Let’s face it: not everyone loves to exercise, and in fact, most people don’t. With busy lives and schedules, a workout can be the last thing you want to squeeze into your day.
However, we also know how important exercise is to having a healthy body and mind.
Even if you love to workout, there may be days when you just can’t seem to force yourself out of bed or justify skipping your evening workout after a stressful day at the office.
If you struggle with finding the motivation to workout, we’ve got eight great tips that will help get you up and running – literally!
1. Define your “why”
One of the best ways to find motivation for your workouts is to define the reason why you’re doing it in the first place. Are you exercising because you “should,” because you want to lose weight, because you want to be able to keep up with your kids, or for another reason?
Defining your “why” and visualizing what you want your life to look like in the future can be powerful tools when you find your motivation waning.
While aesthetic goals can be motivating for some people, most people find more success when they focus on a feeling they want to attain rather than a specific weight or dress size. Picture what your life will look like once you’ve reached your goal or achieved the level of fitness you desire. How will it be different than your life is today, and what can you do today to help you get a step closer to the life you desire?
2. Set small goals
Defining your “why” and visualizing your big picture will help you keep in mind the reasons why you are working out, setting small goals along the way can also be motivating. Maybe you want to be fit enough to finish an entire cardio dance workout video, but right now, you don’t exercise at all.
Rather than trying to complete an entire goal at once, break it down into manageable goals.
For example, on your first day, you could set a goal to complete the first song without taking a break, and try to make it through two songs by the end of your first week. This makes your workout feel more manageable and helps you achieve little wins along the way, making you more likely to continue trying. It can be upsetting to feel like you’re miles away from achieving your ultimate goal, so set up small goals along the way to help you mark your progress.
3. Reward yourself
You’ve set up those small goals along the way, so now, reward yourself when you accomplish them! Rewards can be anything that help keep you motivated, whether it’s a new pair of workout shorts, the new GPS watch you’ve had your eye on, or an experience that you’ve really wanted to try.
It’s important to celebrate yourself and your successes along the way, because staying consistent with a fitness journey can be challenging.
You deserve to celebrate your hard work!
4. Invest in yourself
There’s a reason why personal trainers are so expensive but also so popular – people find the accountability offered by personalized coaching to be incredibly motivating! The cost to hire a personal trainer or join a boutique fitness studio often inspires people to workout more often because they have already made an investment in their fitness and don’t want to see their hard-earned money go to waste. So, what can you do if you don’t have hundreds of dollars a month to shell out for a personal trainer or fancy gym membership, or you don’t have the time or desire to head to a gym?
You can find accountability and support through online fitness communities like Body FX.
Online fitness communities offer hundreds of at-home workouts in the form of dance videos, yoga videos, bootcamp videos, and more, all of which can be done anywhere that you have access to a streaming source like a phone, tablet, or computer. You’ll also receive daily coaching via email that helps to provide guidance, support, motivation, and accountability and answer questions that you may have about your fitness journey.
Some communities even offer the opportunity to join a group of other community members who have similar goals and lifestyles in order to provide the type of camaraderie you would otherwise find in a gym or studio. It’s possible to have it all right from home, but no matter where you choose to workout, the important thing is that you make an investment in yourself and your future.
5. Pair “want tos” with “shoulds”
One of the most effective ways to motivate yourself is by pairing something you want to do, like listening to your favorite podcast or watching your favorite show, with something you “should” do, like your workout.
If there’s a particular show that you love to binge watch, make a promise to yourself that you’re only allowed to watch that show while you walk or run on your treadmill.
If you just downloaded a great audiobook, listen to it only when you’re getting a workout in.
If dance videos and home workout videos are more your style and you don’t have the option of listening to something other than the music and instructions playing on the video, reward yourself by watching your show after your workout or listening to that podcast episode.
By pairing something you really want to do or love to do with your workout, you’re more likely to get your workout done and enjoy yourself while you’re doing it.
6. Put your clothes out the night before
If you’re a morning workout person, the trick to getting your workout done is to make things as simple as possible. The less you have to think about, the better!
With that in mind, getting your workout clothes out the night before you plan to workout can help you get ready more quickly and remove some of the barriers to exercise.
If possible, sleeping in your workout clothes is even better, because then all you have to do is roll out of bed and press play on your workout video or get out the door for your run. If you workout after work or on your lunch break, pack your gym bag the night before so that all you have to do is grab it when you’re heading out the door. That way, you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything if you’re packing in a rush in the mornings.
7. Schedule your workouts like appointments
How many times have you had the best of intentions regarding your workouts and then found that your day simply got too busy? It happens to the best of us, but one way to avoid this common issue is to schedule your workouts in your calendar like an appointment.
Don’t allow yourself to schedule meetings or other obligations during your workout time, and make a promise that you’ll keep the appointment with yourself.
After all, you wouldn’t cancel a doctor’s appointment at the last minute because you got too busy to go, so why would you cancel on yourself? There are so many reasons why we don’t have time to workout on any given day, but the only way to guarantee that you’ll find time to fit your workout in is to schedule time to fit your workout in, and stick to it!
8. Mix it up
Sometimes, your workout might start to feel stale or boring, which makes you less likely to get up and actually do it.
The best way to combat this feeling is to incorporate as much variety into your workouts as possible.
Rather than doing the same dance video over and over again, mix it up by joining an online fitness community that offers hundreds of video options to choose from. If you always run the same route at the same pace, try exploring a new neighborhood or incorporating some short bursts of speed into your workout to keep things interesting.
Changing up the activity that you do will also help keep your body guessing, which enhances your results.
Add in a yoga day to help your muscles restore and refresh for the workouts ahead, or add in some variety and intensity with high-intensity interval training. There’s no rule that says that you can only do the same type of exercise over and over again, and in fact, mixing things up is one of the best ways to prevent injuries and help your body get stronger.
Variety is the spice of life, so why not make it the spice of your workouts, too and get that motivation up and running!