With countless fitness programs available, choosing the right one for you can seem like a daunting task.
This surplus of options often leads us to take up a fitness program from a friend's recommendation, or because of external factors, such as the desire to get in shape for an event. However, sometimes these paths don’t lead us to where we want to go, which leaves us frustrated.
Finding a fitness program you will want to stick with and that works for you is essential for motivating yourself and for keeping up with your plan.
Find a Program you Enjoy
This may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many of us start a fitness program we know we’re not going to like, which is a recipe for disaster. If you don't enjoy the workouts or the diet, why on earth would you stick with them?
We tend to think that the results are enough to motivate us, adapting the “no pain, no gain” mentality. But this simply doesn’t work, and the trick to sticking with a program is to find something that excites you, nourishes you both physically and mentally, and pushes you to continue.
For example, let’s say you don't particularly enjoy yoga, yet that;s the fitness program you choose. What's the likelihood of you continuing your yoga practice in six months time? It's minimal, as you don't like yoga. Makes sense, no?
This idea may result in you trying out many different programs before picking one.
This is good. It’s better to take some time to find something that both invigorates and excites you than to rush into something you know you will drop after a few weeks or months.
You can even give some of these ideas a try without having to attend a class by finding introductory information on the internet. For example, if you wanted to try out a form of yoga to see if you'll enjoy it, there are countless videos on YouTube where expert yoga instructors give tutorials and information at no cost. The same goes for most other fitness programs.
Do it for Yourself
A lot of people start fitness programs with a motive that stems from an outside experience or future event. For example, people may want to get in shape for a vacation or reunion event that's coming up soon. This isn't really doing it for you, and it puts a time limit on your dedication and commitment.
When you start a system, make sure you commit to long-term practice. A fitness program that suits you will become a way of life, and it shouldn't feel like an obligation or a chore. This idea ultimately boils down to loving yourself and building the mentality that you are improving yourself for you and no one else.
Record Your Progress
By recording your progress, you're far more likely to keep up with your fitness program. Why? Because as humans we excel through competition, especially when it comes to beating our own scores. Useful devices and apps such as the FitBit enable you to track calorie burn, heart rate, duration spent working out and other data. These metrics are useful to know no matter what, but they also unlock our competitive side.
Combining a fitness program you enjoy, an “I’m doing this for me” mentality, and competition will make keeping up with your program addicting and invigorating. If you don't want to use the FitBit, there are many apps and services available for smart devices that can track the same metrics, such as Fit Test for fitness routines or Lose It for dieting. However, it is recommended that you use a secure connection or at least hide your IP address when running these apps, as your location is tracked and to use them you have to enter some personal information.
Overall, finding a fitness program you can stick requires three main steps: find something you enjoy, do it for yourself and go into competition with your own efforts. When you take a closer look at those who are successful with their fitness programs, these three things will be evident. The trick is to find something you love, and to want to constantly improve.
If you ask someone dedicated to a fitness program how they're doing, they'll often say they're trying to beat their previous efforts and not anybody else's. This is a key to success with fitness; relate everything to yourself, as this makes your goals more personal and relevant. Sure you can aspire to be like others, but going into competition with someone who's currently out of your league will only serve to damage your spirits. Go into your fitness program with the mentality that you are serving yourself for the long-term, and forget everybody else.
Author bio: Faith is a health and tech blogger with a keen passion for the psychology behind successful people. She likes to uncover and bring awareness to how people can reach their own personal versions of success.