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How to Beat the Temptation to Quit

When it comes to exercise quitting always feels like its just around the corner.

People quit things all the time. We quit on our New Year’s resolution within a week. We quit on our fitness goals. Most unfortunately, people quit on themselves.

When things get hard we start looking for the easy way out.  Most of the time that just means giving up. Fighting the urge to quit takes a lot of mental fortitude and energy.

But if you are reading this, the quitting stops now.

It is time to learn how to beat the temptation to quit.

If you ever find yourself hitting a wall as you progress towards your new goal, try some of these tips.  These steps will help you change your mindset and stop you from throwing in the towel.

Set a Goal

In the last article in this series we covered the importance of setting a goal. You know that setting a goal drastically improves your chances of succeeding. In fact, if you don't set a goal you might as well not even try.

Your goal is a target to shoot for and gives you a reason to keep working. It's your lifeline during the tough times.

Focus on the Goal

Daily training is rough on your body and repeat workouts quickly become boring.

When the routine of exercise gets you in a rut just look at the big picture. Focus on why you started in the first place. Nothing about that has changed. The only thing that has changed is that you are farther ahead than you were then.

Find a Mantra

This may sound cheesy but it really does help.

Find something inspirational that you can repeat to yourself over and over again. Whether it's a quote, mantra, motto, verse, whatever, find something that really resonates with you. Post it somewhere you'll see it constantly.

When things start to become tough, dig deep and repeat your mantra.  You will feel that inspiration the mantra gave you when you first read it.

If you're looking for great fitness-related inspirational quotes, we post our favorites daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Slow Down

If each workout seems tougher than the last you may just need to slow down. Or stop entirely! Take a break.

Lots of factors that can cause you to feel bad when you workout but it may just be that you're not fit enough yet.

Thats okay though! Just dial your pace back a bit and keep at it. You will eventually become stronger and faster over time. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!

Lose the Ego

It’s okay to not be the best anymore. I'm looking at you mist or misses former high school track star.

Things change with time... especially if you haven't been training for ten or twenty years. If you try to jump back in where you left off you are in for a rough time.

Pushing to hard to fast can lead to injury and makes the workout harder than it has to be. These are key ingredients to burnout. When getting started just leave the ego at home and realize that your body needs time to get back in to the shape it once was.

It's much easier to beat the temptation to quit when you've beaten the notion you're still 18 years old.

Think Back

I bet this isn’t the first time you wanted to give up. No doubt it won't be the last either.

That might not be something you want to brag about but you can use that experience to your advantage. Think about another time you wanted to give up but didn't. Remember how great that felt to persevere and push through.

You also know that if you were able to overcome the challenge then you can do it again now. Knowledge is power and you know you can win!

Think Ahead

Almost nothing is worse than thinking about how much further you have to go. It's daunting to imagine every step left in your run.

Instead of thinking about the big pictures give yourself mini-goals. Focus on just the next mile or even just on reaching the next tree or mail box. When you get there choose the next mini-goal.

The key is that when you reach that point you don't stop! Keep going towards the next one.

Get a Coach

Many people simply can't do it on their own. Going solo is way tougher than having support. If you've tried going it alone, or know that's not for you, get a coach.

A coach will not only help develop your training plan but will also encourage you and keep you accountable. If they hear you talk down to yourself they'll motivate you. If you miss a session they'll call you out on it.

Coaches are invaluable resources to help get you where you want to go.

Some is Better than None

No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.

It may sound cheesy but it’s true!  Never break yourself down with negative thinking or discouragement when you are working hard.

If nothing else you are outside, expending energy, and putting forth effort.  That's more than that couch potato can say.

Mind Over Matter

Once you begin exercising there will be many times where quitting seems like a good idea. You will be tired, most likely sore, and will wonder whether or not all this effort is even worth it.

When this happens just stop and reflect.  Think about how far you have come, how much you have accomplished, and why you started in the first place.

You must understand that training is as much a test of the mind as it is the body.  You have to prepare your mind to push through when your body says it has had enough and conquer that little voice inside your head.  It is in your mind that you will find the strength to beat the temptation to quit.

There is no quick or easy fix to lose weight, get back in shape, or get faster. It will take a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication, and a lot of focus. But you can do it.

Just always remember that you are capable of a lot more than you think!