Welcome to 2019! I hope you have confidently declared, “This is my year to get in amazing shape!” (Or maybe you’re secretly muttering it in case you can’t keep the commitment through to 2020.)

I think you can do it! Let me offer you a few tips on how to stay motivated to maintain your health and fitness plan.

I’ll give you the full list here, but we’ll shake out one or two at a time as the months progress.

Know where you are at.
  • Take an assessment of something you want to see changes in.
  • Recognize your current Real Life now.
Know the Plan.
  • You are way more likely to show up and/or get excited about it if you know what you’re in for.
  • There is a difference between training for endurance, training for muscle, training for strength and training for power. You need all of it.

Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No!

Visualize success
  • Be real with yourself
  • Do you need a plan B? Or do you need to up the ante?
Celebrate success!

Let’s cover the first one. Know where you’re at. Take an assessment of something you want to change.

You don’t start an exercise program for no reason. There is something you want to see change. I’m not using this article to talk about your “why,” although it is the most important question. If you want to get and stay motivated to move, you need to find something today that you can measure against tomorrow.

For example, if you want to drop body fat, taking a photo can be a very powerful motivator. After a couple of months of grinding, your “First Day” photo can be measured against your “This Day” photo. When the scale doesn’t change – and it often does not – and you see the difference well enough to brag to your friends, you’ll most definitely want to keep pushing.

Tape measurements are another great gauge of success. Measure your waist, your hips, your arms, your thighs, even your neck.

A positive change in blood panels is another very good measure of success. Ask your doctor to take a lipid panel, hormone levels, blood sugar levels, you can test for inflammation, liver health and much more.

You can also measure performance such as mile pace, or distance in 10 minutes, or 300 yard shuttle run. You can measure strength levels with a bench press or deadlift weight or shoulder press.

Part “B” to this idea of knowing where you’re at, is that you must be real about where your body is starting from; be real about what your schedule will allow; be real about what you like to do and don’t like to do.

If you just sent your last child off to college and you have not run since High School, do not assume your body will enjoy the experience now. Start with walking, and when your body is ready for the bounce, take off s-l-o-w-l-y.

If you have not been able to fit exercise into your daily routine, thinking you can suddenly squeeze in an hour a day is just probably not going to happen.

If you love tennis but hate using those boring exercise machines at the gym, don’t buy a fitness membership that does not include tennis.

Come back for more Ways You Can Get and Stay Motivated to Move. I believe you can do this!

Andrea Bowden is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach and owns Next Level Fitness Training in Roseburg and coach of the Umpqua Community College Obstacle Racing Team. She can be contacted at IAmNextLevelFit.com.

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