Staying motivated long term

As somebody who has been working out on and off for several years now- you can take my word on this one.

#1. You have to really want it. Not until after summer, not until after your wedding, not until after xyz. You either have the drive, or you don’t. Nothing against shredding for the wedding or what have you- but that’s not what this blog post is about.

#2. Switch it up. If you always do the same thing, you will get bored. Whether that be your meal plan, your work outs or your schedule in general- switch it up! Shock your body. While I admit my meal plan is rather boring (I eat mainly the same thing every day of the week that I’m counting macros)- I also genuinely ENJOY it. I found something that I look forward to eating and that is relatively inexpensive because I am in the military and unfortunately, that doesn’t pay too well. Your work outs are a different story- you need to be shocking your muscles and entertaining to your brain. You don’t want to be in auto-pilot at the gym. Invest in a training program instead of “winging it”. Having somebody pre-plan your workout for you rather than you just doing whatever is HUGE. You’ll probably stop when you get even the least bit tired or feel minimal soreness, while training programs will push you to finish. This is where you will improve.

As far as your general schedule goes, this may not work for everyone. Many of you probably have a family and are needed at certain times of the day. So, this part is for those of you that are as flexible as I am, or have rotating schedules. I work 0645-1430 one week, and 1430-2200 the next. Repeat forever (with the occasional mid shift from 2200-0645). So, one week I work out before work from 0330-0530 and the next I’ll go from 2230-0030 after work. I stay motivated this way because while waking up at 0300 really sucks, especially on the 4th or 5th day, I can tell myself “only 2 more times until you can sleep in again.” And while working out after work really sucks as well, I get through it by telling myself that I only have x days left until I can come home from work and just take a nap while I’m back on days. It’s really all about change.. don’t let it get boring. If you can, change your routine every so often so that you aren’t dreading going to the gym. Half of the work is truly just getting there.

#3. Be sure you are tracking your progress via any means you are comfortable with. Take pictures, keep a journal, blog, whatever you need to do. Sometimes all you need for motivation is yourself. Comparing photos and seeing how far you’ve come is huge. Reading past journal entries or blog posts detailing why you want this so badly is inspiring as well.

#4. Surround yourself with people who are after the same things as you. Follow more fitness models or athletes on Instagram to inspire you and introduce you to variations of exercises. Invite friends to go running with you instead of grabbing a drink, or ask them to go hiking with you instead of your usual Netflix Saturdays.

That’s all I’ve got. Everyone is motivated by something different- but this is what has helped me the most. And just remember- your cheat meal is just around the corner! xo

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