You think about getting fit often, but sometimes relaxing on the couch while channel surfing just sounds like a better option. Let’s face it; getting in shape can be a huge difficulty no matter how much weight you want to lose! Although you may have had trouble getting motivated in the past, it doesn’t have to be that way any longer.
There are now fitness gadgets and apps that can motivate you to make a positive change and stick with it, and here are the top options listed below:
The Top 10 Fitness Accessories & Apps
1. MyFitnessPal – Buy Now
This fitness app is free of charge and can make a huge impact with the way you get into shape. The first thing it does is keep a diary of what you eat. It tracks calories, carbohydrates, protein and other nutrient facts about foods, based on those that you eat. You can either type in the calories and foods, but you can also scan it with the barcode scanner in the app.
The next thing the app does is track your exercise, either by you typing in calories burned or the exercise that you did. It will even recommend the net calories you should eat based on your height, weight, activity level and how much weight you want to lose. MyFitnessPal makes it easy to stay accountable for what you eat, how much you exercise and how much weight you lose each week, which can mean losing more and staying on track.
2. Nike FuelBand – Buy Now
Do you wonder how active you really are during the day? Well this band uses special technology to measure how much movement you make throughout the day. You can set goals, track your progress and even connect this to your social media websites to get your other friends motivated as well. From dancing to going for a run, this fitness accessory will track all of the calories that you burn throughout the track so you can stay aware of your activity level and calories in compared to calories out.
3. Fitbit Aria – Buy Now
If you keep track of your weight, but are constantly forgetting it, then this scale is for you. It actually connects to the WiFi inside of your home so you can track your weight through your Fitbit account. It shows on the scale as well, so you will immediately see what your progress is at.
This special scale even tracks your fat percentage by using pulses sent through the surface of it.
4. Bose Sie2i Sport Headphones – Buy Now
These are popular headphones because they are water resistant and they stay inside of your ears, even while you’re moving around. An added bonus is that they also have great sound quality, so your music will be fully heard when you’re exercising.
If you rely on music to pump you up and motivate you through workouts, then these headphones are definitely necessary.
5. Larklife – Buy Now
You’ve probably heard that you should step 10,000 steps per day, but do you actually do it? The goal of this pedometer is to make sure you actually walk all of those steps every day. It’s a wristband that comes in pink, white and blue and that tracks your steps during the day. It can even track your sleeping patterns so you learn how much rest you’re actually getting.
All of the information is sent to your phone so you can get healthier and change your life!
6. Under Armour E39
Not yet released, keep your eye on UnderArmour.com
This extremely unique gadget is actually a compression shirt that you wear. It has sensors in the middle of it that tracks your breathing rate, heart rate, body position, motion and even acceleration.
It’s used by professional athletes right now, but it is not for sale to the public just yet. If you are serious about training and really want to track biometrics, then keep your eyes peeled for this in the future!
7. Polar Ft4 – Buy Now
If you want a quality heart rate monitor that’s going to tell you whether or not you’re working out in a safe zone, then this it is. It even displays the calories you burn during each workout that you do, so it’s a great tool for weight loss.
It comes in four different colors and is compatible with other accessories available from Polar.
8. Striiv – Buy Now
This is a pedometer that fits right in your pocket, but it does a whole lot more than just count your steps. It actually challenges you throughout the day so you are more motivated to move around and take more steps.
Another benefit is that if you use the walkathon feature on it, Striiv will donate money to a charity!
9. Iqua Beat – Buy Now
If you enjoy having a personal trainer but can’t afford to hire one, then Iqua Beat can help you out. These earphones will provide you with a voice inside your head that keeps you moving and exercising.
The Iqua Beat even tracks your heart rate, calories burned and distance you’ve gone so you can hear what progress you’re making.
10. Fitocracy – Check It Out
A little healthy competition can really motivate you and your friends to lose some weight and get fit. This app encourages competition between you and your friends based on different workouts that you do.
While a lot of people use this because they want to be the winner, it’s also a great way to track your workouts and how often you exercise.
Bonus: TheFlipBelt – Buy Now
The FlipBelt is odor resistant, machine washable and a wide poly spandex belt that has multiple access pockets for all your running accessories and gadgets. This belt allows you to put the items in and flip the belt over. Perfect for running and high paced workouts.
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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