It happens to the best of us. We all lose track of our fitness routine at some point. Life gets in the way and we lose sight of what our goals were and how to reach them. Here are a few tips and things to consider to get you back on (or at least start thinking about) the right track.
1. Give yourself permission to be where you are right now. There is nothing wrong with getting off track and the sooner you can accept that it has happened, the better. Admit it to yourself, your family, and your friends. There is a great deal of power in facing the truth and letting it out. Recognizing and accepting where you are makes it easier to address the issue. This goes for life in general, as well.
2. Shift your goals. Sometimes we expect too much from ourselves and set fitness routine goals that are unattainable. So, of course you’ll fall off the wagon. If you have a rather large goal, say to run a marathon or lose 25 lbs (which are both great goals!), consider breaking them down to mini-goals. Start with a goal of running a 5K. Then, increase to a 10K run. Then, set a goal of a half marathon. If you want to lose 25lbs, set a goal of 5 lbs, 10 lbs, and so on. Setting (and reaching) mini-goals will not only give you a sense of accomplishment, but you will also increase your motivation to move to the next goal!
3. Open up. Sharing your goals and struggles that go along with reaching them will keep you accountable and less likely to get off track. When others are aware of your goals and some of the triggers that derail you—unhealthy snack foods in the house or office for example—the more likely it is that they will support, encourage, and even join you in your efforts!
4. Me time. You need it; take time for yourself. Take time to reflect, time to understand, and time to see a different perspective. Enjoy being in the present with yourself and only yourself. It’s amazing how we can forget what it feels like to do something only you enjoy and gain strength from. It can be anything from a walk, going to a movie, knitting, a long drive, or listening to music. The beauty of this is that it’s entirely up to you. Taking time to recharge with out feeling pressure or guilt will do wonders for your mood and activity level.
5. Think outside the box. If you have trouble motivating yourself, think of possibilities that might be new to you. Join a charity walk, find a buddy to meet at the gym, sign up for dance lessons, take a spin or boxing class, or try a new sport. Sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone will not only open you up to new ideas, but you could also actually find yourself reaching your goals while having fun and making new friends. Win, win!
Following the steps above, you’ll be back on your fitness routine in no time with renewed perspective and greater appreciation for yourself. The confidence and motivation gained by shifting a few ideas can be the difference between staying on track and falling off the wagon. Challenging times grow and stretch our resilience and, like everything else in life, it too passes! Be kind and compassionate—this time—to yourself.