penny barnshaw garage fitness girl

How to Smash Your Fitness Goals and Stay Motivated


Most of us have experienced the feeling of being super motivated to achieve a certain fitness goal, only to have that motivation fizzle out a little too quickly. Luckily, there are some small changes you can make that will have a big impact on your motivation levels, and therefore your results! Below I’m sharing my personal 7 tips to stay motivated to achieve your fitness goals.

1. Start small

While it’s fantastic to visualise yourself achieving your ultimate goal when it comes to your health and fitness (there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of positive day dreaming), to actually stay motivated to achieve that ultimate goal, you’ll need to break it down into smaller chunks. 

If you focus only on your end goal, you risk feeling defeated week after week when you haven’t achieved it — even though you’ve probably made great progress! And when you feel defeated, it’s only natural that you’ll give up. 

So how do you break your big goal down into smaller goals? That depends on what you’re actually trying to achieve. If you want to get down to a size 10 but you’re currently a size 16, your first goal would be to get to size 14. If you want to get stronger, you might set a goal to increase the number of push-ups or pull-ups you can do. 

Set yourself up for these small wins. They will help you feel like you’re constantly progressing, which will help you keep the momentum going. 

2. Make it fun

Perhaps you’ve read somewhere that your workout needs to be over 40 minutes long to be effective, but you really can only spare 30 minutes. Or that HIIT is better than cardio, or vice versa, and you don’t know what to do so screw the whole lot. 

Well, I’m here to tell you that any exercise is better than no exercise. Forget all the rules and focus on movement. 

For those who get bored easily, I have several ‘no repeat’ workouts over on my Youtube channel, as well as low impact workouts, 60-minute workouts for those who enjoy the endorphin release from those long, sweaty sessions (yes, these people do exist!). All that and more. 

Ditch the rules, ditch the guilt and move in a way that feels fun for your body. 

3. Make physical activity part of your daily routine

Consistency matters. When it comes to your workouts, schedule them as you would any other important activity. If you’re not at a fitness level where you can workout 5 days a week, that’s OK. Start with 2 or 3 with a view to increasing that as soon as you can. 

But no matter what fitness level you’re at, make sure you’re getting some incidental exercise every day. Moving every day really does make a difference to your overall energy levels, which of course makes you feel more motivated! 

Some suggestions: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take a walk during your lunch break at work. Wrestle the kids. Walk the dogs. Park the car a block away from the shops so you have to walk back to it. You know the drill! 

4. Write it down

Whether you’re hoping to lose weight, or to boost your energy levels, or to smash your own personal best, write it down! Write down your overall goal, and then write down the smaller goals you want to achieve along the way. 

Tick them off as you go and revel in your awesomeness💪.

5. Join forces with others (including me!) 

Invite friends or co-workers to join you when you exercise. It’s so much easier when you’re doing it as a group and motivating each other, even if you’re all doing the same workouts separately, in your own homes! You’re less likely to skip a day when you have to own up to it with your friends. 

Soon, I’ll have my 6 week Fit, Lean and Strong Challenge running (more details below), so you’ll be able to join forces with me, too! 

6. Remember that feeling

After each exercise session, take a few minutes to notice the good feelings that exercise gives you. This trains your brain to create positive associations, so that it starts to crave exercise as a good thing, rather than a hassle. 

Making a habit of taking a few minutes to really savour the internal reward of exercising can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise.

7. External rewards can help, too

I know a lot of people reward themselves for completing an exercise session with food, but that’s not quite what I’m talking about. While I don’t think food is something you should get too worried about (I’m a fan of the 80/20 rule, myself), there are much better ways to reward yourself that won’t undo all your hard work, or create habits you may have trouble breaking later on.  

Some healthy external rewards could include treating yourself by playing your favourite music when you exercise (I don’t talk during my follow-along workouts, so you always have the option to press ‘mute’ if my music isn’t doing it for you, and substituting your own!), or by watching an episode of your favourite TV show post-workout. The more positivity you can build around exercise, the better. 

What external rewards work well for you? Let me know, I’d love to hear about them.  

Now that you know how to stay motivated, let’s get moving! Set your goals, make it fun, pay attention to how good you feel and reward yourself from time to time. If you fall off the wagon, the important thing is to get back up as soon as you can, rather than wasting time beating yourself up about it.

Oh, and one more thing…

For an extra boost of motivation, join my 6-week Fit Lean and Strong Challenge. It starts on January 4th 2021 and finishes on February 14th (yes, just in time for Valentine’s Day 😉💖). It includes workouts 7-days a week to help you get fit, lean and strong, with workouts ranging from 10 minutes through to 60 minutes! The types of workouts we’ll be doing together include HIIT, cardio, strength, Tabata and more. You can workout with me every day if you want an advanced challenge, or set yourself a goal number of workouts to do each week depending on your fitness level. 

The best part is, it’s free to join! Just make sure you’re signed up to my mail list before December 31st so that you get a reminder, plus you’ll get the printable Fit Lean Strong accountability guide that comes with it💪.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Let’s kick some goals in the New Year!

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