How to Become Grittier and Stick with Your Fitness Goals

Updated: Feb 4

We've all done it: started out with a big, aspirational #health or #fitness goal, only to get overwhelmed and quit before making any headway.


Maybe you begin full of determination, but before long, life gets in the way. One missed #workout turns into two. The deadline to sign up for that race you were so excited about comes and goes.


Before long, you're making excuses about why the goal wasn't realistic in the first place. And while it's easy to become disappointed in yourself and resign yourself to just not being #motivated enough, the problem isn't actually your motivation. The problem is your lack of grit.


The good news? You can become grittier and the type of person who crushes every fitness goal.


WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE A GRIT


Gritty people have persistence, ambition, and self-discipline in the pursuit of big goals that might take months, years, or even decades to accomplish.


In terms of health and fitness, the targets could be making fitness an integrated part of your lifestyle and your identity, chipping away at long-term strength or skill goals, or working toward mastery in a specific sport or activity.


Of course, grit doesn't apply only to our biggest long-term fitness goals. We also need plenty of grit to accomplish smaller goals and develop habits, such as stretching for ten minutes before bed every night, getting in your daily 10,000 steps, or when working toward a challenging skill like pull-ups or handstands.


Essentially, you have to have a certain amount of grit to stick with any goal.


HOW TO GROW YOUR GRIT


The good news is that grit isn't something we have or don't have - it's a skill that can be learned and trained over time. There are several logical steps you can take to go about increasing your fitness grit #muscle.


Step 1: Get passionate about a goal


The first step in the grit-building process is to find something you care enough about to stick with for an extended period. After all, why waste time being gritty on something that doesn't really matter to you?


This step is easier said than done since most people don't actually start out knowing what they're truly passionate about. The key is to experiment as much as possible. Take classes, try new activities, or join an intramural sports league with a friend. Ideally, you'll stick with your new activity for at least six months, or long enough to see progress before deciding whether to move on to something new. Try to enjoy the process of discovery and not put too much pressure on yourself.


Step 2: Seek out knowledge to help you improve


Once you're clear about your long-term goal, the next step is to seek the necessary knowledge to improve. This can be in the form of books, #OnlinePrograms, classes, in-person #coaching, #workshops, etc.


The trick here is to not overload yourself with too much high-level knowledge too early on, since doing so can leave you in a state of overwhelm and may lead to you quitting before you even start. Aim to break your long-term goals into small, manageable steps that steadily progress toward your larger goal. This will help you stay motivated to take action without being too overwhelmed about the big picture.


For example, if you decide to make a goal of being able to do a pull-up, you might first read a few articles on the progressions, then choose to either follow an online program or work with a personal #trainer to help you reach your goal.


Step 3: Connect it to a larger purpose or higher value


Another key piece of increasing grit is to connect your goal to a larger purpose related to your higher values. In terms of your own health and fitness, this may be as simple as connecting your goal to your higher value of living a #healthy, active life.


For example, every time you push yourself through a difficult workout, you might take a moment to think about how today's workout will help you keep up with your grandchildren or stay independent when you're older. Connecting your smaller #goal to a larger purpose makes it much more likely you'll stick with your goals when things get hard (and they will!)


Step 4: Track and adjust


As much as we would all like to experience smooth, linear progress toward our goals, that's not how the process works. The key to constant improvement is to work on both your #strengths and your #weaknesses slowly become your strengths. This takes practice.


One way to ensure continued motivation is to make sure to track your progress using either a written or electronic journal or app (Fleek App can be downloaded from the links given here:

and to celebrate small wins along the way. Holding a wall handstand for a few seconds more than yesterday or doing one more rep than you did last week may not feel like much now, but will add up big time, long-term. Celebrate your win and keep going.


Remember that grit is a skill, just like anything else. The more you work to build it, the more you'll realize that you've become the type of person that can stick with the most difficult challenges and crush any goal you put your mind to.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Krista is the author of The 12-Minute Athlete: Get Fitter, Faster, and Stronger Using HIIT and Your Own Bodyweight and a leading fitness and mindset expert. She is the founder of 12 Minute Athlete and the 12 Minute Athlete App as well as a writer, Tv guest/host, and motivational speaker.

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