It’s HARD to get in the habit of working out regularly. Not only do we all have busy schedules, long hours at work, and unhealthy options for consumption and activity everywhere, it’s hard to continuously do something that is physically exerting for multiple days at a time. Also, when you get started, it’s sometimes hard to keep your eyes on the prize, especially when it can sometimes take a month or longer to see the effects that you really want.

Sometimes, the only true way to get to feeling better and to get your weight, diet, and muscle building regimen back on track is by implementing strategies that help you stay motivated, stay active, and work on changing your lifestyle dramatically one step at a time to give you more energy to do what needs to be done to get your health and happiness where you need it to be- because you’ll not only feel better, look better, and be happier about yourself- but you’ll have more energy, more focus, and power in everything you do.

Here are four of our favorite tactics to help get yourself back in shape, and on your way to a happier, healthier lifestyle:

Make a Calendar to Track Your Events

Often, the best motivation is seeing how well you’ve been doing over a set period of days. By implementing a calendar, filling it with your regimen and tracking your progresses with stars or some other form of colored reminder, you help spur yourself to keep it up. We recommend even leaving yourself notes, telling yourself exactly what you’ve gotten done, and how far you’ve come. It’s easy to forget, especially when you can’t physically see your results. Putting them up on a calendar reminds you that you’ve already been keeping up your habit exceptionally well, and that you can continue to keep it up- it’s all about motivation. Often, instead of letting yourself get frustrated because of what you’re not doing, it’s much more uplifting to see exactly what you ARE doing, which is further accentuated in our next goal.

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Create a Journal to Keep Your Exercises and Nutritional Choices in One Place

Calendars can only take you so far. If you aren’t looking into establishing a set routine with a journal, you should definitely look at the positives and negatives of adequately incorporating one into your routine. Why? Because it’s an exceptional tool to remind you exactly what you need to do to keep seeing progress, and where you need to make improvements. If you’re struggling in one area or another, journals help keep you on track! Calendars work to help you see the big picture, but journals help you keep everything in one place. If you focused on a workout regimen and you didn’t finish as many exercises as you wanted, or you ate too many calories, you can see these different negatives and work towards fixing them. Plus, journals are excellent to track various aspects of your health. You can make line charts that help you see your weight gain and loss linearly that makes you more apt to follow a tough exercise plan. While it’s easy to lose focus, it’s harder when you begin to see all the good you’ve accomplished.

Get Fit With Someone Else

Sometimes, the best way to get in shape is by focusing your efforts with someone else. If you fall off the wagon, they can pick you up! Often, the little push you need is best obtained by incorporating someone else into the plan with you. You’ll be surprised exactly how many people are interested in gaining lean muscle and becoming healthy too- and you’ll definitely enjoy the companionship, because it gets lonely doing it all by yourself. If you have a loved one, exercise with them! These types of workout relationships build bonds, and it’s a great excuse to spend some extra time with someone, while doing something productive, instead of just sitting around, or wasting money going to dinners or movies all the time. Spend an hour together each day focusing on how you can improve your health, and even your relationship will get better.

Focus on Specific Muscle Groups to Target Results

If you’re having a hard time staying motivated because you’re sore or tired, sometimes it’s most efficient to focus on key core areas of your body so that you aren’t too tired to exercise several days in a row. The best workout routines are the ones that utilize multi-day approaches (three or four days on, two or three days off) and it’s sometimes hard to continue these types of workouts when you’re tiring large portions of your muscle groups’ day in and day out. Focus on exercising your biceps and back muscles, or triceps and chest muscles, even your oblique and ab muscles to avoid overworking yourself, which is the first hurdle to overcome to keep yourself fit and active.

While it’s hard to initially get started working out and staying motivated, the end results are well worth it. Instead of getting frustrated or losing your drive, focus on keeping track of what you HAVE done. And if you fall off the wagon, it’s not a big deal! What’s most important is to simply get back on.

Don’t beat yourself up- people often give up their routines and get frustrated because they aren’t seeing results or feel tired and beaten up, it’s more important to remember to focus on the key factors of working out and becoming healthy: integrating healthy choices, keeping track of your healthy choices, charting changes in your weight, strength, stamina, and diet, and continuing to motivate yourself to see more results over time.

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Written by: FitnessMecca

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