March is officially underway and the “New Year, New Me!!” hype has died down. So, now is a good time to check back in with yourself on your New Year Evolution goals…how ya doin’ so far this year? Maybe you’ve had a few sticking points? Maybe you’ve completely lost sight of your goals? Or, maybe you’re right on track and fully embracing the process? Slow and steady wins the race.

In this week’s YouTube video I shared my top 5 tips for staying focused on your health and fitness goals. The full video is posted below and in this post, I’m going more in depth on each tip and some actionable steps you can take, starting today.

TIP #1 – Forget about motivation – You might be surprised to hear me say this because so much health and fitness advice is about how to stay motivated. Do a quick search and you’ll see entire articles on “The top 5 ways to stay motivated to workout when you don’t feel like it,” or, “How to stay motivated to eat healthy when you don’t feel like it.” But, that’s the problem…motivation is tied directly to how you’re feeling in that moment or on that day. So, if you’re waiting to “feel like it,” you won’t get much done, at least not consistently because your feelings change every day and sometimes moment to moment. Instead of waiting to feel motivated, focus on your commitment. I love this definition of commitment. That’s such a powerful quote! Commitment trumps motivation every time.

TIP #2 – Build your tribe – You don’t have to go it alone. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone you admire succeeding on his or her own. There’s no shame in reaching out for help at any point in your journey. Maybe you want to work alone but you need a grocery store buddy. Maybe you want a workout buddy or you want to be part of a group fitness class. When you share parts of your journey and your goals with people you trust, your likelihood to stay focused doubles. {Related link – When it comes to fitness, there’s some truth to the old adage ‘strength in numbers.}

TIP #3 – Remember, progress isn’t linear – Your body will respond in various ways to your efforts at different times throughout your journey. Have you ever walked past a mirror and did a double-take at how good your booty looks in those jeans? Maybe you didn’t notice how your body was changing week to week but you did see the change on that day. That’s how progress works and exactly why you have to keep working…because it works if you work it! Some weeks you’ll see a lot of progress and some weeks you might not notice much at all, but every workout and every healthy meal contributes to the bigger picture. Be patient and don’t think of slower progress as failure. If you plan to do this whole fitness thing for life, you have nothing but time.

TIP #4 – You don’t have to be perfect – Use what you have and do with it what you can. Striving for perfection has so many negative outcomes – giving up when you realize perfection isn’t realistic, going hard for too long then falling off when life happens, starting over again and again because you only take action when conditions are perfect (and they never truly are…), thinking fitness is a one-size-fits-all program that has to be done one way or not at all. Inspire yourself by what you can do when things aren’t as perfect as you wish they would be.

TIP #5 – Write it all down – This is how you tie all of these tips together. Write your goals, your progress, your thoughts, triumphs and struggles, etc. Nothing is off limits in your personal journal. Writing leads to clarity. I don’t always know what I’m really thinking until I get it all down on paper. It’s not until I see my thoughts that I can determine whether I’m on track, if my efforts are in alignment with my goals and all the progress I’m making along the way. Writing lists is a great accountability tool, too, because you’d rather check off the things you’ve done than scratch through all the stuff you didn’t do.You can start by writing that powerful definition of commitment.

It’s easy to get stuck on what we think should happen and how we think we have to be in order to reach our fitness goals. We can lose sight of the progress we’re already making, forget to have fun and stop trusting the process. But, when you take a step back and realize that you’re in this for life, you can show yourself and your body some grace, stay focused on reach your goals while setting new ones. It’s possible and now that the New Year hype has died down, it’s time to (re)focus. I hope these mindset tips were helpful – check out the full video below.

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