When it comes to fitness, setting small, attainable goals is key. It can be tempting to set the bar really high right away, but to stay motivated, you also need to create small benchmarks you can achieve along the way.
If your goal is to run a marathon, build up to 26 miles gradually. Working with a trainer or more experienced runner, challenge yourself a little more each week, but don't push yourself too hard too fast; you could injure yourself or just burn out.
The same applies for losing weight. If you want to lose weight, come up with a sensible number with your doctor. Then, give yourself little goals to achieve week-by-week so you can feel a sense of accomplishment along the way. Keep a diary of your progress, and if you fall behind or mess up one week, just get back on the horse! Everyone has set backs, so don't be too hard on yourself if you do. Just keep going.
Fitness should be fun and challenging, but never painful or boring. Pace yourself, try something new like yoga or Pilates, and you'll see the results sooner than you think.
What are your tips for staying fit over the long haul?