Feel like you are stuck in a rut with your health and fitness goals? Leading a healthy lifestyle can prove challenging at times. Everyday routines can get in the way and develop into bad habits, causing frustration and a feeling of hopelessness. You can overcome this. These 5 steps can help improve your motivation, transforming your routine into a lifestyle you are proud to lead. Set Goals: Be “S.M.A.R.T” about your goals. Good goals “are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound…Pick a (realistic) deadline, build a plan, and get to it” (Men’s Journal). Goals must be flexible and changing, according to personal progress. Trade in frustration and giving up your goals for being ambitious. Challenge Yourself: Always push harder—and farther. “If you’ve gotten this far, a few more minutes are attainable, but challenging, which adds up to personal bests and records that make you feel proud” (Real Simple). Push through five more minutes on the treadmill or just 10 more squats. Find a Fitness Partner: Find someone that shares your motivations and goals- “someone who will challenge you to do better and help you in the process” (Fit Girl Code). This could be a friend, co-worker or neighbor who shares your same schedule and ambition. Take Control: You set the goals, you manage their progress. There are suggestions, and generically built fitness routines out there, but making smart choices that fit your lifestyle and personal preferences is up to you. “The end result…[must be] more joy and energy in your life, and a healthier, fitter you” (Built Lean). You’ve got the last word. You decide. Take a Break: “A little time off—for your body and your mind—might be exactly what you need to come back better than ever” (Men’s Journal). Breaks should be time-bound with a specific ending. Motivation is necessary to begin and stay on track with leading a healthy lifestyle. It is all about changing up your routine to enjoy what you do on a daily basis and finding goals that work for you. And remember, these are just tips that can help you stay motivated- but don’t be afraid to try new things until you find what fits your lifestyle.