For me, one of, if not THE most difficult thing to deal with when working out is motivation. Without the proper motivation your workouts will be less effective and may not even happen at all. Regardless of when I’m planning on squeezing in my day’s workout, I have to make a mental arrangement and stick to it. Otherwise my motivation goes out the window and I’m lost. I’m typically a morning workout person but my schedule fluctuates so much that some days I’m bursting out of bed at 4:30am and other days I am working out at 7pm. Thankfully my strange schedule permits these erratic hours, which I’m sure a lot of yours do not. It took me a long time, but I’ve narrowed it down to three specific tips that seem to work wonders for my motivation.
- Dress the Part: If you’re like me and attempting to accomplish your workout first thing in the morning, make putting on your workout clothes the first thing that you do. As soon as you roll out of bed, put on your fitness gear. Not only is it going to jump start your day by getting you out of your PJ’s (or into clothes at all!), but you’ll feel a sense of dedication to doing something active. If you’re a person who works out at night after work, this same principle can apply. As soon as you get home from work, put on your running shoes and shorts. It will disallow you from sitting on the couch and getting lazy. This may seem like a simple idea, but it’s worked wonders for me.
- Never Skip Two: I totally get that life can be hectic. Maybe it’s a holiday or you have an extremely important presentation to prepare. Whatever the case, don’t skip two workouts in a row! If you’re wanting to workout three days a week but you skip Monday. Whatever you do, do not skip Wednesday. The likelihood of you completely falling out of your routine grows MASSIVELY once you skip two consecutive workouts. Even if it’s a simple walk around the block, do something. Don’t let yourself completely skip because it will ruin your motivation and let that part of your brain that’s making excuses win. You’ll fall into an unhealthy pattern and that’s definitely not what you want.
- Eat Something: So you’ve won the battle of getting yourself to the gym or on your walk/run, but don’t forget that there’s still the war of staying motivated once your workout already begins. By eating a small something before your workout, you will energize your body, therefore giving you a boost to push through the lulls of waiting for a machine to clear at the gym or getting over that big hill in your neighborhood. Whether it’s a banana or a protein bar, give your body the gas it needs to not only start the trip, but finish it too. Also, although coffee will dehydrate you a bit, I love the caffeine boost before I workout. Be sure to be drinking extra water afterwards, though.
Ultimately, don’t get down on yourself when you miss a workout. It happens to everyone. When you get back to it and get the ball rolling again, be proud of yourself! You’re taking steps towards building a healthier and happier self, which is a beautiful thing. Motivation can be tricky, so pay attention to your own body and mind. Try different approaches to find out what works best for you and then come back and share them on this post so everyone else can reap the benefits.
What are some of your favorite ways of staying motivated??