Man shouting during dumbbell curl exercise

How to keep motivated

Developing a healthy, strong, and attractive body takes time and effort. Many people give up because they lack the discipline, patience, and motivation. More important, they lack the right mindset to succeed. Below I present the best tips I know on how to keep motivated. Use them to develop and sustain the unwavering mindset and drive necessary for long-term persistence and success.

Focus on the benefits

Weight training is one of the best possible activities you could ever take up. It’s one of the most worthwhile ways in which you could spend your time. It’s so good for you that as you train, you should experience a buzz and feel great about yourself. After each workout, you should feel a sense of achievement and a growing excitement that you are nearing your goal. If your enthusiasm ever wanes, just remember all of the amazing benefits that weight training has to offer, as presented in What are the benefits of weight training?

Visualize your success

Keep a very clear and detailed image in your mind of your ultimate goal, including how you will look and feel when you achieve it, and how people will be reacting to you when they see your amazing results. To avoid disappointment, keep your goal realistic. Visualize the experience in vivid detail, and remember that every rep gets you closer to your goal.

Create a motivating environment

If training at home, hang mirrors and inspiring pictures all over your walls. Include pictures of people you aspire to be like. Pin your mission statement/contract and photos of your progress to a pin board. Don’t forget photos of yourself that you do not like, as these can be the most motivating. As you train, listen to your favorite music. Basically, do whatever you can to make your gym as inspiring and motivating as possible. Make it your special sanctum devoted to personal growth and development.

Train with a partner

Find someone who is even more devoted to health, fitness, and personal development than you are. Preferably, the individual should be ahead of you and more knowledgeable than you are so that you can learn from them. Training with a partner will help you to stay motivated, and it can make your workouts much more enjoyable. You can spot each other for safety, as well as guide, challenge, and motivate each other, and push each other to perform that one extra rep.

Use a personal trainer

If you don’t have a training partner but do have money to spend, get yourself a personal trainer. Personal trainers can be great at motivating you, pushing you during your workouts, and guiding you to success. They can design new training programs for you, check your form and technique, and enhance your safety. You may be able to find personal trainers at your gym. Whoever you choose, make sure that he or she is qualified and thoroughly experienced. Don’t be convinced solely by their appearance.

Track your progress

Recording your progress can be very motivating. Looking back over your progress and recognizing how far you have come can provide very strong motivation to carry on and take things further. You can record and track your measurements — body weight, body-part measurements, and body composition — using measurement logs. You should also take photos of yourself at regular intervals and pin them to a board. See How to track your progress for guidance.

Join online forums/groups

There are many people out there who are going through exactly what you’re going through. They congregate in online forums and groups, where they help and guide each other. Join a few such bodybuilding and fitness forums/groups. Make friends. Share your goal and journey. Share your achievements and watch how much praise you will get. Your achievements will inspire them, and their encouragement will inspire you. And, of course, not only will you find lots of inspiration and motivation in online forums and groups but you will also find lots of great information, advice, and other useful resources.

Try a different gym

If you have gym options, try a different gym for a while. The change of scenery, equipment, and atmosphere can reinvigorate your enthusiasm. You may also be able to try different exercises and make new friends.

Reward yourself

Whenever you achieve a goal or break a personal record, reward yourself with something that you enjoy, such as a trip to the movies, a meal at a nice restaurant, a night out dancing, or new clothing. The goal that you achieve doesn’t have to be a big one — give yourself small rewards for minor goals (such as reaching your weekly target) and large rewards for managing significant achievements (such as your first 200-pound squat). Your achievements don’t just have to relate to weight training, either; you can reward yourself for diet-related achievements as well. For example, if you manage to meet your caloric limits for a week, permit yourself a cheat meal.

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