How to Stay Motivated
May 09, 2020
Staying motivated can definitely be much harder than initially starting an exercise plan. It’s just a fact of life. Starting a new habit and sticking to it is super hard. In this article, I am going to provide a few helpful tips to stay consistent with your habits so you can reach your health and fitness goals.
Just as we gradually train our bodies to develop strength and endurance, so need to do the same for our minds.
- Think of yourself as an athlete. If you put effort into consistently working out you are by definition an athlete. Your goal may be to feel better, to look thinner, and have more energy, but in the end, you are an athlete. And if you put yourself in that mindset, psychologists say you’re more likely to act like an athlete. And athletes stick to their workout program regardless if they feel like it doing it or not.
- If you have ever taken one of my classes you know I usually say “oohhh isn’t this so much fun?” or “wasn’t that a fun exercise?” I truly love moving my body and do think it’s fun, but I realize not everyone feels that same way about exercise (it took me a few years to discover this). But you might one day love it too! The trick is to stay consistent, knowing one day this certain movement will get easier (because you are getting stronger). When it does, you may one day love it too, or at the very least, tolerate it.
- Variety is important too. Have you ever been stuck in a rut with exercise? Going for the same run, on the same route. Or picking up the same hand weights, doing the same boring strength exercises you have been doing for years. If you come to my fitness classes consistently, you may have noticed I change it up every single class. I love variety, and I believe our bodies and minds do too. As an exercise specialist, I know the movements are the same: a lunge is a lunge, a squat is a squat, a push is a push, etc. However, how I do those fundamental exercises change: I may add a band to the exercise one day, and then use an 8” pilates ball the next. Having variety on your runs by choosing different routes works great too.
- Working out with others helps with motivation as well. I LOVE small group training. It’s fun, motivating, and we get to connect with others. And the best part is we can be held accountable to show up to class.
- Working out alone has benefits too. Have you ever had a stressful day, put on your running shoes, and walked/ran around the block only to feel 100 times better? Exercise releases endorphins, our feel good hormones. Exercise also helps with our focus, giving us mental clarity.
- Logging your progress is a great motivator and definitely helps with accountability. It reminds you how good your body and mind felt when you were consistent with your program
- Forgive yourself when you fall off the exercise wagon for a couple days or weeks. Stuff happens. Life gets busy. Periods of stress take over. When you notice you haven’t exercised for a while forgive yourself, and the next day, start again. Simple as that. Even if this is your first time falling off, or the 100th No one is judging you. And everyone is happy when you get back on the wagon.
- Quit the negative talk. When we criticize ourselves, no one wins. When you notice yourself engaging in negative self-talk, stop and ask yourself if this is helping you. And then start believing that you can succeed (because you can!)
- One of the best ways to strategically motivate yourself is to lay out your workout clothes at night and see them in the morning. Even if you are not motivated, put them on anyway. Don’t you feel more motivated by simply wearing your workout clothes?
- Another way is to tell yourself you are just going to do five minutes of exercise and see how you feel. Start working out and I bet at the five minute mark you will continue, as you might as well finish.
- Remind yourself that exercise helps all aspects of your life. Moving your body helps your cells function more efficiently. When that happens, you receive more energy. When that happens, your body increases its processes, helping your body burn more calories. When that happens, you lose weight easier. Exercise helps with your stress levels and dealing with the craziness of our busy lives. Exercise also helps with pain. Movement eases our aches and pains, strengthening our bodies, and balancing it so we can move with more ease and strength.