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Setting fitness goals to finally get in shape and feel healthy is easy but finding the right diet and workout routine that will get you there is where most of us struggle.

Without quick, easy-to-see results to keep you moving, sticking with your goals can be a huge challenge. But maybe the issue isn’t just with our bodies, but also our minds.

Mental motivation plays a significant role in achieving any goal. If you want to maintain your success and avoid weight cycling, you’ll need to find a way to get your brain on board. Especially when it’s biologically difficult to keep weight off.

If you’re looking to change the way you think about your health, here are five tactics to help you take a mental approach at your fitness goals.

Set smaller goals and be lenient

One of the biggest problems people tend to have with fitness goals is the all-or-nothing mindset. It’s easy to tell ourselves that three times a week we’ll go for a run or hit the gym after work. But after several missed days, frustration kicks in and the goal is lost entirely.

To avoid frustration and self-doubt, begin with smaller goals. For example, tell yourself, “I will go to the gym and walk for 10 minutes.” You could go even smaller. Whatever you need to do just to get yourself moving.

Also, show yourself a little kindness. It doesn’t make you a failure to miss a day or two because sometimes that’s just how life goes

View your fitness goals as long-term positive life decisions

Rather than visualizing a version of yourself that is thinner or more muscular, visualize a version of yourself that is healthier and bound to live a longer, happier life. Health is not about the number on the scale. Improving your health is about improving your quality of life.

In fact, improving your health and fitness routine isn’t to your benefit, alone. Your family and loved ones will also benefit from these positive changes. Like getting a life insurance policy, improving your physical wellbeing is a great way to show your family that you’ll do whatever it takes to keep your family strong.

Health is not about the number on the scale. Improving your health is about improving your quality of life.

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Keep track of how changes in diet affect your wellbeing

No two bodies are the same. It only makes sense that not everyone will respond to diets the same way, either. Don’t stick with a diet plan that isn’t working because other people saw positive results from implementing it in their own lives.

Think of finding the right meal plan for you as solving a puzzle. It’s a trial-and-error process and you may not be able to see the whole picture at first, but that doesn’t mean you should give up.

For example, let’s say you try cutting carbs out of your diet for a few weeks. Is it helping you to reach your weight loss goals? Do you feel more energized than before?

If not, it might be time to try something new, which is perfectly okay. Immediate results are not as important as finding something that will work for you for years to come.

Seek a routine that brings you joy

If your fitness routine doesn’t bring you joy, then try finding a new one. It’s a lot harder to stick to goals when the routine brings us existential dread.

We’ve all heard the term “runner’s high.” It refers to the stimulation of feel-good neurotransmitters, which occurs when we increase our heart rate through cardiovascular exercise.

The thing is, you don’t have to run to get an extra rush of endorphins! If you don’t enjoy running, try another form of cardiovascular exercise. Hop on a bicycle, jump in a pool, or sign up for a dance class.

Your fitness goals don’t have to revolve around improving one specific skill or action. You can adjust the types of physical activities you engage in as much as you want in order to keep yourself happy and motivated.

Don’t neglect emotional wellness

Issues with health and weight don’t stem from a poor diet or inactive lifestyle, exclusively. Emotional unrest or mental health issues can also contribute to health problems like high blood pressure and respiratory issues. Incorporate practices that encourage self-reflection and boost mental wellness into your health routine.

Plus, sticking with any routine can be difficult when you’re not feeling well emotionally. It’s common for mental health issues like anxiety and depression to cause negative self-talk. This could range from, “Why bother?” to, “I’m not good enough at this.”

Adjusting to a new routine is hard enough as it is without being disrupted by our own minds. Work on your emotional wellness so that positive self-talk becomes second nature and you can be your own biggest cheerleader.

Be proud of yourself for taking steps in the right direction

When you’re setting health and fitness goals, it’s important that you let yourself have small victories. Start with congratulating yourself for taking your life into your own hands by making a positive change!

And why stop there? You can continue to take steps in the right direction by investing in a life insurance policy. Life insurance is essential to keep your family’s life in balance and save them from having to leave behind the future you’re helping them shape today. Get your free life insurance quotes now.

About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Greg Lewerer

Director of Creative Strategy

Greg is Quotacy’s Director of Creative Strategy. He has an eclectic past from working on movie scripts to creating ad campaigns for major brands. His love of creative solutions drove him to strategy, and he now uses his powers to help families protect their loved ones. Outside of work, Greg spends his time off the grid hunting, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, and walking his dogs.