Sometimes, especially around this time of year, it is hard to get back into an exercise routine. Motivation is one of the main factors that contribute to exercise adherence and increased physical activity. Here are just some strategies anyone can easily implement:
- SMART Goals
Goal setting is designed to motivate individuals to achieve something of personal interest. These goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. By creating goals that adhere to the “SMART” principle, the achievement of personal milestones becomes more attainable.
- Reinforcement and Feedback
On your way to achieving your goals, it is important to become aware of your progress. This can be accomplished by self-monitoring and measuring your improvements, rewarding good behavior or improved progress and receiving feedback from external supports. Through these strategies we can successfully continue to self-motivate and increase compliance to exercise.
- Social Supports
Some find that exercising with a friend, family member or simply in a group environment, increases adherence to exercise. By joining a group class or exercising with a partner, the individual becomes accountable to others for their participation. This accountability manifests itself from the individual feeling they have made a personal commitment to others with similar goals and vice versa. For those that may find exercise on it’s on a little mundane or uninteresting, the social experience of participating with others can also provide a more enjoyable and socially stimulating environment for increased physical activity.