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January 02, 2019 4 min read

Any goal really worth setting is likely going to encounter some obstacles, but this doesn’t mean the end is not worth perusing. It simply means you have to rethink the way you’re going about reaching your goal, and then try again. Try until you get wherever it is you want to go.

This sage (albeit general) advice is not going to be enough to get you through the lows that come with falling flat on your ass, though. For that, you’ll need some more detailed guidance, and that, my friends, we have gathered for you below.

Keep reading. Here are 10 ways to stop giving up.

1. Give Yourself a Reason Why

Working out for the sake of working out probably won’t help drag you out of bed at 6 a.m. Instead, you need to figure out your true motivation for wanting to exercise and be healthy and use that to drive you when you simply aren’t feeling it. Whether it’s to be able to keep up with your kids, or crush that upcoming marathon, give yourself a damn good reason “why”.

2. Don’t Force Yourself to Do Something You Hate

You might hate running with a passion, and it can take a mountain of willpower to lace up your sneakers every day. Or maybe you force yourself to eat spinach salads every day, but hate the taste. If that’s the case,stop immediately. Exercise and eating healthy shouldn’t be that difficult. Find an exercise and meal plan that you love instead and that you get excited for, like yoga or biking.

3. Make a Plan

Failure can mean failing to show up, not only to exercise but to other beneficial things in life, like healthy eating or self-care. Making a plan, setting a routine, laying out your workout clothes, even leaving your alarm out of reach in the morning—these are all things that set you up for success and help you hit your goals with less effort.

4. Add Resistance Training

Creating strong muscles that help make your day-to-day easier, like bending down, lifting your kids, and reaching for the top shelf is crucial as you get older, and will help you avoid accidentally straining yourself, in and out of the gym. What’s more, when you have a strong, fit body, you are less likely to get discouraged by setbacks, since you will realize just how many amazing feats you are capable of: a little resistance, you’ll learn, will only make you stronger.

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5. Keep Pushing Yourself

Pushing yourself doesn’t mean hurting yourself, but it does mean changing up the intensity and variety of your workouts to keep moving forward and seeing results. If a workout is feeling easy, or you can talk through it without huffing and puffing, it’s time to step it up. Try changing up sets and reps, using heavier weights or doing more intense moves.

6. Use Something to Monitor Your Progress

Using a fitness app or journal can help you track your progress and get to your goals faster, especially when you  set it written down or summarized all in one place. Whether you track your weight, your number of reps in your workout routine, or your food, keeping yourself accountable can help motivate you and avoid failure.

7. Reward Yourself

While motivation shouldn’t entirely rely on rewards, giving yourself a break and a reward for meeting your progress goals is important. It helps reinforce the satisfaction of keeping to your goals, and it can be something as simple as a bubble bath, a new outfit, or a dinner out at your favourite restaurant.

8. Use Your Network

Making exercise fun is a strategic way to avoid skipping it. You can make a regular workout date with a friend, join an online fitness community, hit up group fitness classes or a running group to give yourself even more motivation to stick to your plan.

9. Start Slow

This might sound counter-intuitive, but whatever your goal is, baby steps are crucial. Starting off with intense steps could make your goal seem impossible and set you up for failure, but baby steps are much more manageable and can keep you on track.

10. Make it Doable

You need to be realistic about creating a habit you’ll be able to keep. Short, effective workouts could work much better with your schedule than an hour-long run after work, and that’s okay. Switching to working out from home can also completely change your exercise game for the better. Figure out how much time in your week you’ll actually be able to carve out and what time of day is most feasible, and you’ll be that much more successful than creating lofty goals that fall apart after a week.  

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