“I think it all comes down to motivation. If you really want to do something, you will work
hard for it.” – First man on Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary
Did you know? While on a diet, those kept a food journal lost double the weight compared to those who didn’t. What does that mean to us? Just that keeping count is a great way to keep yourself motivated. It’s the same with your workout goals – getting out of bed every day with just the faraway goal in your mind can get tough – you need to motivate yourself to keep at it. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you motivate yourself to stay focused on your exercise or your workout goals.
Set Small Goals
Do you find it hard to get started if you have a crazy load of work to do – most people do. So what you do is to start small. Distant goals can drive feelings of disappointment with the progress and a sense of being overwhelmed with the task at hand. Take baby steps instead. Break up the journey into smaller steps with identified milestones. Track progress against milestones and the sense of satisfaction you get will drive you forward. That way, you stop stressing and sweating the big stuff.
Get a Goal-Buddy
Many world athletic records are set by runners running alongside specifically designated pacing crews. You can follow suit with your own pacing crew – a Goal Buddy if you will! Get someone who supports you and pushes you to achieve your goals. You can be accountable to your buddy – empower your goal buddy to question you when you slip, and perhaps allow you a reward when you stick the course. Having a goal buddy just increases your determination to keep moving.
Wear workout clothes at home
Even if you don’t workout at home, get some fitness gear and wear that at home while you lounge about. For example, if you need to step out to get groceries, wear your best workout pants and trainers/sneakers. From that, it’s just a short hop step and jump to actually walking or jogging your way there. Drive past the park or that jogging trail when you’re out – the sight of the others out and about could incite you. And if it does – hey you’re already dressed for it!
Mix it up
You don’t always have to go for a run every single day. That's the beauty of exercise, you can do a mix of activities and lose the same calories. You could swim one day, go for a power walk the next, or go on a bike ride the next – who’s stopping you! You can even do Zumba to mix up your routines and stay motivated to power through. If running is your thing then run different tracks or trails – change directions if you’ve run a trail before – the changed view will help you keep moving.
Do it for a cause or charity.
Yes, you can also workout for a good cause. Tone your abs or run 10 kilometers – all for a cause. Think ice-bucket challenge – but with more movement, and greater health benefit. This activity will double your adrenaline rush because you will not only help yourself by exercising but you will help someone else in need too. Think – looking good and feeling good too at the end of it all. If you’re looking for ideas on how to do this – may we suggest
Keep training on a schedule like a meeting.
Everybody is so busy these days, it is hard to find time to exercise – so build it into a routine, a calendar if you will. It is more or less the same thing for people who can’t consciously save money. Take the choice element out of it –schedule it or automate it somehow. Let the schedule rule you and like clockwork, oblige and just do it. Go for a walk after lunch or dinner. Do crunches while you watch TV. Just build it into the schedule!
Do it even when you don’t want to.
Forcing yourself to do it – yes, this is a great way to stay motivated. When you exercise, you have happy hormones (endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin) released in your body. Once you feel that runner’s high or that adrenaline rush, it gets addictive and you want more of it. So do it even when you don’t feel like – and soon enough you won’t ever not want it. Clear?
Join an online community
If you can’t find a workout partner or a goal buddy, find a tribe online. Share news of your progress, ask questions about what troubles you, learn from the experiences of others, and pay attention to what is working for others like you. This works in two ways – that little bit of competition will drive you to push yourself for one. Then you can also get inspired by the journey or someone in the community – maybe someone who has overcome a significant personal obstacle. You can feed off the success of others.
In the end, the aim is to form a habit – doing what you have to do over and over again till it becomes second nature to you. Doing this is hard – but not if you stay motivated to stay the course!