20 Ways to Keep You on Track!

When I started my fitness journey five years ago, I learned a lot through research, a personal trainer, and trial and error. I learned about nutrition, different workouts and how to stay motivated.

It can be easy to veer off track from your goals with excuses, creating obstacles for yourself, and knowing where to start. I’ve created a list of tips to help keep you on track to succeed in living a healthier life!

  1. Don’t Wear Excuses

One of the things I realized early on in my fitness journey is to wear clothing that is easy to change out of and into workout clothes. If I wore too many layers or clothing that was difficult to change out of on days I planned to work out, I was less likely to do it. Even if the clothing was too comfortable.

Living in Minnesota, it can sometimes be difficult to even think about changing out of your nice warm clothes, let alone, going outside. It sounds so weird but sometimes, you are just looking for an excuse not to workout.

So, if you are like I was, do not give yourself the obstacle. Something as simple as the clothing you choose to wear in a day, can give you just the obstacle you are looking for. Choose clothing that is easy to change out of quickly. Who wants to spend 40 minutes a day changing in and out of the same clothes anyway!

  1. Use Butter

I was listening to a podcast one day and they had a guest speaker who was a natural nutritionist. The nutritionist explained that butter is not as bad for you as many people make it out to be.

Butter is usually not a very processed food, there for, your body can easily process it. She explained that using butter makes your food taste good and if your healthy foods taste good, than you are more likely to eat it! This boggled my mind but when I heard it, it made so much sense, she was so right!

So, use butter, in moderation of course, because what better way to enjoy the healthy foods you eat than for them to taste delicious!

  1. Do Things You Love

Exercise how you love to exercise! No one ever said you had to lift weights, go to the gym or run 15 miles on the treadmill. There are many different forms of exercise.

There are classes at the gym, at home workout videos, various exercises you can find on Pinterest, play a game of basketball or going for a bike ride. Whatever exercise you like to do, do it!

Anything to get your heart rate up and your body moving is exercise, so find a method that works for you. Not all exercises are the same, so just pick one that you love. You are a lot more likely to continue with it if you enjoy what you are doing!

  1. Wear What You Love

Since I love fashion and shopping, buying workout clothes is like a treat to myself. Especially, when you get to buy new ones because your old ones no longer fit! I have always loved buying a new pair of tennis shoes, a new pair of workout pants or a new shirt.

It reminds me of when I was in grade school. Each year, before the new year school year, I would get to go shopping for new clothes. I could not wait to wear those brand new clothes to school! What a great way to motivate yourself to workout!

Find workout clothing that make you feel great about yourself and expresses your style. There are so many to choose from, wear what you love!

  1. Set Yourself up for Success

Have a night of the week, or even the night before, to prepare healthy meals and snacks that are easy to grab in a hurry. If you are a breakfast person like me, it is nice to have pre-made breakfast sandwiches in the freezer to warm up or some overnight oats. This way, when you are running out the door in the morning you can easily grab your breakfast and/or lunch.

You do not want to give yourself an excuse to skip breakfast or go out to eat for lunch since you did not have time to make one. I also like to have the pre-made salads from the store or a salad kits in the fridge for the week. I have learned that keeping prepared meals in the freezer are must more enjoyable and keep fresh longer!

And when it comes to your workout clothes, same idea, pick your workout clothes out the night before and have your workout bag ready to grab and go. This ensures that you have what you need, when you need it, no excuses!

  1. Hold Yourself Accountable

Many people need goals or people to hold them accountable. We are much more likely to succeed when we have a plan and a goal. When I first started my weight loss journey I took pictures, weighed myself and took my body measurements.

I know many people will tell you to stay off the scale but for me, I love getting on the scale to see that pound that I lost, it is what motivated me the most! I also often talk with my husband about the different workouts I am doing, it is a great way for us to connect over fitness and in some ways holds each other accountable.

  1. Get Enough Sleep

One excuse that is often used is feeling too tired to workout, believe me I know, I have used it many times! Getting enough sleep not only gives you the energy you need to workout but there are a tons of health benefits from it also. Do not give yourself the excuse of being too tired.

You will likely have more energy after a workout than you did before, so the excuse really has no logic. When you start moving your body, those endorphins will do the work for you and once you get into your routine, you will gain even more energy and feel great.

  1. Just Do It

When I first started my fitness journey, people would often ask me how I motivated myself to workout and stay on track. Besides the fact that I become obsessed with things once I set my mind on them, my main answer is, just do it!

