How to get motivated to work out and win!
Finding the motivation to stick at your work out is hard. You like most people can relate with starting out with the best intentions and a fire in the belly only to peter out a few weeks later. In this article we are going to cover why it is so hard to stay motivated to work out and cover 4 key steps you can follow to keep your motivation high!
The difficulty in staying motivated comes down to two reasons, our biology and environment. For most of our evolution food was scarce, if there wasn’t a payoff we didn’t do it. Due to this we have a pretty strong “status quo bias” which is our preference for the path of least resistance or doing nothing. This is why it is so much easier to sit on the couch watching Netflix rather than go out for that 5k run. Added to this is our much more sedentary lifestyles. We no longer have as much incidental activity through physical jobs and have access to more conveniences which require us to move less.
With all this against us having the right motivation strategies in place are vital at succeeding at your workout program. In order to succeed your, motivation needs to be consistently greater than your inclination to do nothing. Here are our 4 key steps to help you keen and win!
1) Undertake self-reflection and understand your why.
Why do you want to work out and what is the end goal? A good way to clarify this in your mind is to ask why at least three times. For example, “Why do I want to exercise? A. I want to lose weight. Why do I want to lose weight? A. I want to lose weight so I can be healthier. Why do I want to be healthier? A. I want to be healthier to I can keep up with my young kids”. This clarifies your underlying reason and makes it more real and tangible.
Once you have your why you need to make it real and remind yourself every day. Write it down in a positive affirmation statement, for example “I will work out because I want to be the healthiest version of me so I can enjoy being active with my kids”. Copy this out on 3 bits of paper and stick it up in 3 places you will see it every day, the fridge, bathroom door and office work well. You now have your authentic reason, any time you feel yourself becoming discouraged remind yourself for who or why you are putting in the hard yards!
2) Design a plan and schedule it in.
If you don’t plan you plan to fail. If you make a general commitment that you’ll fit in a workout sometime during the week failure is certain. To succeed you need to make it specific, have a look at your weekly schedule and build in at least three one hour sessions per week for times that work best for you. This could be while the kids are at school, during your lunch break or before heading to work in the morning. Once you have your times booked in write them up into your calendar, journal or to-do list to act as a reminder.
3) Make it social and get support.
One of the best ways to stick to a fitness program is having encouragement and support from family and friends. As social creatures we are influenced by our peers and feel obligated once we have made a commitment. It’s a lot harder to hit snooze if you know your best friend is waiting for you at the gym! Whenever possible schedule in your workouts together or find a group of like-minded people. The local running club, yoga group or boot camp will have people who have the same goals as you and will be able to offer encouragement and advice.
Another great option is to join an online community. There are plenty of Facebook groups, Sub-Reddits and forums which you can join to cater for your goals. Try joining a running or fitness forum for useful advice on getting started. For the added kick following some inspirational blogs, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook accounts.
4) Most importantly mix it up and make it fun!
If you did the same thing every day we would lose motivation like it’s going out of fashion. Whether you join a yoga class or mix up your run with intervals and sprints, design your routine around a variety of exercise types. The variety will give you a more rounded physique, improving your fitness, strength, co-ordination, agility and mental concentration.
Make sure you include activities you find fun and look forward to doing. Align your passions to your workout and you are much more likely to stay motivated. For example, if you like dance take a Zumba class or if you like the outdoors go on a trail walk. The main thing is to find an activity you enjoy and that gives you energy.
We hope these suggestions will get you motivated and start to enjoy your workout program.
The ball is now in your court and it is up to you to take action! Remember:
-Undertake self-reflection and understand your why
-Design a plan and schedule it in
-Make it social and get support
-Most importantly mix it up and make it fun!
As a result, you’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of better health, fitness, energy and ultimately happiness in doing the things you want in life!
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