We have all been there before, you tell yourself you are going to get up at 6:00am and head to the gym for a workout before work to get the day started right and feel amazing. When the early alarm goes off you just turn it off completely and head back to slumber land. The rest of the day you are carrying that feeling of guilt with you, especially when others around you are bragging on social media about how good their early morning workouts felt. How do these people motivate themselves to get out of bed? How do these people motivate themselves to not only show up for their workouts, but push themselves hard all the way through them? What is their source of motivation? What keeps them working out a regular basis? Don't worry, I have 5 tips that might help you get out of bed for that early morning workout or hit the gym after a long day at work.
5 Tips To Motivate Yourself To Get to the Gym and Kill Your Workout
Before reading my tips, it's important to remember that everyone is different and your reason for working out might be different than the next. Between all of these motivation tips I hope you find at least a few that will help motivate you to workout tomorrow.
Tip #1: Find a Gym or Form of Exercise you Actually Enjoy!
The best way to stay motivated in anything is to do something that you actually enjoy and doesn't feel like a chore. Their are an abundance of different gyms and forms of exercise now that it should be easier to find something you actually enjoy. If you can find an environment you love or a form of exercise that you look forward to doing motivation levels will most likely remain high. If you enjoy lifting weights, find a strength training group class that blasts loud music and attracts people just like yourself. If cardio is your favourite try out a group spin class or dance fitness class. It might take you a while to try something you love, but the key is to step out of your comfort zone and try new things because the workout you enjoy the most might just surprise you.
Tip #2: Talk About it or Post on Social Media
In today's world everyone seems share everything they do (down to what they eat) on social media with their social media followers. Why not track your workout (or weight loss) progress too? Many people find that if they are constantly posting about their workouts on social media they tend to grow a little support team from their followers. The idea that people are waiting for progress pictures and might notice if you haven't posted in a while might give you that extra push to get to the gym and kill your workout. Building a support system through family members or online via social media is a great way to keep you working out and possibly motivate others to join in your journey!
Tip #3: Set Realistic Goals and Track Progress
In my experience working with personal training clients, setting realistic goals and regularly tracking progress is one of the best ways to motivate. Think about something you can reward yourself with after accomplishing each goal in order to add that little extra push of motivation. This is why we want our goals to be specific, just saying something like “I'm going to workout to lose weight” is a very vague goal without a timeline or a plan making falling off track quite easy.
Here are a few keys to setting realistic goals:
Make both long term and short term goals that are not overly ambitious and set specific end dates for each. Schedule check-in dates to track progress along the way in your calendar with reminders so you don't miss a check-in.
Do not limit goals to weight loss only as this could be frustrating and easily cause motivation loss if you are not progressing as you feel you should be. Set goals associated with your training or a specific piece of clothing you want to fit into. If you are doing strength training, set a goal of being able to do 5 full push ups by the end of the month (short term goal) or 10 full push ups in 4 months (long term goals). In training for this goal, weight loss will come along with it.
Make sure your goals are actually measurable, meaning there are specific numbers involved. Setting a goal of “weight loss” is very vague, not measurable , and will not keep you motivated through those days you don't feel like hitting the gym. Setting a goal of “I want to workout for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4 days per week, for the next four weeks” is a great goal because it's measurable, specific, not overly ambitious, and with working out four days per week weight loss will come without it being the main motivation behind our workouts.
Tip #4: Get a Workout Buddy or Hire a Trainer
They always say that two minds are better than one, so if you are struggling to motivate yourself to workout it might be time to look at the option of a workout buddy. This doesn't have to be the same person all the time as it is socially acceptable to have multiple workout buddies. Holding yourself accountable to other people by a workout date or appointment with a trainer will reduce the chance that you will skip out on a workout. Instead of making dinner plans with your bestie, why not plan a gym date (or a walk or anything active) to catch up on life and get your workout in at the same time. A personal trainer will definitely help get you to your goals and hold you accountable, but for those who can't afford a personal trainer on a regular basis there are many cheaper options available such as hiring an online trainer or only seeing a trainer once per month for a progress check on weight loss and fitness goals.
Tip #5: Plan Ahead and Remove Any Barriers
Whether you make a plan to workout bright and early before work or right after work it's important to remove any (easy to remove) barriers that could prevent you from getting your sweat on. If you don't like getting up early in the morning because it's too cold, remove that barrier by setting your warm workout clothes by the bed the night before so you can just slip out of bed right into them. If you need time in the morning to pack a lunch for yourself or the family, get this done the night before also. If you feel tired after work and would rather go home and sleep, have a small coffee near the end of the work day to power you through the end of the day and right to your workout. These are examples of just a few barriers, think about the barriers keeping you from getting to your workouts, write them down, and then think of solutions to remove them.Remember, everyone uses different motivation techniques that work best for them just as everyone has a certain form of exercise they enjoy more. By reading these 5 tips to motivate yourself to get to the gym, I hope you found at least one that might work for you. Give it a try and let's get those summer bodies ready for the beach!