How to motivate yourself to exercise in the new year

Another new year is upon us and that means it is time to set some goals. And fitness is one of the most common resolutions to set when the new year rolls around.

However, too many people end up not reaching their goals to exercise more, which leaves them feeling discouraged.

Whether you are looking to log more time on cardio machines or want to increase the weights you can lift on your hammer curl dumbbell exercise, read on for six essential tips to keep you motivated on your exercise goals in 2023.

Trethowans
Trethowans

1) Set attainable goals

One of the reasons people end up not reaching their goals is that they simply weren’t attainable. While having lofty goals is great, it can be difficult to work towards something that may not even work for you. Instead, set goals that are easily attainable and work up from there.

If you are starting an exercise routine from square one this January, it doesn’t make sense to set a goal of working out every single day each week. Start small and set a goal of two days per week. Each month, increase your days by one until you’ve reached your over-arching goal of seven days per week. When you can meet those quick goals, it can feel rewarding and you’ll feel motivated to continue striving for more. 

2) Create a visual plan

Creating a plan in your head is fine but there is something magical about putting your plan into something tangible. Whether it’s a vision board, reward chart, or PDF document, create a visual plan for your goal so you can easily see and track your progress.

If you are a visual type of person, this is a must for you. When you can see your progress, it can feel motivating and you will want to continue seeing that work grow and grow. Plus, it serves as a reminder in case you are the forgetful type. 

3) Incentivize your goals

While your primary goal for increasing your exercise routine is for overall wellness, it may not be the exciting incentive you need to motivate yourself. Think of other incentives you can offer that help you stick with your goals.

These incentives could be related to your goals, such as training for a half-marathon, competing in a martial arts competition, or increasing the weight you use for your hammer curls. Your incentive could be shopping for new clothes if you have a goal of losing weight.

Think of something you want to do or buy that you can reward yourself with once you’ve reached your goals. (Hint: Put something related to your incentive on your vision board to keep it top of mind).

4) Make exercise fun

Too often, exercise is considered a daunting chore but it doesn’t have to be that way. Exercise should not be something you dread. It should be something you look forward to. Figure out which exercises you enjoy doing and dive into those.

If you love lifting weights, keep the work up with hammer curls and bench pressing. If you love movement, exercise with dance or cycling. When you enjoy the exercises you do, you will feel excited to keep it up and won’t want to miss out.  

5) Get an accountability partner

You are not alone in setting up a New Year’s resolution of exercising and it is very likely someone close to you has a similar goal. Find someone who also needs the motivation to stick to their goals and become accountability partners.

If you enjoy similar workouts, exercise together. You could attend the same gym and check in with each other as you do your respective workouts. Your accountability partner may be someone who lives far away, and you can keep each other motivated virtually with text message check-ins. When you have someone to answer to, it increases the likelihood of reaching your goals, so lean on your community. 

6) Give yourself grace

No goals are attained without a few missteps here and there, but the trouble comes when you get too hard on yourself for it. If you set a goal to attend three yoga classes per week and you end up missing one for whatever reason, you might get upset with yourself.

You have to give yourself grace in the moments when you don’t meet your goal. If you don’t, you end up giving up and becoming frustrated with yourself. Be open to being flexible and lean into any changes that need to happen. 

Make your goals happen this year

Don’t make 2023 another year of your goals not coming to fruition. You have the power within you to make it happen, and with these tips, you’ll stay motivated all year long to see it through.