How To Motivate Yourself To Workout
Sometimes all it takes is a little motivation to get you back on track and back in the gym. Instead of leaving you with just a few ways to get motivated, I have put together a list of 27 ways that you can use to motivate yourself to workout. Some of these are ones I personally use, while others were shared by friends, family, and clients.
After reading through this list, you should never have a problem motivating yourself to workout:
1. Set a goal that you really want to achieve. The most successful people that I have trained were ones with a specific goal in mind. Whether this is losing 15 pounds of fat or gaining 10 pounds of muscle, goals will help keep you motivated. Be sure to set a realistic time frame on your goal so it is not left open ended. Open-ended goals never seem to get finished.
2. Set a destination. Along the same lines as setting a goal, a destination is attainting a goal before a certain event: a family trip, a wedding, 50th birthday, grandbaby being born, etc. Having a destination will force you to stay on track, as there is a set date that you need to be ready by. If you do not have any destinations in the near future, set one. Set up a weekend getaway, plan on seeing a friend you haven’t seen in a while, plan a trip, etc.
3. Find a partner. Nothing will keep you more motivated than a great workout partner. Find someone who loves fitness and latch onto him or her. Allow them to push you in workouts and learn all you can from them (assuming they know what they are talking about.) This is how my journey started when I put on 30 pounds of muscle in three months. I knew my good friend Levi was very knowledgeable about health and fitness, plus he pushed himself very hard in every workout. I joined forces with him and my other friend Brian, and we went to work!
4. Start eating better. When you eat better, you feel better. This will then lead to having more energy. When you eat bad, you will find that your motivation drops terribly. Start focusing on eating real foods the majority of the time, and watch as you start hitting the gym more often and with much more energy.
5. Compete. There is nothing like some good ol’ competition to keep you motivated. Challenge a friend or co-worker to see who can stay the strongest to their workout plan. Note that this does not say, “who can workout the most” as this will only lead to overtraining. Set up 3-5 workouts a week and see who can stick to the plan. This will hold you accountable, as no one likes losing a competition.
6. Reward yourself. Rewards are huge especially when you are just starting out. When I began, my reward was the gratification of knowing that I became a stronger and better basketball player from my workouts. Now, I find rewards in many different ways: a rest day, a nutrition cheat day, a nice meal out, weekend vacation, etc. Find something to reward yourself with so you can stay motivated and stick with your workouts.
7. Track your progress. When you see written progress on exercises and workouts, you will see that you are improving. Improvements always lead to more motivation because you continually will want better numbers (ie. doing more weight on exercises, more reps than the previous workout, etc.). Track each workout then review your progress on a weekly basis.
8. Take a break. Rest is good! Many times you will find that you are unmotivated because you are simply worn out. Taking a few days off from your workouts will help your body rejuvenate and be ready to go for your next workout. Understand that if you have not worked out in 3 years, this does not apply to you. You may need a vacation from work or life, but certainly not from your lack of workouts.
9. Find the time that works best for you. We all have varying schedules and different times that work better to workout. For example, my wife just cannot find the energy to workout in the afternoon so during the mornings before work is when she goes. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who are not morning people and workout in the afternoon or night. Figure out when you have more energy and time, and get your workout done then.
10. Find inspiration. Inspiration for me comes from my friends who workout hard and eat healthy. I see them getting results so this keeps me motivated to work hard and outdo them. Simply seeing someone who is very fit can be your inspiration or for some just reading an inspirational quote will do the trick. Everyone is different so discover what will inspire you and stick with it.
11. Make it known. Tell everyone you know that you are going to start working out. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This will allow your goals to be out in the open and show others you are serious about doing it. You will be surprised by how much support you will get from family and friends when they see you trying to get fit.
12. Get support. Accomplishing any goal is going to be very tough so that it why it is important to find support on your journey. Get an accountability partner to make sure you stay on track. Or shoot me an email and I’d be glad to support you.
