Success in the fitness world depends on lots of different factors that are variable depending on the individual. Everyone will have their own methods for what keeps them focused and determined to keep working towards their goals, but there are a few factors that are common to most people. By ensuring that you are utilizing these concepts, you will help ensure that you will reach your goals in a productive and pleasurable manner.
1 / Self-Efficacy
This has been shown to be one of the most important factors contributing to success in a workout program. Self-efficacy can be defined as your personal belief that you are in fact capable of performing the behavior or achieving your goal.
For example, someone with high self-efficacy would have confidence in themselves that they will be able to run for 30 minutes if this is what they decide to do. A person scoring low on self-efficacy on the other hand would not believe they were capable of doing this and therefore would most likely not put in the effort to even try. Believing in yourself and your abilities is a huge component in sticking with your exercise program.
2 / Family And Friend Support
Taking up a new exercise regime will require many changes in your daily schedule. You may have to give up some of the responsibilities you previously held in order to find the time to commit to exercising. With a supportive family and friend network, this task will be much easier.
Maybe your husband or wife will take over the role of cooking meals on certain nights of the week so you can stop at the gym on the way home from work, or a friend might be willing to give up your weekly night at the movies for a session of yoga class instead. Whatever the compromise, having these people support your goals will make the whole process much less stressful and easier to complete.
3 / A Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude about your workout program will go along way to helping you stay motivated and committed. When you have positive thoughts regarding exercise, it makes it seem like less of a chore and more of an enjoyable experience to you. If you remain positive at all times, even when you may not be seeing all the results you dreamed of, you will still be able to stay focused and look at how far you have come.
Being able to look at the big picture is a large step in achieving success, as many of the results you gain from exercise are not noticeable right away, therefore this requires a great deal of patience. By staying positive so that you will see results eventually, you won't get discouraged as quickly and drop out.
4 / An Action Plan
The next most important aspect of any workout program or goal for that matter is having an effective action plan. You need to have the means to reach your end and without a detailed account on how you plan on going about obtaining your goals, you will have great difficulty getting there as quickly as you hope.
If you just take a casual approach to your goal, you will most likely waste a lot of time just figuring what steps to take next. By having everything outlined from the beginning you will know where you need to go and in what order. You will also have something to compare your progress to to ensure you are on track with regards to your original plan.
5 / Organizational Skills
Having good organization is very important when you talk about fitness. Everyday life poses many, many challenges to sticking with a workout routine, from meetings, to family emergencies, to less than ideal weather.
You need to be organized enough within your daily life to allow yourself a good deal of time each week to dedicate to fitness and preparing and cooking healthy meals.
If you aren't organized with your time, you will find that other projects keep pushing back your gym appointment and that the drive through looks like a signal sent from god since you have so much work to take home that you can't even think about chopping a vegetable little own cooking a full meal.
A great investment is a daily planner that is large enough for you to schedule all of your tasks in, including your workout. Book your time at the gym in like you would any other appointment. This will ensure nothing steals this time away from you.
6 / Types of Motivation
Intrinsic motivation on the other hand is the type where you are performing the action based strictly on the fact that you love doing it and find a personal satisfaction from doing it. This is more common among athletes (those who are more at the beginner levels and are not playing to win prize money or titles), and those who take up a hobby that they tend to loose themselves in.
Studies have shown that exercisers who exercise for intrinsic motivations are much more likely to stick with their workout program than those who are motivated extrinsically (to fit into a dress for example).
Extrinsic motivation is the type where you are not really doing an activity because you truly love it, but rather because you are being rewarded from an external source. For example, if someone was paying you to work out.
This type of motivation tends to decrease our desire to perform the action since we almost begin to view it as something that has to be done, rather than something we are doing on our own will.
7 / A Reward System
This may seem like a funny point considering what you just read on extrinsic motivation, however having a reward system can be very beneficial. What is important is that the rewards are set by you and have a particular meaning to you. This will keep everything under your control so you won't begin to feel like you are being regulated by someone else (as is usually the case for extrinsic motivation).
By setting small rewards after each step in your plan, you will give yourself something to look forward to and keep yourself motivated to keep pushing onward.
8 / A Role Model
Role models can be very important tools in any type of goal program. By having someone who you look up to, whether it is for their values, their hard work, or how they look, you will be providing yourself with a measure on which to measure yourself with.
Granted, it is not good to measure yourself against everyone you see, as this may make you start to feel inadequate and upset with yourself, but by having one chosen individual who you wish to become more like, you will be able to compare yourself and see what areas you need to improve on and where you have made a great deal of progress.
9 / Knowledge
Having a good knowledge base is critical to putting together any workout program. If you yourself don't know a whole lot about fitness and weight training, consulting a fitness trainer, physical education instructor, or someone who is currently working out and has a great deal of experience with this issue, is a great idea.
On the other hand, if you are more independent, you could take up reading some quality (remember, a lot of information out there is mostly propaganda so you need to be selective in your choices) books, journals, magazines, and online sites such as this one.
You may also which to join a forum, such as the ones offered by bodybuilding.com so you can have some personal interaction with others who share your similar goals and interests. This is a great way to gain some knowledge, meet some new friends, and start a support system.
10 / Other Hobbies And Interests
The final factor that is important in your success is having outside hobbies and interests. While it's important to be truly passionate and dedicated to your fitness routine and diet, if it's really your only interest you will become burnt out very quickly.
You will also tend to ruminate if you are not seeing results as quickly as you had hoped since you will feel as though you are putting all your time and effort into this one endeavor. Having outside interests will help keep your mind fresh and keep you looking forward to each and every one of your workouts.
By taking the time to ensure you include each of these factors into your life before you start an exercise program, you will help to ensure you encounter nothing but success. You will also make yourself less stressed out about the lifestyle changes you are making and everything will run much more smoothly.