We all know that exercise is a big part of keeping us healthy. We hear it everywhere: from our parents, doctors, in our social media accounts, bloggers. We see evidence that supports this. But, it is hard to motivate ourselves to workout.
Many of us were pretty active before we hit adulting. We’ve tried different activities aside from Physical Education, which thank goodness was a requirement. We’ve also had fun chasing our classmates in the school field. And then after class, we would hang out with our friends at the mall. (ah, those times!)
But now that we are adults, there is no one forcing us to exercise (okay, maybe there are some but we don’t listen). We KNOW that we should do it but we have too many excuses. No wonder why our backs hurt so much.
We’re always busy.
Gym membership is expensive.
We don’t have the proper equipment.
Our apartments are too small, and whatever excuses we have.
We also know that we should stop making excuses, and start taking care of ourselves. So, here are some tips to have motivation to exercise.
1. Know the reason for working out.
Our whys are very important for they guide us on what we do. And if ever we get loss on track, we have our whys to get back to. With this, our reasons should be significant enough for us to get going.
Look deep inside you when looking for your reason. Aside from what other people are saying, why do you have to set a time off your busy schedule for working out? Why do you have to put yourself in a challenging situation? Why do you need to endure sore muscles?
Define the why, and remember this. This is our main motivation to exercise.
2. Set a short-term goal.
Our whys or our long term goal motivates us to workout, and it can be very powerful when we are starting. But, it can fade away especially when we see it as something out of reach yet. (It is not that far but everything seems so distant or slow when we are working out, right?)
By having short-term goals, our brain thinks that it will be easier since it is tangible. It won’t have a resistance because it thinks that it is achievable soon. And once we achieve the first goal, that pride will get us going for the next one.
Every achievement boosts us to the next one, and then our mind and body get used to challenging itself.
3. Identify the possible challenges, and beat them first.
Let’s be honest, this is not our first time to try again to workout. For some this may be the first serious one, but a lot of us have failed to be consistent a lot of times already.
I know that remembering our failures can be discouraging. BUT those experiences can help us! Let’s be sad for a while, (wow, I’ve tried too many times) and then be hopeful.
From those experiences, we now know what will be the challenges that can hinder us from working out.
For instance, I already know that for the first few weeks, I am motivated to go to the gym. I am there first thing in the morning, and sometimes, I attend two classes.
But once the motivation to exercise fades off, I’d still go but every inconvenience will be a reason for me not to go.
It’s raining, I’ll skip the gym.
I forgot my headphones, I’ll skip the gym.
I have a big presentation tomorrow, I’ll skip the gym. And so on.
Now that I know this, I will be ready to face my complainer self.
It’s going to rain tomorrow so I should prepare my umbrella now.
I might forget my headphones so I should keep one in my gym bag.
I have a big presentation next week so I should start doing it now.
Beat those challenges before they become the reason for the inconsistency.
4. Prepare what you need for exercise the night before.
Preparing our workout stuff the day before is a way of showing commitment that we are going to workout the next. We should pick what clothes to wear, know what exercise to do, clean up our gym bag, ready our towels, etc.
By getting all these ready, we are also mentally preparing ourselves to workout.
And if we thought of skipping workout today, we would still see our prepared stuff. By preparing them beforehand, we are making sure that our future selves can see it. And we can’t use the excuse “it’s tiring to pick clothes”, “my shoes are dirty”, or “I don’t know what to exercise.”
When we do use these excuses, we’re going to say “I gotchu self, I have prepared all those last night!” *wink*
5. Prepare a workout playlist.
Sometimes, the reason that we lack motivation to workout is because we are not feeling it. We don’t have that right vibe to get into working out.
We can overcome this by warming up ourselves. And listening to music is a good way to pump those endorphins! Once we have those endorphins, we can workout feeling happier.
So, prepare those I-can-do-this-yeah-shake-shake-shake playlist and hype yourself up.
6. Do different workouts.
Doing the same thing over and over again can be so boring! Nothing makes time so slow aside from boredom, and we don’t want that to happen while we are working out.
When we have a variety of workouts, we are targeting different parts of our body. We are also making working out exciting because we are trying new routines.
Go dance sometimes. Later, carry weights. On other days, stretch those muscles. Go on a hike, or dive. Whatever it is that you decide to do, make sure that it makes you enjoy working out.
7. Reward yourself.
Before getting excited, no, I am not going to talk about having a cheat day. Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to have a cheat day. But, we are going to talk about applying positive reinforcement in working out.
Positive reinforcement is having a reward after an action to encourage doing this action more often. So, this means that every after workout we are getting something that makes us happy. As a result, we will get excited to workout, to get that reward.
With this in mind, we have to think about a healthy reward that we love.
For instance, the gym where I went years ago had a sauna, and I loved it ever since I tried it. So, whenever I got lazy to go to the gym, I still went and did my workout because I wanted to go to the sauna. (Sadly, they need to repair the sauna that made me stop going there.)
Indeed, positive reinforcement made me think that I love working out.
8. Keep a tracker.
Having a tracker on working out means that we are prioritizing it. We set it on our calendar, and will be reminded to do it.
Another great thing about having a tracker is that we can see our progress. And seeing progress can be very rewarding. Especially when we fill our calendars with those shiny checkmarks or colorful highlights. The feeling of satisfaction we get once we fill a week or a month of the same colors is glorious.
Get yourself a nice calendar or journal, and put a tracker on it.
9. Have a workout buddy.
It is always nice to have someone who will support you in this journey. The great thing about having a buddy is that we will not just support each other. But also we are going to do this together. Aside from supporting each other, we will also be each others motivation to exercise and be healthy.
Now, if we know that we are lazy, let’s get a buddy who is not! It should be noted that we should not hold our buddy down. We should be accountable of each other.
However, if you are not that person who has someone you can trust to really help you, you may look for a community that has the same goal as you. These are the people you attend classes with. You may also find one in Facebook groups. Remember that you can always have someone to help you.
Now, sweat and be in love with your body.
Following these nine tips could kickstart our fitness goals, and motivate us to be consistent in working out.
Always remember that there are ways to make this fun. We just have to condition ourselves to like it. It will be hard at first, like other things. And it is okay to start small, if it’s really hard. The important thing is to be consistent.
Now, stop reading about how to get motivated to workout, and start doing it!
Always rooting for you,
Meredith Blaise ♡