Tips for Finding and Keeping Your Motivation
Tips for Finding and Keeping Your Motivation
Since I’ve begun my fitness journey about a year ago, I often get asked (especially by other mothers), “How do you find the motivation to do all this?” or “I wish I was as motivated as you!” Well, guess what? You can be! I really believe that the hardest part of a fitness routine is not the actual work outs themselves, but finding the motivation to start. Have you ever begun a workout and then stopped because you lost your motivation? Probably not or not very often (unless you were suffering from some kind of injury). But I bet there’s been several times when you had planned on working out but didn’t end up doing it (I am definitely guilty of this). Am I right? If we could all get over that initial dread of not wanting to work out and get motivated to put on our running shoes or drive to the gym or put in that workout DVD, we’d have the hard part of the work out done already! So I wanted to offer you some tips that work for me to stay motivated. And let me also say that while it probably seems like I personally never lose my motivation, that’s far from the truth. I do go through periods where I really don’t feel like working out and it all seems overwhelming. That’s where a lot of these tips really come in handy.
Be Social. Nothing motivates me more than having other people to share it with. Whether it’s meeting up with my run club for an early morning run, checking in with an online fitness group, or attending a group fitness class, knowing that other people are there and counting on me to be there too is always a good motivator for getting it done. Try to make friends that have similar fitness likes and plan workouts together. Make friends with regulars at gym classes that you like to attend. Find an online fitness group that does daily check-ins to keep you accountable. People are great motivators and can help you through your slump.
Have a Goal. Whether it’s running a 5k or fitting in to your high school jeans, have a goal and don’t lose sight of it. I know from personal experience that I tend to slack off a little during down time between training for races, so I try to make sure I’ve always got something coming up that forces me to push myself.
Create a Schedule. Winging it every day can definitely lead to excuses. But if you’ve got a schedule planned out each week, there’s no debating with yourself on what to do. Just look at your schedule and do it! Especially if you not only plan out what your workout will be, but what time of day you are going to do it. That way you can plan your week around your workouts and make sure you get them all in.
Take it One Day at a Time. So you’ve got your schedule at set for the week and just looking at it is making you tired? Feeling a little overwhelmed? Well, don’t. Just take it one day at a time. Focus only on the day ahead and getting in what you’ve got scheduled and don’t worry about the rest of the week.
Buy Something New. While this isn’t always practical due to financial situations (don’t we all wish we could buy a new workout outfit every week?) you should be able to reward yourself occasionally with some new workout attire/gadget/etc. Having something new to wear or try out is a great motivator for getting that workout done!
Don’t Think About It. Your mind will come up with a thousand excuses on why you don’t want/need/have to work out. So why even go there? Just go through the motions (put on your workout clothes, drive to the gym, etc.) without even thinking about the actual hard work you’re about to do. If I sat in bed every morning when my alarm went off and thought about running 5 miles, I’d never do it. Instead I just turn off the alarm, get dressed, brush my teeth and go about my morning. I don’t even think about my run until I actually start running. At that point, there’s no room for debate because I’m already doing it.
Think About How Good You’ll Feel. Okay if you must think about your workout beforehand, then here’s a thought. Rather than thinking about your actual workout, think about how good you will feel when it is over. You will feel better physically and emotionally. You will feel accomplished and any feelings of guilt will be gone. You’re free to enjoy the rest of your day without having that nagging feeling in your mind. It is such a freeing feeling!
Don’t Get Discouraged. If you fall off the fitness wagon, don’t be discouraged. It happens to all of us. Life gets in the way, things happen. Just start where you left off (or even take a few steps back, that’s okay too!) and keep going. You are never out of shape enough to not work out!
So there are my little insider tips for getting and staying motivated. I hope these help you out so that you can reach your fitness goals!