By Erin Mahoney
Vice President of International Sports Sciences Association

We jump into to our health and fitness goals with the best of intentions, but we often find ourselves off course in the matter of a few days or weeks. It’s easy to decline the first happy hour, eat healthy for two days, or hit the gym a couple times, but then the “just one” phrase starts showing up. Just one piece of pizza, skip just one day at the gym—we all know that’s a slippery slope. With swimsuit season around the corner, we rounded up our top four tips to help you hit your next fitness goal.

Register for a Race
Another goal to add to the list—just what you need, right? Actually yes, it is just what you need. Registering for a race like a 5k fun run will help you achieve your larger fitness goal. Staying on track for a few weeks to train for a race is much more manageable than trying to plan for several months. And as you knock out these smaller, short-term training goals, you’re still working toward the bigger one. Invite a friend to sign up with you for added fun and motivation as you push each other to stick to the plan.

Activity Tracking
As you begin training for your run, start tracking your activity to add another level of accountability. Invest in a wearable device and get an app on your phone. Not only will you be able to see your progress, which is highly motivating, but you can share it with family and friends. Then you can set up fun competitions and motivate each other to stay committed for the long haul.

Food Tracking
Just one slice of pizza doesn’t seem like much until you look back and realize you’ve been having “just one” slice more than once a week. Tracking your food helps you see exactly when, what, and how much you’re eating. Just as with the activity tracking, food tracking keeps you accountable to your goals. If you know you’re going to have to write it down, you’ll probably think twice about eating a slice of cake at the office birthday party or choosing pizza over salmon and vegetables for dinner.

Become a Trainer
You don’t have to change your career to stick to your goals but knowing what the personal trainers know will help you make smarter choices and stick to your goals. Sign up for the ISSA’s Personal Trainer Certification to learn more about anatomy and muscles, how to design workouts, and what you need to do to succeed with your health and fitness goals. Just as trainers use this knowledge to help their clients, you can use it to help yourself get fit and stay healthy.