The following are all definitions of persistence:
- “The quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people.” -Meriam Webster Dictionary
- “Continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” -Oxford Living Dictionary
- “Continuing to exist or endure over a prolonged period.” -Oxford Living Dictionary
With everyone’s fitness journey there are going to be ups and downs, good days and bad days. What separates the people that are successful is persistence! They surround themselves with people that share the same goals and they find that extra something deep down inside them and continue on in their journey.
Most times, when clients want to quit, I have to remind them of why they chose this fitness journey and why they shouldn’t give up. Most of the time clients need the added push or confidence that they can win this battle.
I thought of some ideas on how to stay persistent in your fitness journey.
- Set Realistic Goals – and don’t be afraid to change them if needed. Some goals may need to be adjusted due to injury or schedule.
- Make a Plan – Your plan can be as simple as working out 4 times a week, or making sure to walk on your lunch break. But, have a plan. Put it in your phone or calendar and make it a priority!
- Buy Workout Clothes or New Shoes – This is a commitment! Not only to yourself, but you are saying that this is something that you are willing to invest a few hard-earned dollars in.
- Drink More Water – We are made of water, you need to replenish it. Do you know how much water you should drink in a day to stay hydrated? Take half of your body weight, and that is how many ounces you should drink a day. So, if you weigh 150 lbs, you should drink 75 ounces.
- Handle Those Cravings – Oh, this is a hard one for me. But something to ask yourself when you just HAVE to have those potato chips or that chocolate bar is, “Am I thirsty? Tired?” Before indulging, drink a glass of water and see if you still HAVE to have those treats.
- Watch What You Eat – Remember the saying, you are what you eat? Try to give your body lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein. Try new foods – your taste buds are changing all the time! When you’re working out you’re going to need those good foods to help fuel your body.
- Try a New Workout – Whether it be a class or going to the gym for the first time in 12 years, trying something new can be a great motivator.
- Get a Workout Buddy – Everything’s better with friends! Or look into getting a trainer. Having another person holding you accountable is a huge help.
- Track Your Progress – This can be by body fat percentage, measurements, your jeans fitting better, or you just feeling better. Give yourself a way to measure your successes. Don’t always go by the scale, there are so many other ways to measure your progress.
- Reward Yourself – Speaking of success…CELEBRATE IT! Maybe you lost 1 pound this week, maybe you skipped the fries at the fast food drive-thru, or maybe you just had a GREAT DAY. Celebrate it!!!
- Keep a Food Journal – Writing down everything you eat holds you accountable and can help point out when you eat most of your calories throughout the day. You might even write what you are feeling when you eat to make sure you’re not emotional eating. Don’t forget to write down what you drink too! You might find you’re drinking a lot of empty calories (pop, juices, specialty coffees etc.)
- Have Fun – Enjoy what you are doing! If you are looking forward to your workout, you are more likely to do it.
- Persistence – This is probably the most important tip I have for you. DON’T GIVE UP. Keep trying. This is for YOU, and can only be done by YOU. So, keep trying.
From the desk of Jill Spradlin, Fitness and Health Trainer Department Head