Five ways, that I’ve learned through experience, to maintain motivation for exercise. Nobody is perfect, but these are tips that I’ve found to work for me.
Imagine a world where everything we wanted was magically granted to us, with zero effort on our part. Of course, I’m sure we would all be initially ecstatic at the gesture. We wished for something and were granted exactly what we’d hoped for.
But no effort was exhausted to get there. We did nothing but accept something handed to us on a silver platter. Oh, what a world that would be.
If you ask me, this world doesn’t sound appealing at all. Because to me, most of the allure in something I want lives in that feeling of accomplishment. The opportunity to say “I did it.” is unlike any other.
“You want a rare diamond? Here. I just gave one to everyone around you, too”.
Would we even find worth in anything if it was just handed to us all?
Well, as we know, the aforementioned world is non-existent. We have to actually exert energy to get to what we want in this world. Which brings me to my main point: it ain’t easy to maintain motivation momentum on a regular basis for something we are working toward.
This applies to anything. Whether you’re trying to get a promotion at work, saving money for a car, building a business… it’s not easy. But it’s worth it.
And something that is especially hard to stay motivated for? Fitness. It’s like a double whammy: you have to have drive AND physical energy to exert yourself. Additionally, fitness has no peak. It’s a lifestyle; something that we need to maintain motivation for, for a lifetime.
And as someone who works in the fitness industry, the most prominent excuse I hear from the community on why they are not exercising is this: “I don’t have time”. And when I hear this, what I am really hearing is “it’s not a priority for me”. And before you yell at me, hear me out. I totally get it – I have been there. I have been at that point of exhaustion from work and life and obligations that I had zero desire to go sweat. While, yes, it does feel like you don’t have time, if you viewed it as something you absolutely needed to do to survive (which, it kinda is, if ya think about it), you would make time for it.
So, if you’re riding the motivation struggle bus, look no further – here are some tips, derived from my own experience, for how to stay motivated for fitness:
Nothing gets me motivated to exercise like someone counting on me. Having a workout buddy is a great way to hold you accountable. Plus, group fitness has become the new happy hour. It’s something to look forward to. It allows you to switch up your workouts, as opposed to the same gym routine you’re probably doing at your Planet Fitness. The boutique fitness industry has established itself as a strong subset of the fitness industry and I highly recommend jumping on the bandwagon. Determining a fitness routine that contains some group fitness classes will help keep you accountable because, after forming relationships with studio owners, instructors, and class-goers alike, you will be emerged into a whole other community that cheers you on. How can you say no to that?
Something I like to do when I’m feeling discouraged from exercising is turn up some jams and dance around my room. Yeah… seriously. It works. If you’re in a “meh” mood, pick a playlist and get moving. Your mood will instantly change and you’ll be ready to take on your workout. Here are a couple of my favorite playlists that hype me up:
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH REMINDERS
It’s 2016 – we’re all looking at some sort of mobile device most of the time. I’ve found that it helps me to surround myself with reminders for motivation. What I mean is, think about what you are looking at most of the time. Your phone? Your iPad? Your computer? Set a background on your devices that reminds you of what your goals are. Something that reminds you to work hard, to hustle. I even add little motivational quotes to my alarm clocks in my phone.
THINK ABOUT THE ‘AFTER’
The ‘after’ is what keeps me going. No, not the ‘after’ as in ‘before and after’. I’m talking about the feeling of after. Knowing that you just kicked ass in that spin class and the sun isn’t even up. Feeling that sweat drip down your face because you gave it your all. Feeling energized and empowered and confident to take on your day. That’s the ‘after’. And it’s what drives me.
PERFECTION IS NOT ATTAINABLE
Understanding that nobody is perfect, and sometimes life does get in the way, is a way to take pressure off of yourself. Pressure can make us less likely to do something, and if we understand that whether we exercise once in a week, or five times in a week, each of them are better than zero. And heck, sometimes we can’t exercise in a week at all. As long as you get back to it, you’re a champion. Like I said, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a marathon, it’s a journey. It’s progress, not perfection.
Join the conversation:
How do you stay motivated to workout?