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Monday, October 22, 2012

Challenge Yourself! by guest blogger Lauren LaLonde

Is a pesky lack of motivation keeping you from regular physical activity? It might be time to try a goal-oriented approach. For some people, an important end result to work toward can provide that extra drive needed to throw on those gym shoes and get out the door. If this sounds like you, read on!

Figure out what you would ultimately love to accomplish.
Do you want to aim for a certain running time or distance? Cycle 20 miles? Complete a 5k? Learn a dance? Become a yoga instructor? Be able to do the splits? Pick one thing that you think is achievable, and come up with a reasonable timetable for it.

Commit to a challenge or event.
If it’s an event you’re training for, sign up and tell people about it so that you’re motivated to stick with it. Charity walks/runs are especially good for this, as you’re making a commitment to people who donate money to your cause.

If you’re not training for a specific event, try to come up with other motivational tools, such as working with a friend to meet the same goal or finding an activity-specific local group or online community where you can share your progress and seek encouragement.

Here are just a few fun goal ideas:

Work at it!
Schedule some time each week to train, and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Set mini goals along the way. Stay positive, even if you’re struggling or you miss a day; you’re still ultimately working toward something rewarding for both your brain and your body.

Reward yourself.
Regardless of whether you meet your goal or not, you deserve a pat on the back for your effort. Reward yourself along the way with a new outfit, a trip to the movies, a haircut, a chair massage, or whatever will keep you happy and motivated. And if you meet your goal, it’s time to set a new one!