Don’t Let Your Tush Become One with the Sofa: Motivating Yourself to Workout
Conventional wisdom has yet to figure out how to inspire people to put their workout before all else. You may have heard that workout motivation requires you to “want it” or that you have to do something for 21 days to make it a habit. While desire and consistency play a role in many areas of our lives, there’s always going to be days when you’d rather stay in bed than exercise. So, how do you motivate yourself on these days? We've compiled eight motivation workout tips to help you.
Photo courtesy of Fabletics
1. Set Simple Goals
Set goals that are simple and achievable. If your goals are too ambitious, then you may become frustrated, so be sure to create ones that are doable for you. Once you accomplish your first set of goals, create new, longer-range ones. For instance, if it’s been awhile since you’ve worked out, establish a short-term goal of walking for just 10 minutes four days a week. Your secondary goal could be to walk for 30 minutes a day while your long-term one may be to finish a 5K walk.
2. Make Your Workout Fun
It’s easy to become bored if you’re doing the same type of workout day after day. Avoid burnout with variety. Try different sports and physical activities to discover the ones that are fun for you. Consider joining a softball, basketball or volleyball league. Visit a yoga studio, or take a ballroom dancing class. By trying different things, you may discover that you have a secret athletic talent. When you have fun with your fitness program, you’ll be more motivated to stick with it.
3. Wear Your Workout Clothes
When low workout motivation days arise, put your workout clothes on even if you don’t feel like exercising. If you change out of your Fabletics without making them sweaty, then you may feel a sense of discontentment for the remainder of the day, making you less inclined to skip your workout next time.
4. Write Down How You Feel After Every Workout
Begin an exercise journal documenting how you feel following every single workout. When your exercise motivation is at rock bottom, read a few pages of your journal. It will inspire you to tackle your exercise routine even when you don’t feel like it since you know that you’ll experience the same amazing feeling that comes from completing a tough workout.
5. Reward Yourself
While some people claim that exercise is its own reward because it helps them achieve better health or a way to control their weight, most of us need a little more motivation to keep up with a consistent workout routine. Consider giving yourself a tangible reward such as a smoothie or an hour to watch your favorite television show. When you do this, you're creating a habit loop. It involves establishing a cue that triggers a desirable behavior followed by the reward.
6. Make Exercise a Part of Your Day
Instead of looking for a way to add a workout into your day, include it in your daily schedule. When exercise becomes a priority instead of an afterthought, your day won’t feel complete without it. Slipping it in throughout the day is another option. For instance, at work, avoid the elevator and walk up the stairs. During your work breaks, relax by taking a walk. If your kids participate in sports, pace up and the down the sidelines while cheering them on. When watching television at night, stay active by pedaling a stationary bike or perform a few strength-training exercises.
7. Focus on Why You Started
Whether it’s because you want to be healthier or feel more confident in your skin, focus on why you started exercising. Maybe, you’re out of breath when you reach the top of the stairs or want to wear shorts but feel uncomfortable with the look of your legs. When it comes to keeping a consistent workout schedule, it’s not necessarily about holding onto the motivation, it’s about focusing on why you started a program in the first place.
8. Visualize the Benefits of Exercise
If you’re feeling too tired to workout, determine what changes you can make in your life to overcome it. Develop a plan and stick to it. You may have more motivation in the morning, or it may be better for you to go to the gym right from work instead of going home first. Use positive thinking to visualize the benefits of exercise. For instance, if your workout routine takes place in a yoga studio, then imagine how it feels to walk in and see your fellow practitioners. Or, visualize how delighted you’ll be when new muscles start to develop as your body begins to look more tone.
Motivating Yourself to Workout
Use these eight tips to motivate yourself to workout. You can try them all to see which ones work best for you. Keep using the ones that help and consider tweaking the others to suit your needs.