How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Fitness Goals During School
Maintaining a workout regimen is difficult enough; throw in responsibilities and stress from school and it may feel nearly impossible. If you’ve ever been faced with juggling your academic life while working towards a fitness goal, you know how challenging it is to stay on track.
As a third-year student at the University of Kansas who also works on his family farm, Cody Christenson knows firsthand how hard it is to keep hitting the gym while faced with an exhausting week of project deadlines and exams. After several years of juggling work, school, and exercise, he’s developed this series of tried-and-true methods for staying motivated.
Focus on Quality Over Quality
If you’re a full-time student or a part-time student with a job you probably can’t afford to spend long hours in the gym each day — that’s perfectly okay. To help keep yourself motivated and active, Cody Christenson recommends focusing on quality over quantity. When it comes to physical fitness, what you do matters more than the number of hours you clock at the gym each week. With that in mind, students can make time for exercise no matter how busy their schedules become.
When it comes to physical fitness, Cody Christenson highlights that small measures can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals. Rather than subscribing to the idea that exercise must happen in the gym, begin thinking creatively about how you can use the time and resources you already have l. If you live within walking distance from your campus, for example, try jogging to class 2–3 times per week. Alternatively, students killing time between classes may find a brisk walk or a vigorous round of calisthenics will work wonders to keep you fit throughout the academic year.
Find an Accountability Partner
It’s hard to stay disciplined when you know that no one else is watching. On days when you’re feeling unmotivated, it helps to know that someone is aware of your goals and rooting for you — that’s where accountability partners come in. According to Cody Christenson, cultivating an accountability relationship with a friend or classmate who has similar fitness goals can help you stay dedicated even on sluggish days. Ideally, this relationship will work like a two-way street in which both parties hold each other accountable for staying true to their commitments and moving towards their goals.
Cultivating an accountability relationship also introduces a social element into your fitness regimen. In some cases, this may allow for students to merge their social lives and exercise goals, thereby strengthening their friendships as well as their bodies. Outside of the added camaraderie, introducing a social aspect into your workout routine will also likely make gym sessions a little more enjoyable.
Make Fitness a Priority
Staying motivated to achieve your fitness goals while balancing your academic responsibilities is going to require that you prioritize exercise alongside your studies. At the end of the day, students should never feel that they must choose between fitness and schoolwork — your physical health is an essential element to your wellbeing and therefore an extension of your academic success.
If you’re exercising regularly, you’ll also likely have more energy to focus on your studies. That’s why Cody Christenson urges college students to recognize physical activity as a priority — treat it with the same respect that you give your academic projects and exams. In viewing exercise as a part of the holistic process of self-betterment, you may find yourself more motivated to make time for it even when feeling stressed or tired.