If you want to see results, you have to make your health and fitness a priority, which sometimes mean putting yourself above others, "Not enough people make themselves the priority," says Hoebel. "They take care of others, but not themselves." This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be selfish, just that you should re-evaluate your priorities and practice better time management skills.
The more fun you have while working out, the more likely you’ll be to keep coming back for more. It’s kind of like Pavlov’s dog experiment; you’ll begin to associate exercise with happiness instead of dread or contempt. “I try to make training with me fun and I use a lot of humor for clients to get through the workout,” says Chris Hernandez, personal trainer and owner of X93 Fitness.
“I have clients set reminders in their phone about stretching, eating right etc., this helps them stay focused,” says Kelvin Gary, a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Functional Movement Specialist, and owner of Body Space Fitness.
Hoebel’s number one tip for staying motivated is simple: have continued confidence in yourself and your abilities. “Believe in yourself and your ability to overcome whatever physical, mental and emotional challenges you face. If you believe in yourself first, the rest will follow,” he says.
“I was once told that trainers should always be in their clients back pockets, whether that's emailing them daily, texting them or calling just to say hello and how their week is going,” says Boston-based personal trainer and group exercise instructor Caroline Earle. This doesn’t only apply to exercisers with personal trainers, though. Share your goals and aspirations with your close friends and family members and ask them to help hold you accountable. When your motivation is running low it’s important to have a support system that will back you up and encourage you to keep going.
If you start to get bored with your exercise routine chances are you won’t find it fun anymore. Your boredom might cause you to associate exercise with feelings of negativity (instead of fun and excitement) and as a result you might be more likely to quit. “I keep my clients motivated with unexpected routines. I try and mix it up each time I see them. It keeps them focused and motivated,” says X93 Fitness personal trainer Carol Hochenberg.
Gary is also a fan of visualization techniques that help remind his clients of what they’re working towards. “One of my new lines is ‘Summer's coming... you don't want to be wearing sweat pants during the day in the Hamptons this summer now do you?’ Everyone laughs, but they get the visual of wearing sweats at the beach and they say ‘Hell no! I'm wearing a two piece!’ and they work a little harder,” he says.
Hoebel says that finding the deeper meaning behind why you want to achieve your goal is the key to success because once you find that emotional connection you’ll be much less likely to turn back. “At the surface, many people's goals are to lose weight, tone up, feel better, etc., but superficial goals get superficial results that usually fade,” he says. “Dig a little deeper, and the ‘why’ is usually unveiled: to be more confident, to be more happy, to feel sexy again."
Earle says that fitness professionals should set an example for their clients by leading a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t have a trainer, try following a few fitness personalities on social media or focusing on a favorite hero for an extra dose of inspiration on a daily basis. Plus, online fitness personalities usually share helpful tips and tricks and following along with their day to day updates will help motivate you to stay dedicated to your own healthy habits.