Have you ever started a fitness program or joined a gym only to quit a couple weeks or a month in? I’ve been there, and I’m willing to bet that quite a few of you have, too.
You’ve set your fitness goals and are so pumped and excited to get on the pathway toward meeting them, but after a little while, you fall off the workout wagon. The same daily gym routine gets boring. It gets too cold (or hot) out to be able to run. You’re too tired to get up and workout before you have to be to work.
The excuses can be endless, and that’s why this week’s post is all about how to stay motivated to reach your fitness goals.
Why is Staying Motivated So Hard?
You’ve all had those days when we’re excited to get fit. You’ve filled the fridge with healthy food. You’ve gone all-in on a gym membership, bought new workout gear, and invested in protein supplements. You’re ready and willing, and you’re going to get in shape if it kills you.
After the first day, you’re sore. After the first week, you’re exhausted. Maybe you’re seeing results after the first month, but you’re still exhausted. Maybe you’re bed looks really inviting at 5am, and you choose to stay in it rather than go to the gym.
That’s how it begins. The downward slide of your motivation.
Staying motivated isn’t easy (duh!), and regularly working out can even feel stressful and overwhelming. Exercise should have a certain element of fun to it, and when it doesn’t, you don’t really want to keep doing it. There are few people I’ve met who will continue to do something they don’t want to.
Luckily, there are some easy ways to keep yourself motivated.
5 Ways You Can Stay Motivated
While the motivation for many people may be weight loss, increased muscle mass, or that beautifully flat stomach, there are other ways to keep yourself willing to reach your goals.
1. Offer Yourself a Reward
Put a real reward in place for yourself for when you reach your goal. Lost that 10 pounds? Awesome! Have your favorite smoothie. Finally ran that five miles in a new best time? Great. Settle in and watch your favorite movie.
According to the Daily Burn and author Charles Duhigg, “an extrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch onto it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile. It increases the odds the routine becomes a habit” (Source).
2. Do Something You Really Enjoy
Exercise should never feel like work. It should never make you feel stressed. Do something you love to do, whether that’s walking, running, or hitting the weights. Create your own workout routine filled with your favorite ways to exercise.
Get yourself moving. The best way to do that is by doing your favorite activities!
3. Change the Way You Think About Exercise
Sometimes, thinking about exercise as exercise just doesn’t do it for your motivational needs. Change it up. Why not think of exercise as a great way to set an example for other people? Family members, friends, your kids may be inspired to start exercising, too.
As you change the way you look at your exercise routine, try drawing inspiration from the people around you. Whether you’re running by a lake or hitting the gym, the people around you can be your role models.
4. Stick to a Regular Workout Time
While unplanned things come up and life can get pretty hectic, sticking to a regular workout time can do wonders for motivation. Training your mind to remember to workout at the same time every day may make it easier to get your workout in, instead of putting it off.
“Write your workout on your calendar and rearrange things around this one hour as if it were any other important appointment you have to keep,” says Julie Kailus on the Gaiam Life blog. Take the initiative and stick to your plans.
5. Find a Workout Buddy
Let’s face it—nobody likes to workout alone. Grab a friend, a co-worker, or even your significant other. When both of you are motivated to hit your fitness goals, you’ll be more likely to keep each other motivated, too.
Military.com might’ve said it best: “You have to be motivated, and when you are motivated to work out, you lead by example. One day your partner will do it for you when you need it the most,” (Source). You’re also less likely to skip a workout if a buddy is waiting for you.
Now that you’ve got a few new ideas for maintaining that motivation, get back to your workouts and keep moving toward those goals.
Do you have any tips to offer for staying motivated? Please leave them in a comment below!
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