Working out is hard— before you hit the gym.
Even if you have the best intentions, they may not be enough to get you out to bed an hour earlier or off the couch and away from Netflix. The truth is that you won’t be motivated every day. There will be times when you are super pumped and others times you’ll need to work harder to get going; so don’t beat yourself up over it.
The most important thing is to get real with yourself. Are you missing a session once in a while, or are you skipping your workouts regularly?
If you need a little boost to get moving, try some of these ways to get you (and keep you) motivated.
1. Stop Making exercise about how you want to look
When exercise is only about the way you look, more often than not, you end up just giving up. Aesthetic goals will only take you so far. The way you look at exercise is really the key to staying motivated long term.
Shift your perspective from I have to workout to lift my butt, get flatter abs, build better arms, work off that piece of cake… to I deserve this workout. Commit to moving your body because you feel awesome and energized when you do. Because love your body, not because you want to change it.
2. Do something you enjoy
Yes. Exercise can be and should be something you look forward to. If you hate running, don’t sign up for a race in the hopes of forcing yourself to train for it. You will be bored out of your mind and you won’t stick to it. Find activities you like and actually want to do.
And don’t be afraid to spice it up. If you never change your routine, you will hit a plateau and stop getting results. Talk about demotivating.
3. Cut the crap.
I don’t have time to exercise. We’ve all said this as at some point.
But here’s the deal– you’ll never get everything done. There will ALWAYS be more work that you can finish. More emails to send, more laundry to fold, more taking care of others that you can do.
Now, I know sometimes our schedules can get crazy, but we always have time for things we consider a priority. So the next time you find yourself not being able to fit in workouts on the reg. –try this exercise.
4. Understand your habit loop.
If you find yourself consistently skipping your workouts, it’s time to look a little deeper at why this has become a habit. In his book, The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg explains how our habits are responsible for most of what we do. And to change a habit, we need to understand the entire process.
He explains this cycle as The Habit Loop.
The Trigger: the event that starts the habit.
The Routine: the habit itself.
The Reward: the benefit or pay off you receive the from the routine.
To understand your own habits, you need to identify the factors of your loops. Once you have figured out your habit loop around exercise, you can look for ways to create a new routine.
5. Plan it out.
Sit down with your schedule at the beginning of every week. Where can you fit in your workouts? Write it down. Treat it as you would any other appointment. Show up. This may not seem as urgent as other commitments in your calendar, but it is. The commitments we make to ourselves matter.
6. Be social
Turn your social calendar into active + social. Have a regular Saturday morning coffee date with your friends-Why not a yoga + coffee date? Signup for dance classes with your significant other, learn to ski, or go hiking with your family. Making exercise fun can change the way you look and health and fitness. (Which brings us back to point number 1).
In the comments below, I’d love for you to share how you stay motivated.
Have a great weekend!