Friday October 28th, 2016

The road to reaching your fitness goals is a tough one. It’s especially difficult to stay motivated. The trip is long and treacherous and full of failures and successes and obstacles and frustrations and triumphs. And that’s not just for the folks that have an estranged relationship with the gym. Whether you’re training for a marathon, trying to ditch that last 15 pounds or hoping to reunite with a long-forgotten six-pack, it just ain’t easy.

But when it comes to discovering a better version of yourself, there are some universal principles that we can all benefit from. You may not always be able to control exactly how your body feels each day, but you can control your attitude. You can manage your emotions. You can dictate your commitment and consistency. And there are tools to do just that. With some hard work, and attention to these rules to keep you, you will reach your fitness destination.

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Testing out Oakley's smart sunglasses that give real-time training feedback, guidance

How To Get Motivated

Envision Success

Before you get started on any journey, it’s important that you first envision yourself at the finish line. In order to have success, you must first envision yourself in a state of success. So what if you’re not where want to be in the beginning. No one else is either. See the vision first. Then put the work in.

Pro Tip: The man in the mirror is whoever you want him to be.

Find Your Home Base

Find a gym and make it your home. No literally, live in there. Not all gyms are the same. Know what your personal goals are, then find an environment that best lends itself to enabling you to reach your goals.

Most legitimate gyms have trainers available to offer complimentary assessments. These assessments will give you solid feedback on exactly where you stand. Know your specific areas of improvement then devise a plan to help you reach your goals. Ask a trainer for a recommendation on how you can make some progress. If you can afford to, buy some sessions and take detailed notes along the way. They’ll help you in the long run.

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Training after 50: Dan O'Brien dispels the myths about exercise for older adults

How To Stay Motivated

Remember That Your Only Competition Is You

Not the models with 8-pack abs on social media. Don’t compare your journey’s highs and lows to anyone else’s. Own your narrative, whatever it may be. Embrace your journey, independent of any external forces. Keep the focus on yourself. If you're competing with yourself, you'll never lose.

There's Strength In Numbers

There are tons of free training collectives out there. From Movers & Pacers in Atlanta, to The November Project and the #GOODWRK Collective based out of New York City. Tapping into the positive energy that comes from a community of like-minded individuals can be life changing. This is your journey, but what’s wrong with gathering some inspiration from others? You will hit challenges. Have a team to help pull you through when times get tough. Pro Tip: It takes a village, so go ahead and become one of the people.

Your Wins

Doesn’t matter what your goals are, celebrate EVERY accomplishment along the way. Whether lost your first five pounds or gained five pounds of muscle or simply walked/ran your first mile, they’re all equally important. This is your journey. Celebrate every accomplishment because you deserve it.

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This is what happens to your body when you stop exercising

Go Shopping

Go out there and buy some brand new Jordan Trainers or Nike Dri-Fit. Whatever motivates you to get moving. Who doesn’t want to workout and also look amazing? The investment will pay off as it will motivate you stay on track. New clothes. New look, New you.

• The Right Way To Dress For The Gym

Earn Your Cheat Days

Cheat days are needed to offset the discipline that comes with strict dieting. However you should be earning your cheat days. Spend most of your time being active and reaching your goals. Earn the right to indulge in your favorite mac & cheese or cookies or ice cream, by continuing to workout pre and post cheat day meals. Just don’t let cheating go from a meal to a lifestyle.

Be Persistent

Don’t allow external factors to distract you from your goals. This is your narrative, don’t ever let anyone else author your story. If your friends don’t support your goals, don’t trip. Your constant dedication will connect you with people with supportive energy. Tap into positive vibes and people that are rooting for you. It will be tough, but you are your biggest cheerleader.

Have Fun

This will not be easy. In fact, it may be the toughest thing you ever do. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. This is your journey, why not do some exploring? Do something new for the first time. Reconnect with old friends. Try some new restaurants that are inline with your new lifestyle. Play basketball. Be a kid again. Play tag or steal the bacon. Find fun ways to workout when things get boring. ZogSports is a great resource. Whatever you do, just make sure you have fun.

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