Are you struggling to stick to a diet? Do you have trouble remembering to work out each day? Don’t blame yourself, it’s natural.
It takes a while for your brain to get used to a new routine. You need to repeat the same action over and over to make it a habit, which could take weeks.
So, when you stray from a diet or a fitness routine, it’s just your brain going back to your old routine.
Sometimes, the best way to force yourself to do something is to trick your brain. You need to block out your regular thought process and replace it with something else.
For this, you need motivation. Motivation is how you’ll force yourself to redirect your thoughts and stick to your new plans. This will allow you to make it through those first few, crucial weeks when you’re most likely to fall back to your regular pattern
With that in mind, here are 6 simple tricks to motivate yourself to stick to your fitness routine.
#1 – Give Yourself a Reward
The first trick is to give yourself a reward when you complete a specific milestone. One of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works.
When you make it through a week while sticking to your diet or reach a certain weight on the scale, treat yourself to something. The reward itself isn’t too important, as long as it’s something that you can anticipate.
Studies show that when you have something to look forward to, you’re more likely to follow through with your plans. A reward is a powerful tool and it’s an easy way to trick your mind into staying motivated.
#2 – Use Affirmations to Remain Focused
Affirmations can also trick your brain into believing a specific thought. You can tell yourself repeatedly that, “I will stick to my routine today.” Repeating this thought over and over reaffirms your commitment and reinforces the concept in your mind.
By using affirmations, you’re replacing the negative thoughts and doubts in your mind. When you walk into the break room and see the vending machine, you repeat the affirmation to keep yourself from thinking, “I’ll just grab a bag of chips instead of eating my lunch.” It’s simple and it actually can help.
Think about the negative phrases that you tend to replay in your mind over and over. Flip these phrases around into a positive. Instead of saying, “I can’t do this,” you say, “I can do this.” You’re forcing your brain to listen to a different set of instructions.
#3 – Announce Your Commitment to Your Health
Don’t forget to let people know that you’re going to follow a diet or start a new fitness routine. If you can commit to this new routine, then you should be willing to let people know about your plans.
You’re less likely to back down from plans that you’ve shared with friends and family. For example, if you decide to go to the gym with a friend, you’re more likely to go than if you’d just planned on going alone.
Even if you’re not going to have a workout partner, you can still share your plans with others and get the same effect. You hold yourself accountable when you share these plans.
You don’t need to post your fitness updates on Facebook each day, but you can announce your plans at the start of your journey. It’s a small act that helps you remain committed.
#4 – Set One Major Goal
If you can’t stick to a new routine, one of your problems could be that you’re trying to do too much at once. When you have multiple goals, you don’t have any focus. This makes it hard to track your progress and find the time to incorporate your new plans into your existing routine.
Set one major goal for each day. This could be as simple as going for a jog or completing your workout for the day. Just make sure that you have one major task that you can focus on.
Another trick is to shorten the duration of your plans. If you’re planning on running for 30-minutes, cut back to 20-minutes. If you want to meditate for 15-minutes, cut it down to 5 or 10-minutes. You don’t want to rush your plans.
Starting small will give you time to slowly adapt to your new routine.
#5 – Choose a Different Time of the Day to Workout
Switching the time of the day that you work out could also help. If you lose motivation throughout the day, then it may be best to workout first thing in the morning.
Working out in the morning also provides a few other advantages. Exercising in the morning helps wake you up. It gets your blood pumping, And, if you work out on an empty stomach you’ll get more out of your workout.
Choose a time of the day when you’re most likely to stick to your plans. Don’t pick a time when you tend to be busy and rushing to get everything done. If this means that your only available time is just before bedtime, just keep in mind that you might have trouble getting to sleep.
#6 – Track Your Progress Every Day
Track your progress. That’s the final trick. You need to keep track of whether or not you’ve stuck to your plans. You don’t need to make this a complicated step.
Place a checkmark on each day of the calendar that you’ve followed your plans. With each passing day, you’ll grow a longer chain of checkmarks. Mentally, you’ll want to avoid breaking this chain.
Again, the trick is simple, but it helps you motivate yourself to keep the pattern going. If you use this trick, along with the other suggestions, you’ll definitely increase your chances of staying motivated.
With repetition, you’ll develop new habits. This generally takes weeks or even a few months, but it’s worth the effort. When your new fitness routine becomes a habit, you won’t struggle to work out each day or eat healthy meals.
So, the next time you find it hard to follow through with your plans, remember to trick your mind. Focus on the reasons why you want to get in better shape, use your affirmations and track your progress.