The Best Ways to Stay Motivated and Let Failure Power Your Progress
The formula is simple: you set goals, you work towards them in the gym and in the kitchen and things are going great until… they aren’t. Maybe it was a work trip that threw off your routine or maybe it was a cold that had you in bed for three days straight. No matter what the reason is for getting off track—there’s always an opportunity to get back on. We know how hard it can be, so we put together a few suggestions that will inspire you to power through, even when it feels impossible.
Find Your Motivation
When working towards a big goal, failure is a part of the journey—whether we like it or not. But what keeps us going is deeper than the looming swimsuit season or fitting into a pair of skinny jeans. The best way to keep yourself going is to dig deep and find your motivation from within. Exercising and eating well can be a real battle, but we want you to work towards a goal that will make your life healthier and more enjoyable. Forget the superficial benefits your health journey will bring, those are just added bonuses. Are you changing your habits so you can be more present with your family? Or are you ready to prioritize your health and wellness in the new year? Whatever the reason is, make sure it’s powerful enough to build you back up on the bad days and energize you to push even harder on the good days.
Set Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
Goals set without a plan are hard to reach and setting big goals without smaller micro-goals can be even harder. Think about a road trip. If you’re driving cross-country, would you rather drive for days on end without pit stops or entertainment along the way or would you rather break the trip up into mini-trips with fun destinations to keep the drive interesting? My guess is most folks would go with the latter, which is why it’s important to offer yourself short-term goals to meet and keep things moving smoothly.
The Mayo Clinic has a super helpful breakdown on how to set small, attainable goals that serve as milestones in your journey to meet your end goal. Achieving smaller wins will help keep you motivated and can energize your efforts as you continue to work towards your end goal. By working towards long-term and short-term goals, you’ll have a more rewarding journey and won’t make the detours or setbacks feel as detrimental to your efforts.
Plan to Mess Up
The truth is, we’re all human—and that means we’re going to mess up. It could be a strained muscle that puts you out of commission for a few days or maybe you just lose your mojo and have a hard time finding the energy to hit the gym. There are two things you need to remember.
- Everybody messes up.
- You’ll need to reach deep and find the strength to get back on the horse.
If you can remember those two things, you’ll be able to pivot faster and take the setback in stride. Making healthy happen is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and it’s important to pace yourself as you work towards your goals.
Leave Guilt at the Door
You haven’t been to the gym in over a week, ate an entire pizza and gained a pound. What are you going to do? Stop feeling guilty about it and pick up where you left off. When you’re working towards your future goal, it won’t do you any good to live in the past. It’s easy to get bogged down and feel shameful about not sticking to your plan, but in the end—that won’t do anything but keep you further from your goal. Think about how you got derailed and how you might avoid that going forward—but beyond that, keep it moving. There will always be moments of failure but making healthy happen means rolling with the punches and pushing through to your next success. Trust us, it’s just around the corner.
Bottom line: find your swole-mate. Significant others, coworkers, family or friends—whoever helps you stay motivated and makes trips to the gym more fun, bring them with you. Working out with a friend turn your trips to the gym from a chore into the highlight of your day. Don’t take our word for it, the MIT Sloan School of Management published a 5-year study in which they found exercise to be socially contagious, meaning you’re more likely to work out—and work out harder—if your friend is, too.
No workout buddies available? No problem. Our AF trainers are here to help. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, a one-on-one session led by a certified personal trainer is the perfect choice for you! Want to get a bit more social? Team workouts offer full-body workouts that are designed to build strength and endurance while crowd-sourcing some major energy to keep you going strong. On days when you’re struggling to find the energy to work out, text your pal or book your training session and make healthy happen, together.
Stay Positive, Stay Committed and Make Healthy Happen
Like your mother (probably) says, “progress, not perfection.” If you’re feeling defeated and want to throw in the towel on your health and fitness journey, just remember—every day is a chance to start fresh with a clean slate. So lace up those tennis shoes, remember why you started this journey in the first place and give yourself a pat on the back for where you are at, today. You’ve got this!