Getting started anew can be tough for many reasons, but one mental reason is the frustration of comparing yourself with your fitness before before versus now.

Whether you’re struggling with extra pounds or just a big gap in your aerobic power or pace, here are a few quick tips for starting back.

Getting started again is the hardest part– Good habits lead to success and while it may never be ‘fun’ to wake up to a 5:30 AM alarm, it does get easier when you’re used to doing it and begin to trust yourself not to hit snooze.

The longer you wait the harder it will be– It can be tempting to keep putting off your ‘comeback’ week after week. Remember that your future self will thank you for starting back now instead of in another week.. or month!

Nothing’s as hard as the first time– Assuming you’ve been in shape before, it’s usually easier and quicker to come back then get started for the first time ever. Although if you are in the position of getting started for the first time don’t be discouraged. There’s also nothing as exciting as starting for the very first time, where every week there are brand new accomplishments to celebrate. Also, with no expectations it’s easier to celebrate the small victories.

If you’re ready to get started here are a few things to keep in mind

Don’t start with something epic– starting out the first week with a 5k swim or a 3 hour group ride will lead to nothing but feeling discouraged, and being too sore to attempt it again for awhile

Ditch the gadgets– No need to wear your Garmin for those first few forays back into running. Especially if you’re competitive and metric driven, there’s no need to torture yourself by agonizing over your untrained pace

Set a modest weekly goal– For the first few weeks go for the CDC recommended health benefits of 5 hours of aerobic activity a week and two days of muscle strengthening activity

Then, set an exciting future goal– After a few weeks of exercising for health benefits, sign up for that destination race or tackle a new distance. Have something exciting on the horizon