I like to think the creator of the famous phrase, by Nike, was in this same mindset. Seriously though, just do it! The less you think about it, the more likely you will be to workout and eat healthier foods. Because, when you are focused on your goals, you do not have time to think of excuses, you are too busy figuring out how to reach them!

  1. Don’t Forget Your Headphones

When I workout, a must have is music. Working out without music is not my cup of coffee! I use the Pandora app and listen to my music for free. They have so many different playlists so you are sure to find a playlist that gets you motivated.

A few of my favorite playlists are Sexy and I Know It Radio, Fitness Today’s Hip Hop and Pop Hits, and Pop Fitness Radio. I also love the Thumbnail Radio feature they have, which combines your favorite songs and similar songs into a playlist for you. Do not forget your headphones because it is not fun having to workout without music!

  1. Go Now

When you are feeling motivated to workout, do it then. Even as you read this list, if you are feeling motivated, put this aside and go workout!

I cannot tell you how many times I have been motivated to workout and yet I tell myself “I will just go later” and I never do! When you feel motivated go, there is no better time like the present. This list will still be here when you get back.

  1. Get in a Routine

I love routines in my daily life; they keep me on track, especially when it comes to fitness because it gives me less of an excuse not workout. The less you think about it the more likely you are to go because it is just what you do.

Try to workout at the same time each day. I believe having a routine is one of the most important things that helps keep me on track. Although, make sure to allow yourself some flexibility here too, so if something comes up at your regular workout time, you do not give yourself an excuse for why you cannot go. If you have a something at that time, try to workout before. It is better to check it off your list before the meeting than to push it off and then not end up going at all.

  1. Focus on your Goal

One of the hardest things, is to say no when your husband asks you to pick delicious food up on your way home. Or, when you hear that there are free donuts in the breakroom at work. Indulging every once in a while is fine, in moderation, but I once worked for a company that had free food in the breakroom multiple times a week.

There is no need to indulge that much. I am a big sucker for anything free or a good deal, and I love food in general so, believe me, I understand that this can be hard! Instead, try to keep healthy snacks on you and focus on your end goal to not get off track.

Going out to eat can be fine too when done in moderation, along with the food choices you make while you are out. Restaurants, and even fast food places these days, have many different healthy options that still taste delicious but will not ruin the hard work you have put in for the week. Which brings me to my next point…

  1. Portions, Portions, Portions

Even if you are eating the healthiest diet, if you are eating huge portions you may not see the results that you feel you should. This can be very discouraging and make it a lot harder to stay on track when you are not seeing your hard work pay off.

A few tips I learned are to use a smaller plate to trick your mind into thinking you are eating more food, it sounds weird, but it works. You can eat whatever you want, in moderation, based on your activity level, it’s about calorie intake vs. calories burned. I read once to eat 40% vegetables, 40% protein, and 20% carbs/starch. Try to drink a glass of water before each meal, it helps your body think it is full faster. Eat your vegetables first, this way, if you get full before you finish your meal, then the healthy food is already in your body.

  1. Stay Away From Zero Calorie Flavored Water

Water is important and you should drink as much as you can! Flavored zero calorie water on the other hand, in my experience at least, is not the best choices. Even though you may be getting your daily water intake, which is very important, it can increase your appetite, at least for me it does. When I drink flavored water, I tend to eat more often. Luckily, I am one of those people who truly enjoys drinking regular water, so I am fortunate in this case. If you do not enjoy regular water, maybe try adding berries to or lemon to your water.

However, the same concept I explained above about butter, goes for flavored water. If you only like flavored water, it is better to drink that than not drink water at all. Just be aware of the possible affect that it can have. I rarely drink calories, besides my coffee, which I have never given up. To me, drinking calories has never been worth the hard work I have put in.

  1. Protein Powder and Pre-Workouts

From the beginning, I would always drink a protein shakes. They are one of the best ways to help you to get the amount of protein you need in your daily intake. They can taste delicious when you buy ones that are good quality.

I used to buy protein powder at the local store but my husband introduce me to Bodybuilding.com instead. They have a variety of different types and flavors along with many other items. Now we only purchased our protein powder from their website. It is amazing how much you can tasted the difference in quality and they always seem to have a deal going on on their website.

It is also a great place to buy pre-workout. I personally never use a pre-workout since I never really felt that it helped but some people, like my husband, swear by them. It gives them the extra enery boost they need to get a good workout in.

  1. Get a Workout Buddy, or Don’t

For many people, a workout buddy is extremely helpful! It holds people accountable by forcing them to go workout and it is fun for them to share the experience with someone else. It is also nice to have that extra set of hands to help spot for you with larger weights. For me, it is the opposite.

