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More Training Info > Motivation

Any advice on what can keep a person motivated to stick to an exercise program all year long?

Our favorite suggestions are these:

  • View exercise as a lifelong habit and choose something that you really love to do, whether that is hiking, golf, tennis, cross-country skiing, walking the dog, dancing, or gardening. Remember that it's cumulative movement that counts most over the long run.
  • Make it your number one priority to spend time on yourself. After all, nobody can take care of you better than you! For more on this, see our Motivational Gem. A great way to do this is to take a look at the entire week before you and block out a few hours (in 30-60 minute chunks) for ME TIME -- meditation, exercise, stress reduction, and relaxation. By putting yourself into your appointment book, you may have more luck keeping up with an exercise program.
  • Find a partner or friend with whom to exercise. In fact, find several. Making a commitment to someone else usually helps you keep on track for those days when you'd really rather do something else.
  • Enlist the help of a qualified expert who knows your activity in depth, who can help you develop motivating, exciting, fun and interesting goals to work towards, as well as safe exercise programs that will challenge but not injure you. Nothing kills the desire to exercise consistently like non-existent, unrealistic, or uninspiring goals! Whether you get assistance from an expert skier, an outdoor conditioning coach, or a gym climbing instructor, seek guidance from those who can direct you and keep you on track.
  • Choose some sort of physical accomplishment you'd like to try--be that climbing a mountain, running in your first road race, or kayaking across the bay--and get on a safe training program to accomplish that goal. By taking incremental baby steps each and every day and accomplishing your goals, you'll gain not only the body confidence, but also the mental confidence you need to accomplish wonderful things in ALL areas of your life.
  • Find someone who will help you with accountability. By that, we mean commit to your goals and share that commitment with someone you trust, such as a family member, colleague, or friend. Oftentimes with our clients, it is not so much a matter of desire (you ALL want to be better at what you do!), but rather of available TIME or lack thereof. Plan your weekly workouts ahead of time, and pen them into your schedule like you would any other important meeting AND DON'T BREAK YOUR COMMITMENT.
  • Make certain that the goals you are striving for are indeed YOUR goals, and not merely a result of outside pressure from friends, doctors, loved ones, or peers. If they are not deep-rooted and meaningful for YOU, then they'll be the very first things that fall by the wayside when you are over-committed and stressed.
  • By all means, take a break once in a while! Two or three weeks off a year may be the best strategy for regaining your motivation, especially if you've been training all year for an awesome summer of climbing, running, cycling, or hiking. The body may simply be demanding that you let it rest, and lagging motivation could be a sign of overtraining, or even boredom. Instead of beating yourself up over it, change what you are doing. Try some of the other tips here, or enlist the help of a friend or trainer to get you back on track.


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