Finding motivation to get into the gym everyday isn’t always the easiest. There are the days where you’re psyched, ready and it’s the greatest thing since white bread. And then, there are the days when the workout ahead of you seems like the most daunting and torturous task, which could be classified as cruel and unusual punishment. There’s the typical ways of laying out your gym clothes for the morning and setting your alarm or having your gym bag packed in the car. But, having a gym bag sitting on the passenger seat of my car doesn’t always make me change my clothes and actually walk into the gym. To be honest, after a long day, I can throw that gym bag in the back seat and happily drive directly home to find my bed! When the usual tactics to convince yourself to walk into the gym are not working, try these tricks to find inspiration to start shedding some sweat…
Focus on Goals
Goals can be easy to make, but often forgotten when immediate gratification rears its ugly head. Write down the fitness goals that you want to accomplish and go over them frequently. Keeping reminders in random places help to maintain that long-term focus instead of only focusing on what is immediately in front of you. When I was competing in bodybuilding, I would use dry erase markers and write a daily countdown to my show date on my bathroom mirrors and the mirrors in my bedroom to constantly have my goal in my face. It takes three weeks to form habits, if you’re trying to make the gym a habit, then try writing ‘three weeks’ in random places – like a scrap piece of paper on the dashboard of your car, on the dresser in your room and on your desk at work. Be specific about what you’re looking to achieve and remind yourself of how badly that you want to reach it.
Organization helps to motivate because it gives you the ability to know what you should be doing and exactly when you should be doing it. Plan your workouts in advance. Writing down weekly workouts helps to know what you should be exercising daily and doing what is in your schedule helps to get your butt walking into the gym. If you don’t keep your schedule, then you’re throwing your whole week off! This will also really help when you are training for a specific athletic goal, like a marathon or Spartan race. Setting a training plan to help condition yourself for an athletic event is crucial to follow, because you want to perform at your best on the day of the event. All of the training leading up to competition day will help you achieve that vision of easily crossing the finish line.
Another organization tool that has built in challenges is a wearable fitness device. I use a Fitbit that tracks my steps, monitor water intake, heart rate, daily exercise minutes, track calories, body weight and even compete with other friends that have a Fitbit. Use the resources available to you on the app and the device as motivation to make each day better than the day before.
Put Some Money into Fitness
The general consensus amongst women I know, as well as myself, is that we hate to waste money that we’ve worked hard for. Book a training class that is non-refundable! When not getting your behind up and out of bed will cost you $35.00, I think you’ll find some extra motivation to do so. A trick that I use when I slap my alarm off in a sleepy haze, and forget I’ve done that when I actually wake up, is to keep my alarm across the room. Getting up out of your bed and walking across the room to turn the alarm off gives you plenty of time to remember that you’ll be wasting money if you don’t get to your class.
Making yourself accountable to someone else for getting to the gym and accomplishing your workouts is an excellent tool for motivation. I find it a lot easier to excuse myself from something than to try to explain my half-assed excuse to someone else – I actually get embarrassed! You might want to consider hiring a personal trainer for some one-on-one training sessions to hold you accountable to keeping a structured gym schedule. Some people might consider this a waste of money, but if you’re feeling really flaky about your consistency, then it is well worth the dollars spent to help you get the success you’re craving.
The buddy system with a good friend is another tactic I’ve successfully used to keep myself motivated. We usually sign up at the same gym and plan to attend the same group classes together or workout at the same time. Even if you don’t go to the same gym or workout with your BFF, keep tabs on each other. Check in with each other daily to make sure that you’ve both done what you’re supposed to. Keep each other in check and don’t let the other person slack!
Set the Daily Tone for You
Stop thinking about exercising as what you have to do, but rather what you get to do. Think of your workouts as a way to set a determined and successful mindset with a good sweat that you won’t regret. Consider the time in the gym, your ‘you’ time – a mental vacation from the daily grind and stress of life. Start the morning with time dedicated to improving yourself and placing yourself in a good mood to deal with the masses and make more healthy decisions for your body the rest of the day.
Remember that workouts can be tailored to your mood and you can accomplish what you feel is right for you. So long as you find the motivation to get into the gym and take care of business, you’re doing a great job. Stay focused and be healthy!
Written by: Samantha Meinrod