losing 50 pounds or running a marathon. However, it is easy to get distracted and discouraged on the way to this goal. Instead, you can make smaller goals that fit within your big goal but are easier to reach. If you need help setting a goal, consider using the SMART acronym to help you get started. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Reaching these goals will give you tangible results and a sense of accomplishment.
2. Make Little Changes
You may be tempted to completely overhaul your diet and exercise routine at once. That may work for a few days or even a week, but eventually you will get tired and fall back into your old habits. Focusing on small changes in your everyday life can add up to big differences in how you look and feel. For example, you can begin to walk more every day or start switching out your sugary drinks for water and tea. By doing these small things every day, you are slowly cutting calories and establishing a habit. This will lead to results that will last.
3. Keep Track of Your Progress
One of the best ways to stay on the path to fitness is to keep track of your progress. However, many of us often use the scale as our main tracker and that is not the best way to measure success. Instead, take photos of yourself every few weeks to see how your body looks. Keep a notebook and measure yourself regularly. You can also keep track of other things related to fitness like your stress level, sleep quality, and energy. Looking back at how far you have come can help you keep going when you may be ready to quit.
4. Be Patient
Change will not happen overnight. You are probably eager to see results and hopeful for a dramatic weight loss or jump in athletic performance. Unfortunately, that does not happen. Change happens slowly. If you do not see results from your new diet or exercise plan within a week or two, that is okay. Give it more time. Your body needs time to adjust to your new lifestyle. If you still don’t see any changes after a month or two, then you can reevaluate what you are doing. However, sticking with a plan for a while is always key to success in fitness.
Beginning a new diet or exercise program is exciting and nerve wracking. You may feel overwhelmed and confused. You may also want to quit after the first day! However, sticking to new, healthy habits is worth the frustration. If you stay consistent, you will look and feel better soon. Set goals, keep track of your progress, make small changes and be patient. You will see results.