Daily workouts are a struggle. You’re tired, you’re stressed, and there are a million other things you’d rather be doing.
But at the same time, you know exercise is good for you, and if you want to lose weight, get fit or stay healthy, it’s an absolute must.
So what do you do?
While you could set five alarms before your 6 a.m. spin class, or enlist your spouse to kick your tush into gear, there’s a much simpler way to make working out easier: just find motivation.
Find Your Motivation
Are you struggling to get to the gym every morning? Have you been putting off your runs or saying “I’ll do that tomorrow” when it comes to your weight training?
Then it’s time to find your motivation. Try a few of these motivational strategies, and get your mind into exercise mode stat:
- Reward yourself – Set up a reward system for your workouts. Think of something you really want – a new dress, a weekend getaway for your BFF or just a simple massage or pedicure. Then, when you complete a run, go to the gym or finish a Zumba class, reward yourself. (Just make sure you’re choosing healthy rewards – not chocolate cake or a hamburger). Over time, your brain will latch onto this reward system, and it will begin to equate working out with those feel-good sensations that come with it.
- Set up penalties – If a reward system doesn’t work, maybe a penalty system will be more effective. Here’s an example: every time you skip a spin class, miss a workout or don’t hit your miles for the week, you have to fork over $10 bucks to your friend. While missing the mark once or twice might not be a big deal, too many skipped workouts, and you could be out a pretty penny in no time. To try a penalty or reward system out yourself, consider Gym-Pact.com – a site that pays you to work out and charges you when you skip. It’s a great place to start.
- Make it easier – Sit down and think about all the barriers that hold you back from working out. Is it that you’re too tired? Too busy? Or maybe you just don’t like the workouts you’ve been doing. Whatever it is, identify the problem, and make changes so that your workouts are as easy and convenient as possible. Change the time of day you work out, or switch up the activities you’re doing. Clear out time in your lunch schedule for a quick workout, or consider working exercise into your daily commute. Once you figure out how to make working out easy, you’ll be less likely to skip in the long run.
- Hold yourself accountable – Technology has made working out easier and more public. Now, you can turn your phone into a GPS tracker and monitor your mileage, calories and distance with just the click of a button. You can even use these apps to share your workout data publicly on social media networks or with other friends on the app. This helps hold you accountable for your workouts, and it can even make exercise somewhat of a competition – inspiring you and others in your circle to keep going.
- Find a friend – Enlisting a friend for your workouts can be a great motivator. Not only can it force you to keep a schedule, it can also push you to work harder while you’re at it. On days where you’re feeling lethargic or lazy, your workout buddy can encourage you and keep you going. They can also serve as your inspiration; when they run that 5K, lift that weight or drop those 5 pounds, it can inspire you to keep pushing and reach your own goals.
- Put your gear in plain sight – You’ve heard that old saying “out of sight, out of mind,” right? Well this is certainly true when it comes to exercising. Don’t let working out become an “out of sight” task. Keep your gym shoes, your yoga mat and your other gear in plain view, and let them serve as a wake-up call each day. Skipping becomes much harder when that gear is looking you right in the face.
- Invest in your workout wardrobe – While it’s true, you’re going to be sweaty and gross while working out, that doesn’t mean you can’t look cute while you’re at it. Invest in some new workout tops, bras and shoes, and give yourself a little confidence boost during your workouts. You’ll feel great, and you’ll be more excited to don those clothes and hit the gym!
Working out is never easy, but there are ways you can stay motivated and on track. Find out what your best motivator is, and start using it to get your exercise routine in gear today.
How do you stay motivated to work out? What are your biggest hurdles when hitting the gym? Share them with me in the comments!