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How to Stay Motivated All Year Long

Are you motivated to start your fitness journey, but worried about how to avoid giving up two weeks in? You can stay motivated and build momentum  with these streamlined tips tailored for the fast-paced lives of professionals. 

If flipping tires is not your thing, you don’t have to do CrossFit to get in shape. Dusan @ Adobe Stock

Don’t do crap you hate

At the end of the day, exercise plays a role in weight loss – but not a huge one. So if you are trudging through a new routine or racking up miles on jogging while hating your life, you may want to consider that diet is really 90 percent of the battle.  Numerous studies show that people underestimate how many calories that they burn – like this onethis one, and this one. This is why I track my daily food intake without taking exercise at all into account in my caloric goals.

That being said, exercise is really important for staying motivated, and making healthier food choices. It is great for your mental health, your heart, and your bones. And it makes you happy – when you do the right exercises for you.

I love Pure Barre – and it was taking a chance on going to a class with a friend that led me there.

How to find stuff you love

  • Select workouts that you enjoy. If you love Zumba, or yoga, or barre, center your first steps back into the routine with workout. If you are a sports person, then join a basketball or tennis club to have a place to go meet new people. If you hate running, don’t run. The minute I do something I don’t like it feels like work, and when it feels like work, it feels like you need to be compensated – with food!
  • If you don’t know what you enjoy, experiment! Don’t be afraid of looking silly or messing up. We all have to walk into something for the first time. This is how I got into SoulCycle, Pure Barre, and Yoga. I looked like a fool the first few times, but I loved doing these classes and wanted to come back. The nice thing about these places is that people are super nice and don’t judge you for making mistakes. My number one tip is if you are new, try not to be in the FRONT row. I would actually not recommend the back, either, because often the instructor will demo the moves. The second or third row towards the side is ideal, so you can see the instructor and the front rowers to follow sequences along.
  • If you prefer to work out at home because you may be gunshy to do so in public, that is OK! I love mixing it up with working out at home. There are so many options, so I made it easy for you with my fitness app decision tree and DAOFitLife YouTube Channel workout playlists
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Share your goals- even if you don’t Tweet them

  • You can use social media, but you can also be more low-key and open up about your fitness ambitions to close friends and family for added encouragement and a built-in support system.
  • Even if it’s just writing them on post-its and putting them on the mirror or the fridge, a constant visual reminder goes a long way. You can even make it a picture of yourself when you were at your best a screensaver on your phone.
  • Writing down your goals enhances their tangibility and fosters a sense of shared commitment. Use a journal or even just the notes app on your phone, post-its, index cards, whatever makes it real and something you can see.
A selfie of when you were at your best can really motivate you as a screensaver.

Make it a routine

  • See my post on how to make more time to work out. 
  • Establish a concrete workout schedule, designating specific times for exercise, translating intent into action.
  • Once you finish a workout, immediately schedule your  subsequent workouts.
  • Block your calendar during these times and don’t budge on setting boundaries. 
  • Make your new habits into a new routine, ensuring they seamlessly integrate into your daily life. Here is my post on some new habits to replace others that are unnecessary tone vampires 

Keeping motivation going – way past February

  • Don’t think of this new phase as “punishment” or feel like you have to make up for getting off track. Think of this as the first day of your journey and let the past fade away into the rear view. 
  • Make it fun: One obvious way I love to do this is buy cute workout clothes – my favorite brands are alo yoga and Koral. 
  • Curate your workout playlists. Make that your first workout: walk slowly on the treadmill while you get your favorite tunes for different workouts. You could have one list for lifting, one for stretching, one for cardio. 
  • Watch my video on how to avoid staying bored during cardio. Here’s a clue – there is a lot of Netflix involved. I love watching series I have seen from the beginning – currently on Season 2 of This is Us. This will rack up a lot of miles!
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