How to achieve your fitness goals

You want to be as healthy as possible for the people you love most, but also for yourself. You’re eating well, nixing nasty habits, and even getting your dreaded annual physical. But when it comes to increasing your overall fitness, you just can’t seem to make it much further than good intention. If this sounds like you, you aren’t alone. In fact, Statistic Brain Research Institute claims that 67 percent of gym memberships go unused.
Getting in shape begins with setting a goal. But remember, that’s just the beginning. The next step is turning that goal into a plan, and ultimately setting that plan in motion while ditching excuses to skip the gym. 
What will it take to finally break through and turn fitness dreams into a reality? Well, here are three simple ways to stick to your fitness plan once and for all.

  1. Set the right goal
  2. As mentioned earlier, setting a fitness goal is the first step. But setting a goal that’s a bit too aggressive right off the bat might keep you from getting your fitness program up off the ground. Make sure the goals you’re setting are the right goals for you. To help, ask yourself these questions:

    • What specifically do I want to achieve? Is it stronger arms? Dropping a dress or pant size? Increased endurance? The more specific your goal is, the better you can follow a plan that produces the results you’re looking for.

    • Can I measure my success? Whether it’s completing a 5K, doing a pull-up or hammering out a set of 10-15 pushups, set a goal you can quantify. This will leave little room for doubt about whether you have reached your goal. Then, build off of that success to keep achieving more.

    • Is this goal something I can achieve? Whether your college roommate lost 50 pounds or your dad mastered the crow pose in one yoga session, goals are only achievable if they are realistic for you. In fitness, it’s easy to compare. But it’s important to set a goal that reflects where you are at the beginning of your fitness journey in order to set yourself up for success. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

  3. Hold yourself accountable
  4. How? Well to start, how about inviting someone along with you on your fitness journey? Maybe it’s a friend, spouse, or co-worker – whoever it is, inviting someone who can motivate you to reach the goals you set for yourself may just help you put one foot in front of the other. What may help even more is a check-in with someone outside of your social circle – someone who may feel “more official” and give you a nudge to make steady progress. Consider joining an accountability group on social media or taking part in a challenge at a local gym or fitness center. This will keep you motivated to see your goal through well after the initial momentum has worn off.

  5. Eat your frog first
  6. It’s been noted that Mark Twain once said something like, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Sounds a bit bold, doesn’t it? But if you think about it, when it comes to work, running errands or getting chores done around the house, have you ever pushed the most cumbersome task (the frog) off until the end of the day, or to the next day altogether? To avoid falling into this habit in your fitness routine, try scheduling your exercise time (especially if you see it as a “frog”) before anything else. The sooner it’s done, the sooner you can move on to whatever you plan to tackle next – maybe even with more energy. 
The next time you look at friends, family members or fitness gurus on social media, remember that the only difference between you and them is their head start. Once you fall into your own routine that’s right for you, you’ll no longer feel the need to wish you could get there. You’ll already be well on your way. And just imagine the fitness goals you’ll be ready to crush after reaching your first one. 
It’s not always easy to muster through each day and find the energy to hit the gym or turn on your workout video. But with the right goal, the right cheerleaders, and the right priorities, sticking to and reaching your overall fitness goals becomes much more achievable.