When we begin to exercise, we usually start with a high level of motivation. However, as time goes by and the complications of life kick in, that motivation tends to flag. Yet, maintaining your motivation is the key to workout consistency, which is, itself, the key to achieving your fitness goals. In this article, you’ll learn how to motivate yourself to work out, day in and day out.
- Create Fitness Goals
- Find a Gym Buddy
- Schedule Your Workouts
- Reward Yourself
- Love Your Workout
- Find Your Purpose
- Your Environment
- Wrap Up
Create Fitness Goals
When you have clearly defined goals, you have powerful fuel to your workout motivation. Set a fitness goal for the next 12 months. That goal might revolve around a weight or body fat level target or a performance target, such as running a marathon. Then break your goal down into smaller stepping-stone goals that will lead you to your major goal. Next, break this goal down into monthly, weekly, and finally daily goals.
Your daily goals should revolve around your workout and your nutrition.
To be effective, your goals should follow the SMART acronym:
- Time Bound
An example of a goal that follows these parameters is the following:
I will complete a half-marathon on January 15, 2022.
Find a Gym Buddy
Teaming up with a workout partner can provide powerful fitness motivation to remain consistent with your workouts. The very fact that another person is relying on you to turn up is a powerful incentive not to ditch your training session. When you work out with a friend, your training session also becomes more enjoyable, making you further likely to follow through.
Schedule Your Workouts
At the beginning of the month, pull out a physical calendar and plot in all of your workouts for the month. Put a circle around each of those workout days and then stick the calendar on your fridge door. Every time you complete a workout, put a big red X through that date on the calendar. This small action can be a very satisfying reward. As you see the red X’s filling up over the course of the month, you will be more motivated to remain consistent.
You should also write your workout as the first item in your daily planner. Put it ahead of everything else because it is non-negotiable!
You should schedule your workouts at a regular time in order to maintain a consistent, habitual routine. If possible you should work out first thing in the morning. That way you will get a session in before the unpredictability of your day kicks in.
When you have trained consistently for a month, give yourself a small reward. It doesn’t have to be anything financial and should not involve food (especially if you are trying to lose weight). It could be as simple as watching a movie on Netflix or getting a massage. Make it something that you look forward to and that will entice you to work for it.
Love Your Workout
Learning to love your workout will mean that your level of motivation will not have to be high to maintain consistency. Most people don’t enjoy working out. Instead, they view it as a necessary evil. When you flip that script, you will have no problem maintaining training consistency.
The key to loving your workout is to find the type of exercise and a training environment that you enjoy. If it’s the gym floor, that’s great. But it may be group fitness classes, running the hills, group personal training, or doing outdoor Bootcamp classes. Keep trying new things until you find the one that feels right.
Find Your Purpose
When you discover your passion, you will have found your purpose. And when you have purpose, you will have inbuilt motivation. You will be jumping out of bed in the morning with enthusiasm, eager to take on the day.
To find your purpose, you need to think about the big picture of your life. Life is not made up of small, inconsequential things. It is about being generous, giving to others, and helping people.
Here are some questions to help you find your purpose:
- What makes you happy?
- Have you evaluated what you want to do in life?
- Do you love what you are doing in your career?
- If you do not love what you are doing, then why are you continuing?
- Is it because the money is too good to pass up?
Your environment needs to fuel your motivational juices. You can create a motivational environment with posters. Put up images of your inspirational heroes along with motivational quotes and images that represent your goals. In addition, you should write your goals on Post-it notes and stick them on places that you will see regularly. This should include your bedroom mirror so that you will get that positive reinforcement first thing in the morning.
Make your environment as productivity-inducing as possible. If you are planning to work out first thing in the morning, set out your workout clothes and gym bag, and prepare your post-workout drink, the evening before.
Visualization is a technique by which you create movies in your mind about what you want the outcome to be. It is a technique that pro-athletes have been using for decades. You can and should use it as a powerful motivating technique in your own life.
Let’s use the example of working out to illustrate the power of visualization. An hour before your workout, sit quietly and close your eyes. Now, picture yourself entering the gym. You know exactly what your targets are in terms of weight and reps. See yourself entering the locker room and getting ready for your session. Then picture yourself going through a perfect workout, hitting your targets effortlessly, and using perfect form. At the end of it, you feel fantastic.
Individually, each of our workout motivation hacks will help you overcome procrastination and stay consistent with your daily workout goals. Taken together, however, they will transform you into a motivation master, allowing you to zone in on your training with laser-like focus.