The key to reaching any fitness goal is consistency.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lose ten pounds or fifty, or if you’re trying to build enough muscle to look great in a tank top or to win a bodybuilding contest, the only way to reach any fitness goal is to keep working at it on a regular basis. It’s better to do a little every day than it is to do a lot sporadically, and no real or lasting progress can be made without developing consistent workout habits.

You’ve probably heard people say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Once you are able to form a habit, you may have an easier time staying consistent. But, three weeks is a long time — maybe not so much in the grand scheme of things, but when you’re in the first week or two or working towards a goal, it can feel like an eternity. That’s why the pros at Goal Plus have come up with this list of tips to help you improve your workout consistency:

#1. Pick a partner or join a class.

Accountability is one of the most important parts of consistency. If you’re like most people, then it’s probably all too easy to let yourself off the hook. Having other people on your side, keeping you accountable, will give you the extra push you need to keep going, even on those days when you don’t really feel like it. Pick a workout buddy or two who you can depend on to make sure that you work out each day. Or, join a group fitness class. These classes are great for meeting a whole room full of workout buddies!

Looking for an easier way to stay connected with your workout buddy? The Goal Plus app is the perfect fitness accountability app because it allows you to easily connect with your workout buddy through Facebook. It also allows you to track and share your progress.

#2. Become a morning person.

There’s a lot of debate in the fitness community about the optimal time of the day to work out, but as far as we’re concerned, the optimal time is the time when you’re most likely to actually do it. Many people who work out in the evenings have trouble staying consistent. That’s because lots of things can come up in the course of the day that make it difficult to get your workout in. While, yes, you’ll be required to get up earlier in the morning, and that can be difficult in itself, it’s much easier to stick with your workouts if you make them a part of your morning routine.

#3. Take it one day at a time.

Your overall goal can seem overwhelming. For example, say your goal is to lose 20 pounds. Losing weight can be difficult, and when you’re faced with the prospect of losing 20 whole pounds, it can seem overwhelming. There’s no way you’ll lose 20 pounds today, but you can make sure that you make it to the gym today. In addition to taking it one day at a time, you should also take it one rep at a time. After all, even something as insurmountable as climbing a mountain suddenly feels much more doable when you realize that all it takes is another step.

#4. Keep going — even when you don’t feel like it.

There will be days when you don’t feel like working out; days when work was stressful, or when you got a ticket or lost your keys. Even on days when you’re feeling tired, beaten down, annoyed or just unmotivated — and you’re not able to give 100 percent — as long as you make it to the gym and keep going, you’ll still be making progress towards your goal. Even a bad workout is still a workout, so keep going!

No matter what your fitness goal may be, there’s nothing more important to reaching it than consistency. We hope that these tips will help you learn how to stay more consistent in your fitness journey, and if you would like to learn about more of them, make sure to stay tuned for our next blog. Until then, get the tools you need to improve your consistency by downloading the Goal Plus app.