20 cool ideas to boost your long-term success!

iStock_000023857721SmallIt can be hard to stay the course when you’ve been at it a while. Take a gander at these 20 ideas to renew your commitment and spike your progress. Have more ideas? Add them to the list in the comments section!

  1. Track your food (and mood) for two weeks on myfitnesspal.
  2. Pick a badass bodyweight exercise you wish to conquer—pullups, pushups (and variations), handstands, pistols. Do two sets of five reps every day for 40 days. Track your progress.
  3. Sprint once a week for a month. Time yourself. Race yourself. Beat yourself.
  4. Eat only real, whole, unprocessed food for one month. Track your hunger, mood and weight.
  5. Similar to number 4, challenge yourself to refrain from your kids’ leftovers, school snacks, or party-favor candy. Do it for a month. Do it for life.
  6. Forgo dessert for a month.
  7. Write an eating emergency plan for social situations where you may feel overwhelmed and out of control.
  8. Keep a gratitude journal. Every night before bed write down five things you’re thankful for. It can be as simple as a roof over your head or as elaborate as an upcoming vacation.
  9. Add a “superfood” to your diet that you’ve been wanting to try: green tea, flax seed meal, wild salmon. Have a serving once or twice a week.
  10. Make a deal with yourself to show up for every scheduled boot camp and/or personal training session for three months.
  11. Browse the fitness apps online and choose one that looks like a fun addition to your routine. Maybe a tabata timer for snow day workouts, or a pullups app.
  12. Go on a Five Below spree—buy a resistance band, stability ball or medicine ball. Research exercises and use them once a week while you watch Netflix.
  13. Been dying to see what you’re like without wheat? Dairy? Sugar? Commit to a mini experiment. For two weeks, track your progress while refraining from one or more potentially inflammatory foods.
  14. Make a 5×5 healthy whole foods recipe folder. Fill it with five entrees, five smoothies, five salads, five snacks and five desserts. Have a friend who’s interested in doing the same? Swap ideas and double your repertoire!
  15. If you haven’t done it yet, figure out your calorie and macro-nutrient requirements and eat according to your goals. Weight loss does not happen by accident. Make it happen on purpose!
  16. If your overall goal is to lose, say, 20 pounds, and you know you want to lose a half pound a week, it should take you less than a year to accomplish this. Breaking your main goal into shorter goals will allow you to celebrate along the way every month or so.
  17. Have a “Now what?” plan. In other words, what are you going to do once you achieve your goals? Plan for a competition, workshop or fitness getaway that will lock in your fit lifestyle, so you can maintain your impressive gains and avoid backsliding.
  18. Start a library of fitness books to help keep you motivated throughout your journey. Educate yourself on exercise and nutrition. Become your own best advocate, coach and inspiration.
  19. Have a desk job? Move around every 20 minutes. Work from home? Create a standing workstation and use it at least half as much as you work sitting down.
  20. Do you love to dance? Stretch? Play tag with your kids? Set aside 10 to 20 minutes a few times a week to indulge in unstructured “exercise” just for fun!


  1. Kathy Walsh on February 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Hi Michelle,

    Great ideas!


  2. michelle on February 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks, Kathy!

  3. Liz Shah on February 21, 2014 at 8:43 am

    These blogs are very helpful, thanks Michelle!

    • michelle on February 22, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      You’re welcome, Liz! Thanks for the feedback!