Getting motivated to workout comes easy to some, but may be difficult for others. Even seasoned athletes can find it difficult to get motivated at times. So if you’re having a hard time lacing up those shoes and getting moving, try these tips to get started.
1. Create a Routine With Flexibility.
Routine. Routine. Routine. Write your workout days on your calendar. Seeing workouts written physically in front of you adds it to your “to-do list.” Repeating these days week to week will create a routine you become used to, but be flexible. Sometimes your day may not become what you want it to be. Your child may be sick. A meeting may run long. Maybe you just aren’t feeling it. Then what do you do? Alter the routine, but still make it fit. Maybe you shift it a day. Maybe you walk instead of hitting the weights, opting for active movement instead. As long as you are consistently keeping up with your routine, you’ll be successful.
2. Commit! Sign A Contract With Yourself.
Whether you commit by making an accountability post on social media, create a check off list of your workout routine for a set amount of time or pay yourself $5 in a jar every time you workout, commit to the process. As a personal trainer, one of the first pieces of paperwork my new clients get is a commitment contract. It’s not for me. It’s for them. It’s a reminder of why they are here and the reason they decided to start.
3. Set SMART goals.
M – Measurable
R – Realistic
T – Time-Based
SMART goals help you focus.
Be Specific. When you flip the script from, “ I’m going to go to the gym this week” to “I’m going to workout 3 times a week for 45 minutes.” It’s easier to measure and maintain.
Set Measurable Goals. Instead of setting a goal to “get stronger,” you could change your goal to “I will be able to squat 50lbs for 20 reps by the end of 4 weeks.”
Make it Attainable. How quickly are you moving? Pick goals that you can attain. If you are a beginner, don’t expect to be able to do the same type of workout as someone who has been working out for years. You need to build up your strength and stamina first. If you are starting a new walking program, begin with I will be able to walk for 1 mile by the end of week one. To make it even more specific, set a pace, “I will be able to walk for 1 mile at a 12/min pace by the end of week one.” Setting unattainable goals can lead to giving up on your program.
Be Realistic. If you decide to train for a marathon and you haven’t run a day in your life, you don’t want to run a marathon by the end of the week. You need to train for it so your body is strong. A much more attainable goal would be, “ I will run a 5k by the end of month one, a 10k by the end of month 2, a half-marathon by the end of month three and a marathon by the end of month 4.” Give yourself time.
Make Goals Time-Based. Don’t expect to go from zero to sixty right away. Give your body time to grow, adapt, strengthen and change. Set a goal for each week, each month and the year. Check off your boxes as you make it through each one.
4. Have FUN!
It’s so important to pick an activity you enjoy. If you loathe running, then lacing up a pair of shoes “because it’s good exercise” may not be the right choice for you. Try something you love or something new! What fits your interest? Are you team-based? Do you enjoy exercise classes? Do you fly solo? Do you like adventure? Competition? There are so many options out there. Doing something that you feel is fun will be the draw to bring you back week after week.
5. Find your Fitness Family
You know what I’m talking about. Those people you lean on – the ones that share your passion. The ones that will support you, encourage you, or push you to do better. The wonderful thing about today’s world is that you can find these people in person or around the world through social media. Don’t have people close to you to support your journey? Follow people online that inspire you. Talk with them. Connect with them. Not sure where to start? Search hashtags of your activity. Find people like you.
This is one reason why Body Enhancing Fitness offers an online support group within it’s fitness program, called the BE Fit Brigade. It offers members the opportunity to chat, discuss victories, work together and look for support with members just like themselves.
6. Reward Yourself!
Whether it’s collecting money for when you workout, buying a new piece of fitness equipment, a new outfit, or that something you love that you couldn’t quite convince yourself was worth getting… make it your reward for meeting your fitness goal. A reward makes your goal tangible. It’s worth fighting for.
7. Add Variety.
Change your workouts up from time to time. Doing the same thing over and over again is a recipe for boredom and failure. As you continue your routine, your body gets stronger and you’ll need to adapt your plan to keep challenging both your body and your mind. If you lift, think about moving from simple movments to compound exercises. If you bike or run, consider a race or longer distance. Play with your speed throughout the week to keep your body guessing and aide in recovery.
Put it all together
Combine all these tips for a successful workout routine that will carry you throughout the times where you really are having a hard time getting motivated to workout.