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  • Anton Lippis

Staying Motivated Long Term: Tips for Sustaining Your Fitness Journey

woman working out on exercise mat

Taking the first step on a fitness journey is often challenging. But once you've gotten over that initial obstacle, sometimes it's equally challenging to sustain motivation over the long term. Still, it's crucial to stay consistent to achieve lasting results, whatever your goals are. Whether you're just starting out or are well into your journey, here are some tried-and-true tips to keep your motivation up in the longer term.

1. Set Achievable Goals

Start out by setting realistic goals that align with your fitness aspirations. A great approach here is a goal hierarchy, which breaks down larger goals into smaller, more manageable milestones, allowing you to track your progress and feel like you're moving forward. Big picture goals are important, but they tend to take a long time to achieve, which can make it feel like you're not getting anywhere in the meantime. Breaking big goals down into smaller intermediate steps and process goals is a great way of progress towards your ultimate aspiration while still feeling like you're meeting your targets.

2. Find Your Why

There's an important difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivations. Extrinsic motivations are those centered around external rewards or punishments, like being paid or the fear of not meeting someone else's expectations. These extrinsic motivations can be useful in getting yourself started on a new activity. For instance, establishing rewards like treating yourself to a massage when you meet your workout goals. However, these motivations tend to be less sustainable in the long term than intrinsic motivations. Intrinsic motivations come from within yourself and involves undertaking an activity for its own sake or for its inherent satisfaction to you. If you can work towards intrinsic motivations for your fitness goals, you'll likely find it much easier to sustain motivation over time.

3. Prioritize Enjoyment

Relatedly, it's important to find the activities within your fitness routine that you genuinely enjoy. If you find something miserable every time you do it, it's a lot less likely that you'll keep doing it! Whether it's hiking, swimming, dancing, Olympic-style weightlifting, or anything else, prioritising activities that give you pleasure make them much easier to stick to.

4. Surround Yourself with Support

Do your best to surround yourself with a supportive community of friends, family, or fellow fitness enthusiasts who encourage and uplift you on your journey. There's always going to be days when your motivation is at a low point. At those times, having a good community around you can make all the difference. If you're looking for a community like that, we think we've cultivated a pretty great one here at Xpress Personal Training.

5. Embrace Flexibility

Lastly, remain adaptable and open-minded throughout your journey. Life will inevitably throw you some curveballs, so be prepared to adjust your approach or plan as needed. An off day or two doesn't mean you can't still be progressing toward your long term goals. Remember, two steps forward and one step back still come outs to a step forward.

By implementing some or all of these tips and strategies, you can cultivate the motivation and resilience needed to sustain your fitness journey for the long haul. If you're looking for some extra guidance and support, feel free to reach out to our friendly staff here at Xpress Personal Training.

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