This post discusses various methods to keep you motivated to work out. Whatever the activity, these tips are sure to get your engine revved, and inspire you to get out there and have some fun with it. So keep reading and discover what you may have been missing all these years.
Do you ever feel lazy, uninspired, or just plain tired? Chances are, you may not be motivating yourself the way you, individually, need to be motivated. One thing I have learned over the years is that everyone needs different motivation to keep going. What follows, is a list of things that I have found that motivate me, and really do work.
1. Surround yourself with inspirational words
You can write down inspirational words on posters, sticky notes, a notebook, or your computer. The point is to be able to see them, and read them every day. Repeat them like a mantra, and become the embodiment of those words. Also, remember why you started in the first place, and make sure it isn’t for superficial reasons. Over time, superficial reasons tend to diminish motivation for doing something. If you want to work out to be pretty, then add something to it. You could say I want to be beautiful inside and out, through and through. This will cut through the context of superficiality and give you something more tangible to work towards.
Additionally, make sure you know what drives you based on what kind of person you are. Some people need positive reinforcement to keep going. When they get yelled at, to push them, they tend to get discouraged, and fold like tissue paper. Some people enjoy being yelled at and forced to keep going. And others, like myself, enjoy the personal challenge. If you think you are too small or too big, that alone can be enough to motivate you to change your strength, athleticism, and appearance. Remember, it is all about the person you convince yourself you are.
2. Keep track of your progress
Keep track of your lifting weight, repetitions, body weight, body dimensions, and food intake. How are you supposed to know where you are going, if you don’t know where you have been? If you feel like you are not making progress, then your progress spreadsheet will prove or disprove your assumptions.
Writing everything down, also allows you to have a realistic view of everything that’s going on, with you. For example, I didn’t know how much sugar and sodium I was eating until I started keeping track. Since I cut down, I feel a heck of a lot better. I was also working out a lot, to gain mass, but thought I wasn’t putting it on. When I looked at my spreadsheet, I discovered I was making real and steady progress towards my goals. Keeping track really made a difference for me, and gave me the motivation to keep it up and see those gains on the paper and in the mirror.
3. Try not to stress out about your weight
If you are over or under weight, one of the worst things you can do is worry. If you worry, you release stress hormones, which wreak havoc on your body and cause a lot of other problems, including storing fat, affecting your sleep, and energy levels. Worrying does no good for you or anyone around you. So take a deep breath, relax, and smile, you’ll get there eventually. Which takes me to my next point…taking a break.
4. Take a break, you deserve it, and need it
For as much work as you do on your body, rest is just as important. Hard work exerted in activity, eating a balanced diet, and resting are all of equal importance. These things are like puzzle pieces, which fit together to form a well rounded body and mind. Resting allows your body to rebalance, and re-center itself, and repair cellular damage. It also allows your psyche to calm itself, and acts as a reward in itself, for your week of hard work. So on your day off, relax, stay hydrated, assess your progress, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
5. Turn your workout into a routine
The more you create the habit to engage in a certain activity, the more it will become a part of who you are. Try to keep a regular schedule, and after a while, it will be less like that thing that takes up time, and more that thing you look forward to. If you miss your window of time, and have to workout at a different hour of the day, don’t stress about it. You can always pick up where you left off later on, or tomorrow.
6. Create a reward system
Your rewards should be something that contributes both to your health and your enjoyment. If you reward yourself with cake after doing a good workout, you’re defeating the purpose of your efforts. You can make it a healthy treat, or a movie at the theater, just to name a few. Every time you reward yourself after doing something healthy, you reaffirm that connection in your brain, and literally rewrite who you are.
7. Have a friend join you, get a trainer, or do group fitness
If your friend becomes disheartened, try to help motivate him or her. You can become each other’s support system when one isn’t feeling all that great. However, if that friend keeps taking breaks, and it compromises your workout and attitude, then consider breaking that up and getting a different workout buddy. Personal trainers can also pack a lot of motivation into your work, as well as group workouts. Remember, make it fun, and before you know it, your workout will be over, and you’ll wonder where all the time went.
8. Dress the part
When you dress in workout clothes, you are more apt to follow through with your workout. By wearing your workout clothes you are wearing your intention. You should be confident that you gym style is stylish enough to be seen by other people. You’ll get a boost of confidence from looking so good in your new threads. Not many people like to be out in public with disheveled clothing, so why should your workout clothes be any different.
9. Give yourself small challenges
If you’re just starting out, start with small goals, and make them incrementally larger every time you come back to your activity. Before you know it, you will be completing entire workout programs and circuits with ease. The pride, results, and endorphins can help keep you going after that.
10. Train in a beautiful location
If you enjoy outside activities like fields sports, running, circuit training, do it in a picturesque location. The esthetic can help maintain a positive attitude while you’re outside doing your thing. If you have a hard time getting out of the city, perhaps you can put a nature show on while you run on a treadmill. Some higher end treadmills come with a preprogramed visual trail on a screen for you to run in concert with. I personally love running through nature trails, and feeling that connection to the natural world. Just being outside in all that beauty, is enough to power my workout all the way to the finish line.
11. Prove your doubters wrong
It may sound a little immature, but having the satisfaction of proving the biggest doubters wrong, might be enough to keep you going. When I was a child, I was one of those wimpy kids. Part of my motivation was showing all those bullies and punks a little something. And guess what…I did! So work hard, and prove those jerks wrong. You can do it, I know you can!
12. Be competitive
Be competitive and challenge others in sports or at the gym. Try to turn it into a game and make it fun. Try to get one more repetition than that other guy, or a few more pounds on the weight machine, or one more point in the field or court game. Push yourself. Don’t be afraid to explore your limitations. However, do it safely, and listen to your body. I don’t want you getting hurt in the process. Being competitive and making a game out of your workouts is a great way to pop some motivation into your activity and energy into your step. To finish, I will leave you with this famous quote from the Tao To Ching:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
I hope you enjoyed my motivational tips. Be sure to look at my other posts. You may discover something you never knew before. And don’t forget to follow me through my social sites like Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook; links are provided on the side menu.