By: SWEAT Trainer Jess Mandac

There is no doubt that staying with a routine, especially one that involves working out and eating healthy, is a challenge (no pun intended ☺). It becomes even more of a challenge when summer officially ends and fall weather rolls around. We are no longer in swimsuits, apple cider donuts are at orchards, pumpkin spiced lattes and beers are back, also, it's football season, and who doesn't love tailgating food? These are just some of the things that can contribute to our lack of motivation to maintain health gains we may have made over the summer.

Trust me, I'm guilty of all of this. We're all human, right, and indulging in a little of these things is not what effects positive results during a health challenge. It's when we lose complete focus on why we started a challenge, specifically this 6 week fall challenge, in the first place.

So, here's some tips on how you can stay motivated and focused for the remainder of this challenge:

  1. Always go back to the primary motive/goal for starting the challenge in the first place: You all have different reasons for why you wanted to participate in this challenge. Gain strength? Lose weight? Eat better? Improve endurance? Fit into your favorite jeans again? Develop a routine? Feel more comfortable working out? Balance your eating? Be happier? Sleep better? Have more energy? Whatever it may be, it doesn't matter, but whenever you're losing that motivation, just check back into why you started.

  2. Set small goals to achieve each week: Tip #1 may be easier said than done and, at times, overwhelming/unattainable. So, set smaller goals each week to obtain in order to work towards your complete end goal. Make sure these are realistic and can be met within a week's time. For example, you'll attend 1 additional class, you'll attempt to lift a slightly heavier weight, you'll perfect a move you've been struggling with, you'll add more greens to your weekly meals, you'll drink 2 more glasses of water per day, things like that. Don't overthink these small goals because ultimately they are bringing you towards your main goal!

  3. Be proud of signing up to participate in the challenge and doing whatever you're able to do while it's going on: Getting the guts and paying to complete a challenge is the toughest part. You have all done that, so be proud of yourselves! We are always our worst critics, so, as much as you can, have positive self-talk. You're not going to feel amazing for every workout. You're not going to  eat healthy every second of every day. You're going to fall off the track a little bit. And, guess what? That's okay and it's necessary! This should just inspire extra motivation within us to turn things back around, and when this happens, don't get down on yourself. Be okay with it, and view the next day differently, knowing that you are giving it your best effort.

  4. Let this challenge be a time to understand that you're working out and eating better all for yourself and no one else. Maybe it took some convincing from a friend, family member, or significant other to participate, but ultimately, you made the decision, so it should not matter what anyone else thinks while you're completing this challenge. Let the fact that you are working on making yourself stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc drive you to stay committed each day.

  5. Although this challenge is all about YOU, find a way to be held accountable so that you can be reminded of the motivation to continue with the challenge. Someone close to you that you feel will not judge you, but only assist you towards your goals could be a great individual to chat with and have them keep you on your toes. Use tracking logs to track your workouts/meals to see your progress over time. Set reminders in your phone with daily motivational quotes. Little things like this to maintain accountability could go a long way.

These tips are not all inclusive and can vary for each person. I understand that everyone is different, and some people need more assistance with motivation than others, and that is absolutely okay! My ultimate hope is that these tips can be there as a guide as you are continuing to cruise through the challenge. Remember that you are on your way to bettering yourself no matter what the outcomes of your InBody assessment is when the challenge is complete. Keep those positive thoughts flowing, and continue to tell yourself, YOU CAN DO IT! Keep up the amazing work!