On January 1 each year, most people feel revitalized to get back into the gym. Their goals are fresh and motivation unstoppable. Then…later into January and onto the rest of the year, people start to slip up a little bit and pretty soon, they’re right where they were prior to the New Year’s resolutions. I see it all too many times at the gym I work at. The following are some tips that can keep you motivated year round!
1. Schedule your workout. Think of your workout as important as the meeting with your boss. Don’t let it be the first thing that goes wayside when your schedule gets busy… let it be the last. Make time for yourself everyday. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of other people and you won’t do your job as well as if you felt healthier. Don’t negotiate this with yourself! Find something else to skip in your day if it’s too busy.
2. Think about your goal. For me, the most motivating factor in working out is to train for something. I choose runs and races. If I’m going to cross the finish line of these events, I can’t skip workouts. For someone else, it might be to lose weight. Think about yourself being closer to your goal with each workout and slowly chip away at your goal.
3. Tell yourself that you’ll never regret a workout. Working out can do so many amazing things to our entire body both physically, mentally and emotionally. Think about how much better you feel after a workout (even if it’s a tiny one). You never feel worse about yourself.
4. Get a workout buddy or join a group. People influence each other. It’s a matter of the type of people you surround yourself with that can make or break you. You can definitely have influences that tell you not to workout and constantly bring unhealthy food around you. It’s time to find someone that you can share a healthy lifestyle with. This makes eating healthy, working out and being health exponentially easier.
5. Focus on just one short-term goal. If exercise or your long-term goal is overwhelming to think about, break it down! Think about it one step at a time. Focus on just meeting that goal and then move to another one. I use this method frequently in running. In a marathon, thinking about running 26.2 miles is baffling, so I break it into 5k’s and then towards the end of the race, single miles. It’s easier to mentally accept these feats.
6. If you don’t want to workout, tell yourself that you only have to do it for 5 minutes. If you’re really struggling one day to get your workout in, tell yourself that you only have to do it for 5 minutes. If, at the end of 5 minutes, you still want to quit, then quit. Chances are, once you get going, you’ll be there longer than 5 minutes!
7. Fuel yourself correctly. If I eat greasy, unhealthy food, I don’t want to workout. I feel sluggish and weighed down and would rather go put on a baggy pair of sweat pants. Conversely, if I eat healthfully, I want to workout and make the best of my body. These two variables go hand in hand. The better you eat, the more your body wants to move!
8. Hydrate yourself. If you are quenching your thirst with soda, you aren’t going to feel good when you workout. The more hydrated you are, the better your body will perform when you place the demands of exercise on it. Try it for a day and feel the difference. If you don’t like plain water, add a Crystal Light Pure to it!
Once you make exercise a habit, you’ll actually start to crave it. We were meant to move; we were not built to be sedentary. Make a deal with yourself to move in some form 6 days a week for one month and I think you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Exercise is an instant mood-lifter, stress-reliever and anxiety-buster, among all the physical benefits!
How do you stay motivated to workout?