5 Ways to Find & Maintain Your Fitness Motivation

You’ve likely heard the saying, “summer bodies are made in the winter,” and while the saying is fairly accurate, what they fail to mention is that those coveted beach curves are also maintained throughout every. other. season. Like most of us this winter, you may have vowed to start now on a path to a healthier lifestyle, one which will give you confidence when soaking up the sun this summer. So, you took the first step getting fit, but after the high of that decision quickly wears off – Girl Scout cookies, anyone? — how do you make this decision a lifestyle rather than a momentary dream that quickly gets washed away by real life – babies that don’t sleep through the night, dinners that don’t make themselves, and time that just never seems to stop ticking? Read on for five simple changes you can make today to find – and keep – your motivation to meet your fitness goals by summer…and throughout every other season, for that matter.

1. Set a goal and Record, Record, Record.

Take a break from taking pictures of your sweet children for a few minutes and flip the camera around on YOU! Have some fun with a full body mini photo session by taking “before” photos of yourself at the start of your fitness journey. Take photos from the front, side, and back. Save them and record the date they were taken. You may also want to record your measurements and write them down some place where you will see them regularly. The bathroom mirror is a great place to post these measurements where they will be seen daily. Once you know your starting point, you will need to set an attainable goal. Decide whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, simply tone, or even maintain your current physique. Give yourself enough time to put in the amount of work necessary to get the results you desire, usually 30 days is a good first goal mark. As you maintain your fitness schedule, retake your photos occasionally and compare side by side with your “before” photos. Don’t forget to retake your measurements, also. The changes you see in the photos and measurements will motivate you to keep working hard!

Healthy weight loss is about 1 – 2 lbs per week.

 2. Make a Calendar/Chart

Finally, an opportunity to make our very own sticker chart! Your preschooler will be proud to have yours hanging right next to theirs on the refrigerator, only your prize at the end is THAT much better! Print out a picture of an item you really want – that Lululemon tank and running capri (Yes, please!), or maybe your first 5k (Sign up!) – and post it on your calendar on a major milestone day, or a day that you are hoping to reach a goal on your journey. Record your work outs daily on your fitness calendar and be sure to “check” the box or even break out the all-hailed stickers to mark that day’s workout as “done”. Hold yourself accountable to working towards that new workout outfit or race bib and think of those little stickers as small paychecks towards that end goal. There is nothing like feeling good about yourself to keep that motivation going. Check the blocks and keep moving forward.

Not into fitness fashion or running a race? Try scheduling a pedicure for that goal day, or a mama’s morning out? Coffee without kids? Of course!

3. Make It Happen

Make fitness a priority in your life. Set a specific time of day that your work out will get done each day and treat it as a meeting that cannot be missed (Dirty dishes in the sink? Don’t worry, they’ll still be there when your workout is over). If you have little ones at home or you work, perhaps getting up early and knocking out a work out is the best option for you. Set yourself up for success the night before by setting out your clothes and everything you will need — water bottle, weights, yoga mat, or set the DVD so all you have to do is push play. If early mornings are not feasible, try nap time and make your daily attire your workout clothes. Added bonus, no-fuss getting dressed in the mornings when you are just throwing on leggings and a tank.

4. Make it “Facebook” Official

Step out of your comfort zone and announce on social media that you are starting a new fitness routine. Invite friends to join you, and create a private accountability group with some like-minded friends, near or far. Build a simple private page, add your members, and post healthy recipes, inspirational quotes, before and after pictures, and of course your work out for that day. Be sure to post your accomplishments, and even defeats. Congratulate your friends as they meet their goals, big or small, and lift them up when they are struggling. This private group can be an on-going accountability group, or you can set a deadline to meet your goals by a certain time, perhaps 30 days.

5. Schedule a Play Date

Schedule fitness-friendly play dates with your fellow mom friends and make it a habit. Plan to meet on specific days, at a specified time, at a local playground, running trail, hiking trail, gym, or even someone’s home. Grab the running stroller or yoga mat and plan a workout for that day. If it’s nice outside, plan a run, walk or a fun playground routine. If it’s raining, head to someone’s house or a gym and workout with the kids, or let them play while you and your friend get your fitness on. Be sure that you schedule these days in advance and keep them consistent so that everyone is less likely to cancel last minute. Knowing that someone else is counting on you to work out with them will hold you accountable also. Plus, your children will be active participants in your new, healthier habit!

If you’re interested in more work out plans that can be done with your little ones, be sure to check out 10+ Playground Exercises for Mom!

Photo credits: Stephanie High

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Stephanie is a military wife, currently residing in New York, and mama of two exceptionally curious kiddos – a rugged pint-size princess and a toddling Evel Knievel-in-training – and one sweet, easy going baby boy. When she isn’t exploring the family’s newest dwellings, running trails, farmers’ markets, and playgrounds, she spends her down time working from home, feverishly correcting “textspeak” in her college students’ essays as an adjunct English instructor for a local community college. Her passion for writing and photography can be found at Stephanie High Photography on facebook

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