When it comes to exercise, a lot of people seem to have a hard time getting motivated. I know I do! But that’s because we try so hard to find outside things to motivate us, instead of getting creative and figuring out what we can trigger inside of us to get us moving.
Lack of motivation is probably the hardest part of getting in shape. It’s the hardest step you have to take on the road to fitness. But once you find the motivation and make exercise a habit, you’ll want to stick with it because you’ll feel so much better. You might even look forward to working out! You’ll feel happier, have more energy, and just have an overall better quality of life.Lack of motivation is probably the hardest part of getting in shape... Click To Tweet
I thought about what I do to get any motivation that I have to workout, and I came up with 13 things. These are things that work for me and I hope that they work for you too! I just have to remember to keep this list handy so that whenever I’m feeling stuck and can’t get my butt into gear, I can refer to this to help get myself motivated. 😀
Here are some things you can do that might help you get your work out on!:
1. Leave your stuff out and in the open.
If you leave your stuff out in the open, you’ll probably be more likely to use it. If the first thing you see when you wake up is your running shoes, you’ll think about that morning jog you meant to take. So leave your workout gear out in plain sight so that it’s on your mind and you’ll probably be more willing to use it.
2. Keep a workout journal or log.
Keep a notebook dedicated to your workouts. You can also use websites like MyFitnessPal (that’s what I use – you can add me if you want! Haha.) Track it as a habit, and keep track of your progress. Seeing how far you’ve come will motivate you to stick with it. And making exercise a habit is a great way to stick with it because it’ll become a routine that you’re used to instead of something that you have to force yourself to do all the time.
3. Search for some motivation.
You’ve probably seen those before and after pictures on social media – whether it’s Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Those pictures of a person’s transformation from overweight to super fit? Those are so motivating to me. And reading people’s success stories and how far they’ve come on their health journey. That makes me want to exercise – and I usually do after I look at them! Maybe this will work for you, or maybe you know of something else that gets you motivated. Do whatever works for you. Seeking out motivation is a great way to find it. 🙂
4. Find a workout buddy.
Find someone else who likes to workout so that you can exercise together. This will make you way more likely to actually exercise. You can motivate each other and hold each other accountable. Plus, it might make it more fun for you. If you can’t find anyone else who wants to work out with you, at least enlist a friend to be your accountability partner. Have them call, text, or email you daily and ask you if you’ve worked out. Choose someone who will actually hold you accountable, and not let you off the hook all the time. This will definitely help hold you responsible and motivate you to get your workouts done.
5. Buy some new workout clothes.
This may seem silly, but buying cute and flattering workout clothes can really make all the difference in making you want to work out. Buy a cute new sports bra and shorts. You’ll want to wear your new clothes, right? So put them on when you wake up. Then put on your sneakers. Think of these as baby steps. You’ve got your gear on so if that feels good, then just walk out the door and go for a jog, a bike ride, or whatever workout you want to do. This is super simple but it has worked for me. It’s just tricking your mind into getting it done.
6. Give yourself some fuel.
First of all, you don’t want to exercise on an empty stomach because that’s not good for you. If you eat a healthy pre-workout breakfast, you’ll have more energy first thing in the morning. And if you have more energy, you’ll be more likely to feel like working out. Here is an article with some healthy, pre-workout food ideas. Also, remember to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. Because getting dehydrated can cause a serious drain on your energy, plus make you sick!
7. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Yes, that girl on Instagram that has to post a selfie every single time she goes to the gym is making great progress with her workout goals. Yes, that woman in your yoga class is way more flexible than you. Yes, that girl you went to high school with just completed a 10K when you can still barely run for 1 minute without getting winded. But you know what? Comparing yourself to them does nothing but make you feel bad. How is that going to motivate you to get out there and work on your own fitness goals? Stop paying so much attention to them and start putting that focus into yourself. If you stop putting yourself down and look at those ladies as an inspiration, you can use that to motivate yourself to work to get where they are.
8. Listen to some good workout music.
Listening to the perfect workout playlist is helpful for a few reasons. First: it helps distract your mind and body from fatigue. Second: when it’s making you feel “pumped up” it’s increasing your strength and coordination. Third: it relaxes you a little bit and helps your blood flow. If you’re searching for some great songs to add to your workout playlist, check out this list and this list for some good ideas!
9. Find the workout that’s right for you.
The reason you may have trouble getting your workouts done could be as simple as this: you aren’t doing the right exercise. And this is different for everyone. If you’ve been trying yoga but you have a hard time motivating yourself to do it, maybe you should try jogging instead. If you’ve been trying to become a swimmer but you dread doing it every day, maybe you should try Zumba. I’ve tried exercises that I’ve hated, but I’ve found that I actually enjoy jogging. As I’ve said, I struggle with anxiety, and jogging helps put my mind at ease in ways that lifting weights can’t. So try a bunch of different forms of exercise (even sports, if that’s more fun for you) and see which one is the one that you enjoy. This is seriously important and it can make a huge difference in your motivation.
10. Think about your “why.”
If you know you should be working out but you notice that you’re procrastinating, think about your why. Think about the reasons why you wanted to work out in the first place. Do you want to lose all of that baby weight? Are you trying to get killer abs? Are you trying to become more healthy for your child or children’s sake? Would you rather achieve those goals, or would you rather keep binge-watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix (oh, is that just me?! *ahem*). So think about how much happier you’ll be if you put down the popcorn and start working on that body, that lifestyle, or whatever it is that you’ve been wanting so damn bad.
11. Think about how great you’ll feel.
You know that feeling, after you’re done working out? The endorphin-rush makes you feel so energized, awake, and just great. Yeah, next time you’re struggling to push yourself to work out, think about that. Remind yourself of that after-workout-high that you get. This is a major way that I find motivation. Just tell yourself that you’ll be thankful when you’re done!
12. Stop calling yourself “lazy” (or anything else like that.)
Your mind gets conditioned to hear things. If you call yourself lazy over and over again, your psyche will (subconsciously) start to believe that that’s your identity. If you say things about yourself enough, you’ll become those things whether you were in the first place or not; like a self-fulfilling prophecy. So start thinking of yourself as a healthy and active instead. Keep calling yourself those things, to fill your mind with positive thoughts instead of negativity. This could shift your mindset and trick your mind into making you into a healthy person. Okay, so it’s not as simple as I just made it sound – but that’s basically how it works.
13. Treat yo self.
I can’t say that without thinking of Parks and Recreation so here ya go. 😉
I’ve talked a few times before about the many benefits of rewards when it comes to motivation and reaching your goals, and working out is no different. If you work hard, you deserve a treat every now and then. So set yourself a goal (or a few) and then plan out a reward for each goal that you achieve. Like if you want to lose 20 pounds, maybe you can plan on buying yourself new clothes when you hit that goal. Or find a jar or container and put a dollar in it every time you complete a workout. Don’t take any money out of it, and promise yourself that if you complete your routine for X amount of time, you can spend all the money in the jar on whatever you want. Nothing that will hinder your progress, though! This will give you something to look forward to. Having an incentive is a powerful way to motivate yourself to achieve something.
Related reading: 20 Healthy and Frugal Ways to Reward Yourself
Question: How do you motivate yourself to work out? I’d love to see your comments below!
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