Even when you have it all planned out, the very act of starting is a big challenge. When that alarm buzzes in the morning, the mind weaves up a 100 excuses to stay in bed. Do you too often lack motivation to workout? You understand all the benefits of workout but everyday you seem to make excuses. Somedays it is the weather, or another day your aching muscles. It is the nature of mind to distract you while you are trying to build healthy habits. And of course the nature has made us in such a way that we always look for the easier way out, so the subconscious tries its best to distract and save the efforts.
It is all right and in fact good to take an off sometimes. An occasional off helps the body recover and improves your workout performance. Also sometimes we really are not well and at that time we must listen to our body. Do not strain your body in times of illness. Just keep a check it is not just an excuse your mind is cooking up! But you have to be cautious when you feel it becoming a regular habit with you. In my opinion there should not be more that 2 rest days in a week. You can decide when you wish to keep them. I do not take any pre specified off days. For me a late night is a big cause of a missed workout next day. So I take an off when my night time routine is disturbed.
I have been following these simple things to ensure I workout. These are my ways to stay motivated. Some workout motivation goes a long way in ensuring we stick to the fitness regime we planned for ourselves.
Workout the First thing in The Morning
An early morning workout works the best for me. That way I am done with the most important aspect of my health and life first thing in the day. As the day progresses the reasons to miss on your workout tend to increase. Sometimes new tasks may come up and keep you from your workout. Also starting the day with a workout gives a great start to the day. I find myself more energised during the day. It also improves your metabolic rate.
But of course if you are not a morning person, or your work routine is such that it does not allow you to workout early morning, keep another more suitable time. It is important to workout, when is not as important.
You may need to Push yourself initially
At the beginning of a workout program you may need to push yourself. But once you have been working out for a while, you will find that it has a become a healthy addiction. It is said that it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit.
Also when you start seeing results you will be motivated to move towards your goal with even more enthusiasm. Therefore for someone who is just starting it becomes important to keep themselves motivated each day.
Sore Muscles from previous day
Most of the times your biggest excuse may be that your muscles are sore from the previous day, especially if you are just starting. So there are two things. One, once you start working out you will realize that as the body warms up the soreness of the muscles reduces. In fact you will feel more relaxed post the workout.
Second alternate your workouts. So if you worked out lower body on day 1 exercise the upper body on day 2 and on day 3 you can do a restorative stretch.
Sore muscles should not keep you from working out, unless it really is time for an off day!
Remind yourself of the benefits and your goals
When your mind is making up excuses to miss the workout, instead remind yourself of the reason you wish to workout. Knowing your “why” and having preset goals and plans is extremely helpful in staying motivated and sticking to your workout routine. Write down your goals and read them or display them where you can see them.
It could be that beautiful dress, or that family function. or It could just be your desire to be stronger and fitter. Whatever it is, do not loose sight of your reasons!
Have an accountability group or partner – Workout Inspiration!
Having an accountability partner is a great way to keep a check on yourself and stick to your routine. It also brings a competitive spirit if that is something that is motivating to you.
I also have a Facebook group called Fitness Is a Lifelong Journey where we share daily workouts and motivate each other. It also helps to get ideas as to what workout to do in case you feel lost at that. Being a part of community is a great way to stay motivated!
Rewards – Awesome Motivation to stick to Workout
Reward can be great for some people to stick to a routine. So promise yourself a little something for every completed goal, or ever week of completing your workouts. Do try and keep the rewards non food, because we must change this reward based relationship with food. Instead it can be a new book if you are a book worm, or a new shade of nail paint if that is your weakness. Whatever tiny thing that you wish to indulge in! A reward at the end of a good workout is a great motivation to workout.
Have a Playlist that encourages you to move – great motivation to workout
Having your favourite songs on your playlist is a big encouragement to start working out. Music helps you move and also peps you up. Music is also a mood buster and by that it puts us in the mood for a good workout. A killer playlist can play a very important role in motivating you to stick by your workout commitment. If you cannot play loud music, invest in a good quality headphone. Even while working out at gym, I prefer to have my headphones on with my own playlist. It also helps keep distractions at bay.
It is also a good idea to put on the music 30 minutes before your workout time to start getting in mood for the workout.
Set the routine
So if you are say working out in the evening at 5, start getting ready 30 minutes prior. Wear your shoes, take that pre workout snack, play some music to get you movng. So by doing that you condition your mind towards your goal. Keep a fixed time in your daily routine for your workout. Do not keep it to “when you will get time”. Because we have to make time for what is important to us and so assigning a time ensures that. Again the reason I prefer early morning workouts.
Affirmations also work
Use affirmations to motivate yourself. You can write down the affirmations somewhere you will notice them. Affirmation like I am getting stronger, I love working out, my workout is my favourite time of the day, etc. are great to boost your inner will to workout. Similarly you could put up positive inspirational quotes to remind you of the reasons to workout. All these work on the subconscious level and improve your determination to stick to your workout goals.
Having a pre planned workout schedule for the week is really helpful for you to stick to your workout. Goal setting is a very helpful tool, even for your workouts. Set your workout goals and make plans, say every week or fortnight. Knowing beforehand what you are expected to do will ensure that it is done. If you know what exactly you are supposed to do, you can straight get to job. But when it is an open case you may be lured to call it an off day.
Have a Workout schedule for every mood and choose the one that suits your energy and mood that day
For example on a tiring day you can just end the day with a restorative yoga routine. On a day when you have been sitting all day you can do a cardio to take out pent up energy. Look for routines that lift up your spirit and resonate with your different moods. You can accordingly have playlists on youtube and choose what suits your energy and mood that day.
Or in case you plan in advance, keep alternatives.
Do try out these and share in the comments if something worked for you. Also do share your own innovative ways to find motivation to workout.
If you loved reading this do also read my simple tips to lose weight in a sustainable and balanced way.