How to stay motivated
So how can you get started? This section helps you think about your motivations for being more active and helps you plan how to begin.
It asks questions to get you thinking. You might find it helpful to write down your answers so that you have a plan you can look back at. Why not share your plan with your family or friends so that they can support you?
On this page:
Why do I want to get more active?
Think about the reasons you want to become more active.
‘I want to get back to doing things I used to enjoy’ or ‘I want to improve how I feel’.
Write down your top three reasons.
How might life be different if I become more active?
- What good things could happen if I become more active? How might I feel? What activities might I be able to do that I can’t do now?
- What would life be like if I don’t become more active?
How can I become more active?
- What activities would you like to try?
- How could you reduce the amount of time you spend sitting?
Make a commitment
Make a pledge to yourself, saying why you want to be more active. Write it down:
“I, (your name), commit to becoming more active so that I can…”
You could place this commitment somewhere visible, like on your fridge, so you’re reminded of it every day. Share this commitment with your family or friends, so they can support you.
Having a goal gives you something positive to work towards and helps you recognise your progress. Set yourself achievable goals:
- think about what you enjoy doing
- start at a level that’s right for you
- build up gradually, at your own pace
My long-term goal
What would you like to achieve in the next few weeks or months? How would you like to feel?
'At the moment I get the bus to the shops twice a week. By the end of next month, I will walk to the shops instead.'
Try writing your own goal.
Work towards your goal with another person – it can be easier to stay motivated when you have company.
My short-term goals
Short-term goals help you gradually build up your activity levels to help you achieve your goal. You should make them as specific as possible and include:
- what you’ll do
- when you’ll do it
- how long you’ll do it for
- who you’ll do it with
'At my exercise class, I will do two more repetitions of my arm exercises this week.'
Try writing your first short-term goal.
Prepare yourself for things that might get in the way of success
What things might stop you achieving your short-term goal? It could be the weather, feeling unwell or other commitments. Think about how you can overcome them.
'I may not be able to do my planned activity because of poor weather. To overcome this, I’ll do my exercise DVD at home instead.'
Write down the things that might stop you achieving your goal. Make a plan for how to overcome them.
What if I don’t achieve my goal?
If you don’t achieve your goal, that’s OK. Don’t be disappointed with yourself – think about what you did achieve, no matter how small.
Take some time to think about why you didn’t achieve your goal:
- Was it too difficult?
- Did you give yourself enough time?
- Did you get enough support?
Be kind to yourself and return to an easier stage of your activity plan or think about making changes to your goal to make it more achievable next time.
You might find it useful to keep an activity diary to help you set and review your goals. Download our 12 week activity diary (PDF, 178KB) to help you get started.