It is unfortunate to admit, but there is a widely accepted attitude that exercise should feel like a punishment. Most people work out knowing it’s good for them but begrudge and curse every moment of it, which minimizes the psychological benefits of the workout and rarely leads to any sort of long-term results. Of course, it’s understandable that with a long day of work ahead you’d rather skip your 6:00 am morning sweat session and stay just a little longer in bed or have a nice cup of coffee at the nearby café. However, this means falling short of your goals and will reflect negatively in one way or another soon after that sweet and cozy hour spent doing anything but going to the gym. In order to help get you back on track and allow you to meet your goals, here are some of the most effective ways to boost your workout motivation.
Keep a fitness track in your planner
Planners prove to be very helpful in setting, starting, and achieving all kinds of goals. Besides responsibility, discipline, and commitment, they can also redefine your motivation. Squeeze your workout sessions into your weekly calendar as well as into your daily routine section, and make sure to mark them with bright colored pens once completed to signify your accomplishment. Additionally, you could write down some longer-term challenges and goals regarding weight loss or gain, diet changes, gym habits, and more. This will serve both as a concrete form of reminder and a motivational guide.
Get a gym buddy
Company and competition are great motivational agents. For many gym-quitters, just getting to the gym is the most problematic part. But if you make this an activity with a friend and thus make a commitment to someone else that you will be there, it will be a lot harder to simply pass on your workout and stay in. Popularly known as “swolemates,” these partners who lead healthy and fit lifestyles together are becoming more and more common. However, your gym soulmate doesn’t have to be your partner – it could be a friend, colleague, family member, or simply a person you bonded with during your gym sessions. The jokes, high fives, and words of encouragement from people close to you will push you to do more and better. Working out in pairs or in groups is also beneficial for your social and psychological wellbeing as well as your workout motivation. Pushing each other to train harder and maintain a healthy diet while still having fun, socializing, and strengthening bonds is a win-win combination.
Find your best fit
Once you’ve found your gym soulmate, the only thing left to learn are the steps on how to find your soulmate workout. It’s important to realize that not every sort of exercise is for everyone. Just like dating, you’ll have to go on many doomed dates and have your dreams and hopes crushed many times before finding the right match. But to spare yourself the wasted time, get out now and start “playing the field” by trying new activities, visiting different gyms, following alternative fitness instructors, and simply doing some research to figure out your own workout preferences. Once you discover that no workout is the best or the worst and that it is indeed possible to get excited about exercise, you’ll be able to find the routine that’s the best fit for you. Your soulmate workout will make your feel good, have fun, provide you with internal motivation, and build your confidence as well as your strength.
Give yourself micro-challenges
One of the great motivational tricks is a five-minute rule. Even when you’re just not feeling it, tell yourself you’ll work out for five minutes and if the unwillingness doesn’t go away, you’ll drop it. For most people, this works, and they usually get pumped up and ready to go after just a few minutes. Other micro-challenges that can keep us going and challenge us to do more include small goals that we set along the way, such as increasing your running distance from 0.5 to 1K or pushing yourself to do just one more set once you’re close to finishing the previous one.
As the majority of us out there, you may be a casual exerciser who would love to sweat more often but who struggles with finding the inspiration and motivation to make fitness a part of your lifestyle. Besides the aforementioned suggestions, you can also work on finding your own personalized motivation techniques – which can be as random as washing your hair only after you work out, treating yourself with an extra episode of your favorite show after a successful run, or even rewarding yourself with a fancy gift at the end of a productive workout month. Whatever your cup of tea is regarding workout motivation, make sure you find it and drink it up on a daily basis.