Clients often ask me how I’m able to remain persistent with my fitness goals. Life is busy; we have so many demands on our time, energy and resources that some days it seems impossible to think about spending more time taking care of ourselves.
Want to know the truth about that? If you don’t do it, no one else will. It is really that simple. People around you may love you, support you and want the best for you, but it’s your life. You decide everyday how you will live this gift out. Let’s take a look at how to learn and build persistence in our lives.
Stress is probably the biggest time, energy and motivation drainer we encounter on a daily basis. Start by identifying the people, places or situations that are adding unnecessary stress to your life and brainstorm how to better handle these stress triggers.
Is your morning commute making you feel agitated and drained? Find a gym between your house and work that will get you going earlier in the morning, helping you avoid the rush hour traffic. Is a family member trying to dump negativity on you when they call? Avoid conversations with them when you’re particularly busy if you find you’re on edge after talking to them. Limit the length and direction of the call, stick to lighter topics and stay positive.
Our journey is too short for us to people-please our way through life. Minimizing and effectively managing your stress will keep you more buoyant, motivated and happier. This will help you maintain the energy and persistence you need to stick to your goals both in and out of the gym.
Check Your Perspective
Disappointments, failures, pain and unfairness are all a part of life. There’s just no way around that. But how we choose to respond to these situations will shape both who we are and what we accomplish.
Remember that it is both healthy and normal to grieve. It’s vital to process the feelings of disappointment, anger and frustration that arise out of our life circumstances. Make sure that you allow yourself to do that in healthy ways. Whether it’s hiking, painting or fixing up old cars, take time to let yourself heal from pain, disappointment and loss. Pushing those feelings down within yourself can rob you of your ability to connect to others, believe in yourself or remain motivated in various areas of your life.
Take time to evaluate your perspective often. If you feel negativity creeping in or feelings of pain and disappointment lingering too long after the incident, change your perspective. Volunteering your time to help others can help with this. Journaling or talking it through with a friend or mentor can also help you realign your perspective. Don’t allow bad people or situations to dampen your joy, vitality or ability to reach your goals.
Stick With Persistent People
The ‘birds of a feather’ saying is absolutely true. Biblical, even, for my believers out there: “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).
So, what does that mean for building persistence? If you want to live a positive, active life, building courage and persistence to attain the goals you set for yourself, then make sure to spend your time with likeminded people. If you find yourself lacking motivation or a positive attitude, look at the company you keep as well as your own perspective.
Find Your Passion
The truth is, not everyone is a personal trainer. What do I mean by that? Well, for me, fitness has become a way of life. It is one of my deepest passions. But for others, their passions lie elsewhere. When it comes to building persistence to stick to your fitness and nutrition goals, you have to bring your passion into the equation. Basically, remember why you are doing this and how it relates to your passion.
For some people, it’s their family. In that case, they need to remember that being fit will allow them to be more active with their kids and live a longer life with them. For others, it’s their career. They know that staying healthy will give them the energy to pursue their career goals with less stress and more motivation.
Others yet, myself included, find their faith feeds their passion. My belief in God makes me want to honor Him by being the best me I can be. That includes honoring the body that He put me in by feeding it well and taking care of it with regular exercise.
Find what gives you a sense of purpose, joy and peace, and remember how it ties in to your fitness goals. To read more about using your passions to keep you focused, check out my blog post on Fitness & Core Values.
It Takes Time
Managing stress, realigning your perspective, surrounding yourself with motivated people and finding your passion are all important ways to build persistence in your life. But it takes time. Remembering that will help you avoid discouragement, which can also drain your motivation.
Very few people change miraculously overnight. It’s normal to struggle and fall short sometimes. But making small changes in how you approach the difficulties in your life and practicing persistence daily will help you stay on track.