I’ve been a more or less avid gym goer for almost 10 years now, but never ever has regular and serious exercise been such an important part of my life as it is now. I truly love exercising and the way it makes me feel, but I couldn’t always motivate myself to actually go to the gym and really push myself. Now, after years of trial and error, I have finally discovered a routine that works wonders and actually makes it pretty easy for me to hit the gym about 4 days a week. Want to know my secrets? I tell you…
1. Set yourself a clear, realistic goal and get inspired from other people who are working towards the same goal or have already achieved it (instagram and Pinterest are rather good sources). You may even want to create a poster with your personal goal in writing surrounded by motivational pictures if that is what you need to push yourself.
2. Make sure you get into a routine and stick with it even if you really don’t feel like it sometimes. Do ANYTHING for a certain amount of time, and it becomes a habit. Look at your weekly schedule and see where you could most easily fit in a gym session, or four, and really stick to those days and times…even if your friends suggest to go out for drinks instead. There are no excuses (except injuries or illness).
3. Have a Plan. If you struggle with motivation, it’s better to have a clear workout plan consisting of exercises you actually enjoy. If you force yourself to do exercise you hate, you are more likely to give up on them. The plan ensures that you won’t waste time in the gym on days you just don’t feel like doing anything and would otherwise just pointlessly wonder around in the gym.
4. Go first thing in the morning. There’s nothing more satisfying than finishing an energizing workout at 8am, and having the whole day ahead of you. Besides, if you go first thing in the morning (don’t forget to have a light breakfast or smoothie before, though), nothing, but you’re own lazy bum can distract you from going to the gym.
5. No time to go to the gym? Refer to #4 and get up an hour earlier you lazy bum. Alternatively, create a shorter, but more intense whole body workout that you can more easily squeeze into your busy schedule.
6. Create an upbeat playlist with your favourite music and never forget to charge your iPod. Nothing pushes you more than really loud, inciting music. But keep your phone in your locker. Nothing is more distracting than a beeping phone.
7. Have a partner in crime. Skipping a workout becomes that much harder if you were planning to do it with a friend. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with some friendly competition…
8. Stay away from weighing scales for a while, especially if you are actively trying to lose weight. Your weight naturally fluctuates and doesn’t necessarily reflect your body shape, so trust only your mirror image and the way your favourite pair of jeans sits on your hips.
10. And if being accountable only to yourself just doesn’t cut it for you, commit publicly and hold yourself accountable. Commit to giving your friends and family or even strangers regular progress updates on Facebook, Instagram or your personal blog. Nobody likes to admit defeat publicly.
How do you stay motivated?