Written by Jennifer Van Barneveld-Pe, President of STRONG Fitness Magazine
Photography by Paul Buceta
Hair & Makeup by 
Monica Kalra

You’re reading this, so I know you want to live your ultimate peak performance life. And you can most definitely learn how to absolutely thrive in your physical health, mental health, parenthood, business, and beyond. Yes, it’s a lot. But you can succeed in all parallels of life. 

And the secret is that there is NO sexy secret to get you there. The answer is grit. Just. Show. Up. Over and over. Cultivate that positive, momentum-building habit. Because life doesn’t slow down. It just doesn’t. Especially if you’re in those hustling years—your 30s or 40s. So stop thinking or saying “I can’t wait until…” Everything will never line up perfectly. My advice: Do the thing now. Here’s how.

Your fitness is a journey and a reflection of the commitment you have for yourself.

1. Schedule What Matters to You

Got goals? I know, me too. So, schedule and prioritize, well, your priorities. Your workout should be a predetermined appointment that you’ve got to show up for. Don’t let the most important person in your life down. You. Show up for your workouts as you’d show up for work meetings. 

2. Start Small

Don’t burn yourself out going too hard out of the gate. If you’re just getting back to the gym after a long hiatus—or if you’re starting from scratch—start small. Try, say, 20 minutes of movement per day, at least at the beginning, just to form that new habit of getting there. 

3. Be Accountable

Accountability is huge when you’re forming new habits. So, find accountability in someone you trust to also show up. Meet a friend or your partner at the gym. If you work out from home, video call a pal and train together virtually. Ready to level up? Hire a coach.

4. Learn to Love the Process

Stop focusing on the outcome so much when you’re working to hit goals. Instead, focus on each tiny little win throughout the process. Made it to the gym for your 20-minute HIIT session? Great. That’s a win. Concentrate on little victories and it’ll help you build momentum.

5. Get Your Mind Right

I’ll say this over and over. Correct and Continue—don’t let one bad day turn into a bad week… And then a bad month. Focus on forward momentum, every day. One way to do this? Practice gratitude during your training sessions. Fixate on the great things in your life while you lift, and you’ll be lifting more than weights.

6. Celebrate YOU

Consistency is the true hero, not perfection. So, celebrate YOU and all the effort you’re putting in to be your best self, in the gym but mostly outside of the gym, in your everyday life.

7. Prioritize Rest

Just as essential as exercise, is rest. Allow for recovery time. Especially for us women in our 40s, 50, 60s, and beyond… Listen to your body. It’s smart.

Motivation happens in the act of showing up for yourself. When you show up for yourself consistently, every day, especially when times are tough, showing up for yourself when times are good will be seamless. Just remember, your fitness is a journey. And that journey is a reflection of the commitment you have for yourself.

STRONG Fitness
STRONG Fitness Magazine is a trusted source of cutting-edge fitness and health information for the modern woman who lives to be fit. STRONG’s sophisticated editorial voice combined with raw, powerful imagery and a modern, athletic design reflect the direction fitness has taken in the last decade.