13. Build off your successes. Nothing feels better than having success at something new. Maybe just showing up to a workout is a success, if so, then build off of that. Look for any small successes that will keep you motivated: doing more weight than the previous workout, beating your time on sprints, doing one more rep on an exercise than the time before, etc. Any success is a success, so run with it!
14. Kill the negativity. Negative thoughts and people will come on your journey. Don’t allow them to bring you down. Instead, kill those negative thoughts and replace them with positives. Positivity goes a long way so start practicing it in all situations.
15. Think about what you are gaining. When we take on a new task, we often only see the difficulties of that task. We get clouded and don’t allow ourselves to see all the amazing benefits that are to come. Working out will lead to more energy, better health, and an overall better life. Don’t let the difficulties of getting in shape cloud your final destination.
16. Join a boot-camp. Boot camps are a perfect way to keep you motivated as it forms a community for you to be a part of. Once you get going on the boot camp, the last thing you want to do is disappoint the other boot campers by not showing up. This will hold you accountable and keep you motivated.
17. Get a playlist. Music is a perfect motivator when you do not want to workout. Find a few songs that get you fired up on life, put them on then start driving to your workout. Once you are at the gym you have no other option but to get your workout in.
18. Have answers for your excuses. The excuses are endless that we come up with for not working out. You must know which ones you tend to use the most and prepare a response to shut down that excuse. Don’t allow an excuse to get in your way of success. Prepare a response so the excuses have no authority over you.
19. Hire a trainer. For some, just getting to the gym is hard enough. So hiring a trainer will keep you accountable to show up to your workouts. If you simply cannot workout on your own (for whatever reason), find a trainer that will push you and force you to show up.
20. Take a picture. When it comes to working out, people want to see visual results. This is what they measure their successes upon. Although it is not all about looking good (I mean the ultimate goal is always to become more overall healthy), we like to actually see the results we are getting. Taking a picture is a good way to track progress and see how far you have come.
21. Surround yourself with positive people. As was stated earlier, positivity can go a long way. There is just something about positive people that brings out the best in others. Whenever I am feeling down, being around someone (or just talking to someone) that is positive brings my mood right back up. If you feel unmotivated to get in a workout, find someone that is on fire for life and listen to him or her. This will put you in a great mood and motivate you in all areas of your life, including getting that workout in.
22. Start small. Starting small allows you to have immediate success. If you have not worked out in five years, don’t expect to just start working out five days a week. Instead, set the goal of working out two days a week for 30 minutes each time. Then you can build up to doing more over time.
23. Visualize your success daily. Many different studies have shown the power of visualization and the impact it can have on the outcomes of your goals. Visualizing your success will keep you motivated each day to keep pushing on towards your ultimate destination. If you ever feel like not working out, try to visualize where you want to be and I can almost guarantee it will change your mind about missing a workout.
24. Don’t beat yourself up, pick yourself up. Mistakes happen. Workouts are missed and you will mess up on your nutrition plan. Don’t beat yourself up when these things happen. Instead, use it as motivation to get better. If missed workouts start to become a pattern that is when you need to reevaluate what you are doing.
25. Stop the complaining. There is nothing worse than someone that is constantly complaining about everything. It sucks the energy right out of the room. There comes a point when the excuses must stop, and you buckle down and go to work. Complaining will get you nowhere.
26. Do it for the kids. As humans, we are meant to be active. But with technology today, we are becoming more and more sedentary. The kids of this generation have it the worst, and for you parents out there, it is your job to keep them active. Get them involved in sports, go on hikes, go to the pool or beach, or simply go and throw the football around. By keeping your kids active, you are also keeping yourself active. For your motivation, get in good enough shape so that you can always keep up with your kids, no matter what age you are!
27. Don’t ever, EVER give up! What is the point of starting something if you are just going to give up half way through? Starting is the easy part, it is the journey that is hard. There will be bumps along the way but know that each time you push past a difficulty, you move one step closer to reaching your goal.
Find what motivates you and get started today. There is no better time than now to start changing your health and your life.
In what other ways do you motivate yourself to workout? Please share below…
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