This article was written by Fitocracy user Matcharles.
The most important factor in being successful is what goes on in our minds. We often talk about mind-muscle connection, but no one would make it to the gym if it wasn’t for the self-motivation it takes to get up and work towards achieving our goals. Even though there is no “end” to our fitness journey for most of us, it’s still important to set some goals along the way to keep ourselves grounded.
Here are some tips to help you stay the course with your fitness goals.
- Set long term goals – These goals are set far in the future, a year away or longer – goals that will take some time to achieve. Do not think about the long term goal once you have set it. Example: I want to be 220lbs with 8% body fat by 2015.
- Set short term goals – You need to be able to complete these goals within a month max. Think of them as the bricks needed to build your house. One of them will not do much but as you stack bricks on bricks you will start to see progress. Example: “I want to improve my bench press by 5% within the next 5 workouts.”
- Daily motivation – Motivation needs to be implemented in your daily routine as much as possible. This includes anything from finding some inspiration in the Motivational Quotes group, to an encouraging note from a fellow Fitocrat, to reminders of your end goal. It is imperative that you find a daily grind that gets you up and moving daily.
- Pre-workout focus – Again, find videos, quotes, music, pictures, people you look up to, etc. Anything that fires you up and gives you that boost of adrenaline to go out and reach your goals. Remember, here you are focusing on this next hour; not on your long term goal.
- End of day achievement – At the end of your day, look back at what you accomplished and build from there. Did you pull through with your workout when you were dead tired? Did you stuck to your diet when it was pizza day at the office? Whatever you did, congratulate yourself for sticking to the plan and move on. Or think about how you can be even more awesome tomorrow.
- Before/After picture – This should be done in regular intervals. A good rule of thumb is once a month, and at the beginning/end of any “cut or bulk” cycle. This is one of the most dramatic ways you can motivate yourself. Seeing how far you’ve come in a few months to even a few years will certainly light a fire and reward you for choosing a healthier lifestyle.
- Give it all you’ve got – You need intensity and dedication to get out of this journey successfully. Focus your mind 100% on the task at hand. Don’t let the noise around distract you from what is most important to you.
There are going to be times when you will want to give up, throw in the towel. Think of these moments as statement days. If you accomplish your goals during your tougher times, you will come out stronger and everything will slowly get easier for you. Use your short term goals as a way to build up your long term goal. And finally, don’t forget that motivation will help you get started, but you need to develop a habit out of these patterns so you don’t burn out in the long run.
We’re all in this together, Fitos. See you on the battlefield!