Author: Greg Yau
This one is the simplest yet most important thing you can do to make sure you have the right motivation to workout. Set goals for yourself.
However, set goals that actually motivate you, pay attention to how and what goals you are setting for yourself. Below are a few criterion that your goals should meet:
Set smaller milestones that help you reach your final goal - It is important that you have a big, ambitious goal that you aim to achieve in the long run, but it is also important that you break them down into smaller goals to keep yourself motivated. For example, if at the start of a new year, your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight by the end of the year, break that number down so you have a concrete sense of how much weight you want to lose every month, or even every week.
Make sure your goals are measurable and have a time limit - The best way to measure your progress is by using objective numbers. For example, if you are a runner, setting a concrete mile time or 5k time will help you better understand what you are trying to achieve. It is also beneficial to put a time limit on your goals. Set a date by which you aim to achieve your goals.
Be flexible. Don't be too hard on yourself - A reason why many people give up on their fitness routine is that they set goals that are simply too hard to follow and too easy to break. And once that routine has been broken and motivation levels are low, it gets even more difficult to get back on. Be flexible. Understand that you will have days where you simply can't workout or follow your diet, but even then, you will get back on track afterward.
Don't try to focus on too much at once - Don't set too many goals in different areas at once. You will end up getting too worked up and not being able to focus on your actual goals.
Be realistic - This one is quite similar to criteria 3. Don't set goals that are hard to follow, because when you find out that you might not be able to reach your goal, you will lose all motivation, and all that hard work will be put to waste. Aim just a bit lower at first, then gradually tweak your goals.