It’s February, which means for most people, their New Years Resolution to workout ended about 3 weeks ago. It’s hard to find workout motivation that lasts long term. So how do we beat the workout slump and stay motivated all year long to make those healthy lifestyle changes? I won’t claim to be an expert at working out or being dedicated, but here are 5 Tips for Staying Motivated to Workout that work for me!
HOW TO FIND WORKOUT MOTIVATION:
1. Make it Fun!
I think only a psychopath could withstand torturing themselves again and again. Of course if you feel like working out is torture you’re not setting yourself up for long term success. Find a type of exercise that you find fun and exciting! If it’s fun, then it’s more likely you’ll want to do it again and again. Mix up your workouts so you’re not doing the same thing every time.
Plus even though we might be stuck working out at home with all the gyms closed, there are a million online workout programs to try – whether you subscribe to a paid service or search free workouts on Youtube I guarantee there is something out there for everyone. My current favorite is MadFit on Youtube because she has equipment free home HIIT workouts and Dance style workouts that are easy to follow, challenging, and fun!
2. Keep yourself accountable
- Recruit a friend to be workout buddies and work out together/check in on each other.
- Take a class that starts at a certain time or you have to leave the house to go to.
- Post on social media every time you work up a sweat.
- Use a whiteboard calendar to check off everyday you worked out (the satisfaction after seeing all those little checkmarks is so gratifying!)
- Use your Fitbit/apple watch to start a streak you don’t want to break.
- It’s super easy to justify skipping workouts to yourself, but it’s a little bit more difficult to justify it to someone else.
3. Keep Starting Over
Remember it’s okay to take a rest day (or week or month). Life gets busy, motivation wanes, or you get sore/injured and need to take it easy. The important thing is to keep starting over. Consistency beats perfection every time. Just because it’s not a perfect workout or a perfect schedule doesn’t mean you should give up 10% is better than 0%. I know it’s easy to think that just because you “failed” to workout this week you should stop working out all together, but even one workout a week is better than nothing. I know it’s hard to get started working out (my first workout after a few weeks off almost always makes me want to throw up), but start small. Start with 5-10 min a day, then work up to 15 min, 20 min, and 30 min. Start with a walk, just get your blood moving!
4. Make it Routine
As important as it is to keep starting over if you stop working out, the first hurdle of starting is actually a lot more difficult than if you just incorporate working out into your daily/weekly routine. Whether you prefer a crack of dawn workout to start your day (Not me ick), a mid afternooner (YES!), or a evening wind down workout – find the time that works for you and your schedule. When working out becomes a habit, like brushing your teeth, it doesn’t seem so daunting or like an inconvenience. Set yourself up for success by laying out your workout clothes ahead of time, it’s a lot easier to get in the workout mindset when you change out of your pjs/work clothes and into your sports bra. It provides a nice mental switch that gets your brain ready for what you’re going to do.
5. Get Inspired & Set Goals
Personally I don’t like to make my goals number/weight based as that leads me to fixate on arbitrary numbers and not on how I am feeling/looking. I don’t even have a scale in my house. Instead I like setting goals like completing a certain number of workouts a month, or completing a workout without stopping for an extra break. Try using heavier weights during a certain exercise, or fitting into an old pair of jeans, or even taking progress pics as your goals!
Set your goal, write it down, and choose a reward for when you accomplish it!
And if you don’t crush your goals (or even come close), don’t beat yourself up! Reevaluate whether your goals are actually achievable and keep trying!
**BONUS Workout Motivation**
I personally find that if I am keeping up with other healthy habits (eating healthy and drinking lots of water) makes it easier for me to stay motivated to workout. No one wants to hop on a treadmill after eating a greasy pizza. Plus having the right fuel for your body helps make your workouts easier to get through. The one trap that is common for me to fall into though, is an all or nothing mindset. If I don’t drink enough water, or eat a salad for lunch then why bother working out. Remember it’s all about moderation and balance. The common saying is “You can’t out train a bad diet” meaning you can workout as much as you want, but you won’t see any results if you eat garbage. So it’s definitely helpful to eat healthy when you workout, but don’t stress and obsess about calories or perfection in your diet. Again consistency and some effort is better than perfection or no effort!
Do you have any other Motivation tips for working out? Any brain hacks to make workouts fun/exciting?
PS: Check out my Gift Guide for Fitness/Working Out for cool workout essentials!
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