You want to become fit and need some further workout motivation to get and keep you going? Here are five strategies that work!
Logic tells me that exercising every day is good for me. It’s good for every part of me from my biggest limbs and organs down to my teeniest tiniest cellular components. It’s good for weight management, energy and illness prevention today – not to mention disease prevention and longevity tomorrow!
All these things I KNOW… and yet, I still can’t get my butt to the gym or pop that workout DVD into the player. The motivation for exercise is often elusive:
“It’s all about motivation,” I told my dad the other day. “I’m just not that motivated.”
“Not even motivation,” he said, “but it’s that there’s just no time!” (Says the retired guy, might I add.)
“Ah-ah,” I argued, “It’s never about ‘not having the time.’ It’s about not having the motivation to make the time to work out.”
That’s exactly it. Think about how much time we waste on any given day. It’s extraordinary. I’ve already checked my Facebook five or six times and it’s not even noon yet. I sat on the floor and watched my cats eat treats for five minutes and spent time reading online, texting, and making Christmas lists for a holiday that is still months away. When you combine it all, there’s my workout hour right there.
So how DOES one find workout motivation? That’s what this post is ultimately about, right?
Here are 10 fitness tips and strategies I’ve found that really help me summons up the motivation to workout. Certain tricks will work for certain people and prove futile for others, so just find out what works for YOU, personally, and stick to your guns. (Trust me, it pays off!)
1. Roll out of bed and put your workout clothes on
This one is HUGE for me! I feel like such an utter and disgusting failure if I haven’t worked out and showered by the end of the day… despite the fact that I’ve been wearing my workout clothes all day. There’s something about getting “dressed for success,” as they say, that gets you into the right mind-frame to sweat and accomplish your fitness goals.
2. Choose your workout music wisely
Sometimes my workout mixes are SO GOOD, I honestly can’t wait to listen to them! I know not everyone is going to be super psyched working out to Agnostic Front’s “Warriors” album, but whatever it is that gets you amped up – find it! Don’t give yourself the luxury of listening to your special workout music whenever you please, though. You’ve got to work for it! And know that these energetic tunes will help you get through the workout, no matter how lackluster you feel.
3. Put it on your calendar!
If there’s one thing I LOVE to do, it’s check tasks off my agenda. I live and die by my At-A-Glance Day Planner… so if I write down that I’m going to lift weights or do an hour of cardio, you know I mean BUSINESS! I try to schedule something at least two or three times a week and keep in mind that walking the dog is always the default movement on my “days off.”
4. Skip Mondays
Oh God, if there’s one thing I HATE, it’s working out on Monday! I don’t know what it is, precisely, but perhaps it’s something to do with Monday being the start of the work week and the day I’m most likely to start making excuses that “there’s no time!” I am doomed to failure every time I try to start working out on Mondays… and before I know it, I’m making excuses all over the place and my whole week is doomed to failure. On the other hand, when I give myself this day of rest, I approach my Tuesday with a fresh sentiment like I just can’t wait to get active after that “cheater” day of mental exertion and physical sloth!
5. Find something you love
I’ll admit it: I simply don’t like working out all that much. When I was younger, it was easy. I just signed up for basketball, baseball, track and field, swimming, snowboarding, cross-country… team sports gave me a schedule, a sense of accountability, goals, and motivation. Now I need to replicate that on my own.
I take cycling and power lifting classes set to music. I conscript my husband into biking around the park with me at a reasonable pace. My dad and my sister run local races, which sometimes include obstacle courses and beer at “the end of the rainbow,” which adds a bit of fun to fitness. In the winter, we go to Breckenridge for a steak dinner and several hours of cross-country skiing. The point is: you need to find something you love and schedule it into your agenda.