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Staying Motivated

It always helps to have a goal to work toward. Our fitness goals often center around our body: lose weight and look good—but sometimes that isn’t enough to keep us motivated.

If you’ve lost your motivation for fitness, maybe it’s time to try shifting your focus. Sometimes one of the best ways to stay on track is to create a personal challenge that you could achieve regardless of whether you lose that nagging five pounds. In fact, you might even end up losing that five pounds along the way—but you’ll have a lot more fun in the process.

If your fitness routine needs a little springtime boost, try one of these surefire motivators:

Learn a new skill. When we stick to the same old fitness routine, we can end up in a rut—which can lead to a never-ending fitness hiatus. If you’re in a fitness rut, it’s time to find the fun in fitness. Have you always wanted to learn to play tennis? Sign up for lessons. Does Zumba look fun? Join a class. Perhaps you’ve dreamed of learning Soo Bahk Do. Now is your chance.  Make a commitment to learn a new activity or skill. You’ll enjoy the thrill of discovery while putting the fun back into fitness.

Join a group. It’s hard to get excited about fitness when you’re always going solo. Wouldn’t that run be more fun with a group of friends? Doesn’t the weight room seem less intimidating when you’re participating in a group clinic? The benefits of a group are endless: accountability, motivation, camaraderie, laughter, support, and more. Sign up for a fitness clinic, join a running club, or participate on a sports team. You’ll get a fitness and social boost that’s good for your health.

Sign up for an event. If you need something to keep you moving in the right direction, there is no better motivation than the looming date of a big race. You don’t have to be a serious athlete to enjoy the excitement of participating in a race. Choose an event that sounds interesting and start training. It could be a 5-kilometer run/walk, a marathon, a relay, a triathlon, an adventure race, or any event that piques your interest.

The key is to sign up for something that feels like a stretch—and then mark the date on the calendar, map out your training plan, and get moving. The thrill and satisfaction of seeing a goal through to completion is all the motivation you’ll need.

Pass a fitness test. Instead of focusing on losing weight or losing body fat, set a concrete fitness goal for yourself. It could be anything—such as do five pull-ups in a row, run five miles without stopping, or run an eight-minute mile. Choose a goal that is a challenge for you, set a realistic date for achievement, and start working toward it.

Remember, fitness doesn’t have to be drudgery. Find something that motivates you and have fun!