In the early days of a new workout routine, excitement and motivation are high. As you settle into a routine, however, that motivation often begins to wane. Sometimes, it’s because you’re bored with or don’t enjoy whatever you’re doing. Other times, a lack of noticeable results makes you feel like you’re wasting your time. However, results can take time. You have to stick with it to achieve them–and keep going even after you do. With these 10 tips, staying motivated in your workout routine will be a piece of cake.
Set Clear Goals
Having something to work toward is very motivating. While you certainly can set a goal of losing a certain number of pounds, a better option is to set smaller, more easily attainable goals based on other benchmarks. For example, taking a 15-minute walk five days per week is a good start. As you achieve smaller goals, establish bigger, longer term ones. After getting used to those 10-minute walks, progress to taking 30-minute walks five days per week. This same concept can be applied to virtually any type of workout.
Make it Enjoyable
It’s easy to feel like you’re not really working out if you’re enjoying yourself. However, regardless of your fitness level and interests, there are sure to be several activities that you’ll truly get into and actually enjoy–and you’ll be way more motivated to stick with them because of it. Get out there and try as many different activities that you can. From different classes at the gym to activities like running, rock climbing, swimming and cycling, the possibilities are endless.
Pencil it In
Every day, you do things that you don’t necessarily enjoy in order to maintain your health, well-being and happiness. Odds are that you carve out time each day to brush your teeth, pay your bills and do housework, so treat working out the same way. Rather than thinking of it as an extra thing, think of it as an essential thing. When it’s part of your daily routine, it’s easier to stick with.
Get others into the act to keep yourself excited and motivated to work out. Sure, working out alone can be a great way to clear your mind. Having friends along is extremely motivating, though, and it helps to pass the time. From co-workers to spouses to kids, find activities that you can enjoy with others to keep yourself on track.
The great way that you feel after a workout is one of the best rewards there is, so make a conscious decision to sit and enjoy those feelings after every session. You might also consider treating yourself to a healthy, simple reward after working out–for example, pick up a smoothie.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
One of the biggest reasons that people lose motivation for working out is because they believe that they must follow a strict schedule. When they miss a day for whatever reason, they feel like failures and throw in the towel. Be gentle with yourself. There will be days when you’re just not feeling it, and that is okay. Just make sure to get back in the saddle right away.
Make it Cost You
We all know that investing in pricey gym memberships and exercise equipment is no guarantee that they’ll actually be used. Money can be very motivational, however, so consider hiring a personal trainer for a bit. Knowing that you are paying a professional to keep you on track should, indeed, keep you on track.
Have a Backup Plan for Lazy Days
While it’s perfectly okay to occasionally skip working out when you’re just not feeling it, have a backup plan in place so that you can squeeze in a small workout at home. Keep a few free weights and an exercise mat handy. That way, if you don’t feel like hitting the gym, you can at least get a mini workout in while hanging out at home.
Make it Social
Sign up for a social network for athletes and share your workouts with friends. From Strava to MyFitnessPal to MapMyFitness, there are tons of places online where you can cheer others on–and be cheered on by others.
Buy New Workout Clothes Regularly
Having to throw on the same boring workout clothes day in and day out is pretty depressing. You’ll stay way more motivated when you treat yourself with snazzy new workout clothes on a regular basis. Happily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to do this, either. For instance, Fabletics offers a lineup of affordable, stylish, high-quality workout clothes. Many pieces mix and match, which is pretty cool.
As you can see, there are many ways to maintain motivation for working out. More than anything, thinking of it as a permanent part of your lifestyle rather than a temporary way to achieve a certain physique will help you stick with it for the long haul. Before you know it, working out every day will be like second nature to you!
Note from Rachel: If you are interested in providing a guest post, please shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!!