People often ask me how I stay motivated to workout and the truth is that there are times that I am not motivated at all. Sometimes at 5:30am or after a long day at work, I feel more inclined towards a Netflix marathon than training for a real one.
Trainers don't have a special motivation gene that keeps us going. There is not a secret to exercise motivation that will change everything. Here's my big secret: When I don't feel like working out, I just do it anyway. It has nothing to do with motivation. It's fighting past not being motivated.
DON'T NEGOTIATE WITH THE ENEMY
If you are anything like me, sometimes you are your own worst enemy. Stop negotiating with yourself. I have learned to turn my brain on autopilot. Don’t think about it, just do it. My morning mantra is "Keeping Moving Forward." That just means I keep doing the small things that are going to eventually land me in the ShredShed: Brush my teeth, make coffee, put on shoes, warm-up. Before I know it, I feel ready to work out!
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Working towards consistent behavior is the best way to build a new a healthy habit. Start out by committing to at least 15 minutes a day of an activity you enjoy and build from there. 15 minutes a day is a great start to a new healthy lifestyle. Small but consistent steps can snowball into big changes. If for no other reason, just do it to stay consistent.
TELL ME LIES TELL ME SWEET LITTLE LIES
I lie to myself all the time.
"I'll just run one quick mile"
"I'll just do a quick 15 minute full body circuit"
"I'll just walk and stretch today"
I tell myself these things knowing that most of the time once I get started I won't want to stop. Getting to the gym or out the door for a run is often the hardest part. Once I get going I am all in. What about those off days, when you really want to quit after 15 minutes? Don't be too hard on yourself, as these days are likely few and far between. A 15 minute workout is better than a zero minute workout.
MISERY LOVES COMPANY
On those days when a workout sounds a little like misery, just remember that misery loves company. Just kidding, working out is fun! A friend can make an exercise session feel like a social occasion. Recruit a friend to join you at the gym or out for a run and you may help motivate them towards a healthier lifestyle. Friends can provide you with a little friendly competition and some accountability. Don't have any fit friends? Make some! Join a group exercise class or a boot camp to make fast fitness friends. If I can't find a human, I can always count on my furry four-legged friend to be a willing running partner.
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
No. Not that kind of professional. A personal trainer is a great motivator with built in accountability. A fitness professional will keep you on track with effective exercises so you get the most out of the time spent in the gym. They will make sure you are progressing regularly and at the correct rate to prevent wasted time, overtraining or injury.
How do you stay motivated?
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