1. Think long term
Where do you want to be one year from now? When people plan their goals, it's typically measure by how many pounds want to be shed and the fastest way to get there. But by week 5 it's too tiring to workout another 6 days and the scale isn't producing faster results.
My husband and I have been discussing ways for him to keep up an exercise routine long term. Unfortunately he doesn't have the same drive to exercise multiple times a week like me, but he would like to. So you are welcome to try what he is...setting a number of times to workout for the whole year. Maybe it amounts to once a week or 52 times as your goal. This will help instill the habit of long term health and not a short term sprint. Then next year you could increase to 2 or 3 times of exercise a week as your goal. This is especially good for people who set lofty goals each year and don't follow through after a few weeks. 52 workouts, at a once a week in a year, is better than 20 workouts in 4 weeks.
2. Get Help
We all need help, ha, but seriously, it's time to reach out. Find a friend you can workout with, your spouse, start a blog, post on a social media outlet to let others know what you're doing, sign up for a fitness group, start a workout program that can be streamed or popped in the DVD player, or hire a trainer. When you learned how to cook, did you buy random ingredients and through something together without watching anyone do it? No. You probably watched a parent, friend, watched a cooking show, or looked up pictures and then they helped you make a recipe. Living a healthy life takes practice and help from others. Find what your "help" looks like and go for it! Your friend circle, neighborhood, stage of life, or finances may determine the type of help you seek out. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as you find what works for you.
3. Think Simple
Let's start simplifying your goals into tangible ones that can be achieved. For example, this week you set a goal for not drinking a can of soda and getting at least 64 oz of water each day. Maybe it's more realistic to limit yourself to one can of soda a day or 3 a week. Then you keep that habit and add another, such as replacing an empty calorie food serving (like chips) with a fruit or vegetable once a day the next week. Set these goals according to your personal health and fitness long term goals.
4. Go for a Challenge
We tend to do what we are comfortable with, but if you want to take your fitness level up a notch, you're going to have to go out of your comfort zone. Maybe you lean towards a certain type of exercise and don't vary enough, that sweet tooth has crept in again, or you aren't managing your time well enough to eat healthy and exercise at all. Factor in a new workout plan to your routine, throw out all sweets for a couple weeks, and schedule time to reflect on your week and plan for the next on your calendar as an appointment.
5. Budget Money
Money towards fitness?? Who wants to do that?! Oh yeah, health nuts. Well, no not really (I think chronic dieters probably spend the most money). Be realistic with your budget and factor in trying out some new workout classes, purchasing hand weights, yearly gym membership, comfortable workout clothes and shoes, needing a babysitter to fit in a workout, seeing that personal trainer, or buying a workout dvd. There are a lot of fitness gimmicks, so stray from those and budget things that can have a lasting impact. Buying a set of weights will not go out of style. If you have a few sizes to lose, then a new pair of pants will be necessary. Maybe you have all the workout equipment you could need so budgeting rewards in makes more sense for you. I personally love massages and a new workout tank top. When you hit a goal, have a reward in place to keep motivating you. Just know that at some point you're probably going to have to purchase something fitness related and it's better to be prepared.
So in all of this, don't forget to sit down and plan out your goals, ha. Put them on your fridge, your bathroom mirror, email them to your friends, and take steps towards achieving them. You can do this!