When I had a gym buddy, I spent more time talking than I did working out. It also took time away when we would use the same equipment since we had to wait in-between sets. Since I workout during my lunch hour at work, I have very limited time so any time spent talking or waiting on others is considered wasted time to me. In addition, if they could not workout that day or did not feel motivated to go, I would not go either. It was fun for awhile but was too much of a distraction.

I prefer to get in, get out and be on with my day. Just find what works best for you because it is your journey and if a workout buddy will help you stay on track it might be the best thing for you.

  1. Take Continued Progress Photos

When I first started my fitness journey, I took before pictures to be able to see where I started with my body. I planned to take an end photo once I hit my goal, I never did.

Why, because when is the end, you never really know when you are going to stop working out, and hopefully you won’t. I ended my fitness journey about five pounds from my end goal weight simply because I was satisfied with the way I looked. I never took the picture because I never hit my “goal”.

My advice is, take the before, middle, and continue to take the photos. Take photos every three months, or however long in between you would like. Progress photos can be extremely motivating, especially when they are of yourself and show the results of your hard work. They are also nice to have if you veer off the path, you can always look back for continued motivation!

  1. Download an App

I am not one for counting calories or following macros but I do believe in keeping track of what you eat, for sure in the beginning. It helps hold you accountable for what you are putting into your mouth.

Early on, I downloaded the app, My Fitness Pal. It is a free app where you can track your food and various other things. I only used it for the food information. With the app you can scan nutrition labels, track your daily food intake, find recipes, count calories, and search for nutrition information on foods that you would not necessarily know the nutrition of normally. Do you know how many calories are in an apple? Neither do I, which is why I have the app.

When you track your food through the app, you can also set a daily calories goal. It automatically subtracts your food calories from your daily limit and keeps track of your macros as well. It is also useful to ensure you are eating enough calories so your body does not go into starvation mode. You can even enter in your own recipes to keep track of a serving size, how cool right! It is a very helpful tool to utilize, especially when you are starting out!

  1. Buy Good Shoes

If you will be running, walking or jogging for your cardio make sure to buy good shoes! I prefer the brand, ASICS for running or I currently have a pair of Nike’s that I love. Good shoes vary a lot for each person since we all have different feet and arches. Make sure to do a little research on the type of feet you have and make sure to buy shoes that are good for your feet.

A good way to know if the shoes are going to work for you, is to go into the store and try them on. Ask an associate for help, many times, they are very knowledgeable on the products they sell. Having the right shoes for your feet can save you a lot of money and pain!

  1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Lastly but the most important! Do not beat yourself up! If you miss a workout, do it tomorrow. If you eat a burger, eat a healthier option for your next meal. The beauty of having a healthy fitness journey, instead of a diet, is that you can always start again and not feel bad for living your everyday life.

Choosing one healthy meal is a win in my book because it is one less burger I would have eaten otherwise. Any healthy choice is a good one, even if the healthy choice is followed by a less healthy choice later.

Two of my favorite fitness quotes are “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” and “There is no better time like the present.” They are both completely true! Start putting yourself first and start loving the body you have because you only get one, so why not love it! Love it for the way it looks, as always, but also, for the way it makes you feel, both your mind and body!

When I first started getting into fitness, I remember people saying how working out made them feel so great. I never really understood the phrase, even after I started working out. I always thought they meant their actual physical bodies, I later realized that they were not necessarily talking about their “body” but their mind.

What I do understand, and always have, is that after a workout, you feel pretty darn great because you did something good for yourself! You know that what you just did was good for it. You treated yourself well. When you start putting yourself first, and start to focus on loving yourself, that is what feels great, that is what makes your hard work feel so amazing! You feel proud of what YOU just did for YOU!!

Here’s the list again:

  1. Don’t Wear Excuses
  2. Use Butter
  3. Do Things You Love
  4. Wear What You Love
  5. Set Yourself up for Success
  6. Hold Yourself Accountable
  7. Get Enough Sleep
  8. Just Do It
  9. Don’t Forget Your Headphones
  10. Go Now
  11. Get in a Routine
  12. Focus on your Goal
  13. Portions, Portions, Portions
  14. Stay Away From Flavored Water
  15. Protein and Pre-Workout
  16. Get a Workout Buddy, or Don’t
  17. Take Continued Progress Photos
  18. Download an App
  19. Buy Good Shoes
  20. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to your fitness journey? Did you have a favorite tip from this list? I would love to hear it!

xoxo – Katie

(I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies or brands listed in this post. I simply enjoy the products they have and sell!)

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.” – Unknown

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