asian young woman warm body stretching

It’s time for a mid-year check! How have you been doing on the fitness goals you set out to do at the start of the year? After the holidays, we get so caught up in post-feasting regret and resolution-making that we tend to create overly ambitious fitness aspirations. While dreaming is always a good thing, it becomes a different story when reality — like work schedule and the sheer effort of exercise — kicks in. We then get overwhelmed, discouraged, and thrown off.

If you’re serious about coming through on your health resolutions, however, there are ways to stay motivated until you’ve reached your target.

Start Now

Many people put off accomplishing their fitness goals to the new year, after their birthday, or some other delayed date, but why postpone the inevitable? Starting as soon as possible will give you fewer chances to create excuses and procrastinate. Believe you can do it, and you will!

Make a Measurable Plan

It’s easy to say you want to finish a triathlon or gain muscle mass by the end of the year, but how exactly do you plan on going about those fitness goals? Unless you’re an experienced triathlete, you can’t suddenly decide to run 10 kilometers at the drop of a hat. If you’re coming off a sedentary lifestyle, it would be unsafe for you to jump into super strenuous activity immediately.

Define what you want to achieve. 

Do you want to lose weight, get stronger, or both? Do you want to reach a certain Body Mass Index or just an exercise groove, like hitting 10,000 steps a day? Your goal should be as specific as the measures you’ll take to reach them.

List concrete but not time-based targets.

Break down your fitness plan into manageable steps. For example, start with a daily 30-minute walk. When that becomes too easy, up the difficulty to a 30-minute power walk. Soon, you’ll be able to progress to a jog and then a run.

Don’t fall into the trap of being exceedingly scheduled. For instance, don’t pressure yourself into being able to do 1,000 push-ups by Week 3. Push your body, but listen to it as well. Every physique is different.

Play to your strengths.

Let’s be honest. Exercise can be a drag, but the right mindset can help you overcome that barrier. Being fit doesn’t mean you have to pump some iron. If you’re athletic, try a sport, like swimming or Frisbee. If you’re competitive, challenge your partner to a game of squash or badminton. These sports are known for whipping you into shape without feeling like a workout.

If you like sightseeing, opt for hiking, rock climbing, or cycling. Flexible? There’s , Barre, or Pilates. Music lover? Enroll in dance or spinning class. If you don’t have a lot of time, try a short but intense HIIT program.

Whatever type of you choose, the important thing is that you’re doing something. Your body will get so used to moving that eventually, you’ll crave physical exertion no matter what it is.

Sleep Well, Wake Up Early

This is certainly easy enough advice, but people usually underestimate the role sleep plays in fitness. Having adequate rest will give you the energy to execute your daily physical activity, but more than that, lack of sleep has been scientifically proven to cause unprecedented weight gain. The study “Association between Reduced Sleep and Weight Gain” published in the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that sleep loss not only slows down , people also tend to overcompensate for the lack of energy with more food.

Researchers from Universidade Federal de São Paulo in Brazil also learned that sleep debt causes muscle loss and slows down the body’s recovery rate.

Here’s a tip: sleep early and wake up early. Even an extra half an hour is enough time to squeeze in a . This way, you won’t fall back on the “I don’t have time” excuse.

An early-morning exercise regimen will keep you alert and energized for the rest of the day. Match that feeling with the Dove Go Fresh Cucumber & Green Tea Body Wash, which is perfect to use during a post-workout shower. Apart from washing away the traces of your efforts, this refreshing and hydrating body wash nourishes skin, with NutriumMoisture technology. As an extra treat, reward your skin with Vaseline Healthy Bright Fresh & Bright Cooling UV Niacinamide Body Lotion. This Vaseline cooling lotion has menthol that will help you feel fresh long after your workout.

Push the Finish Line Every time You Get Close

The best way to accomplish a major fitness goal is to break it down into less intimidating micro-goals. You can also use this trick to challenge yourself further.

Think of a baby who is learning to walk. As they’re about to reach their parent’s arms, the parent widens the distance to see if they could take another step.

Apply this as you’re setting goals. When you’re about to hit that coveted 10K finish line, see if your body can make it to 11k. Doing 10K is an amazing accomplishment, but it wouldn’t hurt to check if you can go further. If you don’t, then you can try again next time. 

By the time you’ve ticked off your objectives, your mind would be trained to see fitness not as a one-off task but as a lifelong commitment.

Find a Support System

Keep yourself accountable by surrounding yourself with people who will encourage, and maybe even join, your newfound commitment. Make them aware of your goals as well as your concrete plans, so they can keep you in check—whether it’s reminding you to drink more water every day or helping you train for a marathon.

Ready to make good on the fitness goals that you’ve been putting off? Stop waiting and start now! You know what to do.