The New Year is upon us and if you are like most people you are in the process of making resolutions about things that you are going to change in the New Year.

The problem with resolutions is not when we make them, it’s do we keep them. In the December and January months being motivated is easy but what happens in March?

Motivation is a tricky thing that many people struggle with, especially during that time of year. Regardless of what your goals are, motivation is a daily task. Half way through the year, many people have given up on their goals and have already decided to just wait until next January to set new goals. I have had many clients successfully reach goals and more importantly maintain or exceed their goals through out each and every month. In this article I hope to share some insight and ideas of how you can stay motivated and focus to reach the goals that you set for yourself.

First you have to decide what your goals are and why they are important to you. Next, you will want to put those goals in writing and keep it posted somewhere you will see it every day. You can get as creative as you want with this; I once made a vision board with all my goal triathlon and races posted on it with my goal times. You just need a daily reminder of what your goals are and the more visually inspiring it is, the more likely you will look at it. When I first decided to compete in Ironman Kentucky I had photographs of champion triathletes on my vision board along with my goal time.

One of the hardest things about keeping goals and staying motivated is that it is a daily battle. Day in and day out when you are tired and burned out, you still have to work toward that goal. Many people give up because they let their head get in the way and over think things. That is when it is time to go back to the WHY do you want this and WHY it is important to you.

So let’s look at the different motivational tools and ideas you can also use for fitness, weight loss and building strength.

If your goal is weight loss you can post pictures of yourself each month showing progress for motivation. You can use Pinterest to pin motivational sayings each day with a daily workout. You can buddy up with a friend to workout with to help hold you accountable. Also, along those lines you can grocery shop with a friend or trainer so you are not tempted to buy bad foods. Make your goals public so you cannot back out so easily. Wake up early to work out and make meals before the day gets away from you. Plan, plan, plan. You should know what you are eating for the entire week and when you are working out. It is difficult to be successful without a plan.

Use your kids for motivation by having them do simple walk/runs or basic exercise with you like doing burpies. Teach them how to cook and let them participate so it becomes fun. Let them be a trainer and tell you to do jumping jacks, squats and lunges. Maybe you have a baby or toddler, hold them while doing squats and crunches and kiss them while doing push-ups. Pay yourself $1 for each workout you do and use that money for a massage or pedicure or new outfit. Have a contest with your spouse or friend. Get creative and have fun with the process.

For those of you who are setting racing goals for running or triathlons some of these same ideas may work for you. One of the struggles is getting up early day after day to get in those important workouts at a threshold pace. It can be very exhausting so staying motivated takes constant focus. You want to take each workout as they come without stressing over race day. Training for a big race is a process and you have to really want to do it and have some intrinsic motivation. Having friends or a training group is one of the best things to keep you motivated. Print a picture of the finisher medal and put that on your mirror as a reminder of the accomplishment you are training for. Get a coach to help you write a plan and hold you accountable on those cold, rainy days you want to sleep in.

Make sure you set short term and long term goals. Celebrate your short term wins and refocus if you have a short term loss. For those goals that could take 6+ months, you have to make a decision in the beginning that you are willing to give it everything you have for the next 6-12 months of your life. It is something you have to really want and are willing to stick with on good days and bad days because you will have both and whether you succeed depends on how you overcome those bad days.

I hope this inspires you to dream big and set huge goals for 2014!

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