Do you have trouble motivating yourself to stick with a workout routine? Do you find it challenging to convince yourself to go to the gym after a long day at work? If so, you aren’t alone. And, thankfully, there are things you can do to stay motivated.
4 Tips to Stay Motivated
Motivation and exercise success are inextricably linked. When you’re motivated to exercise, you can get some pretty amazing results. Staying disciplined and on track becomes easy. You show up and work hard because you want to – simple as that. But there’s a flip side to this equation. When motivation wanes or disappears altogether, the results stop too. You no longer feel compelled to show up for a training session or take the necessary steps to achieve specific goals. Or, if nothing else, exercise starts taking a backseat to other priorities in your life.
While it’s definitely not the only factor involved in successfully accomplishing fitness and training goals, motivation is one of the most important ingredients. And, thankfully, there are plenty of ways to conjure up more of it. Here are several suggestions:
1. Know You’re “Why”
At the end of the day, everything comes back to your desire to work out. If you’re only exercising because your doctor told you to or you feel like it’s something people your age are supposed to do, you probably won’t stick with it. You need to know your “why.” Common examples include:
- I want to be healthy so that I can live long enough to see my grandchildren grow old.
- I want to accomplish my goal of being able to run a marathon.
- I know there’s heart disease in my family history and I want to be as healthy as I can.
- I’m tired of being overweight and feeling shame. I want to feel confident in my body.
When you know your “why,” you’re more likely to choose exercise over other shiny objects that pop up along the way and tempt you to skip a workout just this one time. If your “why” isn’t yet clear, spend some time thinking about it.
2. Find a Workout Buddy
There’s power in numbers. When it’s just you, it’s easy to blow off a workout or lie to yourself about doing something. But when there’s someone else involved, it keeps you accountable and on track. This is why we recommend finding a workout buddy.
Your workout buddy is someone you exercise with, communicate with, and hold accountable. This is someone you should enjoy spending time with. However, you should also feel comfortable enough to call them out (and vice versa).
3. Hire a Personal Trainer
A workout buddy is great for accountability and morale, but you also need someone who can help you create a plan to help you achieve your goals. This is where a personal trainer comes into play.
A personal trainer keeps you accountable and gives you around-the-clock access to things like workout statistics, body tracking, and push notifications for exercise and training sessions. You can typically find personal trainers at any gym.
However, there are also online personal trainers that you can connect with regardless of your location.
4. Incentivize Yourself
The human brain thrives when it feels incentivized. While the long-term benefits of exercise are clear (better health), we often need short-term incentives in order to find the motivation to engage in a difficult workout. Don’t be afraid to establish certain rewards or prizes for reaching fitness goals.
This goes both ways. In addition to incentivizing yourself for reaching certain fitness goals, you can also self-impose consequences for not reaching goals. For example, if you miss a workout during the week, you have to double the reps on the weekend.
Or maybe you don’t get to use your “cheat meal” if you’re unable to run your allotted miles for the week. Pick something that hurts a little (and make sure you let your workout buddy and/or personal trainer know about the consequences so they can hold you accountable for implementing them).
Putting it All Together
As you can see, there are several buttons you can press to increase your motivation levels. Some of these buttons will work better for you than others. It’ll be up to you to determine the right mix of motivational factors to keep you on track to reach your exercise and fitness goals.