So this is it, the year that you finally made up your mind to commit to your fitness and health goals. Congratulations! However once the initial buzz of excitement and determination wear off, you could be left in a state of doubt as to whether this is actually possible. Of course it is!
You just need to keep that buzz going, to keep pushing forward.
Here are a list of 10 tips to help you stay on track when you have those blah days.
1. Watch motivational videos on Youtube.
Youtube is home to a plethora of videos offering gym/fitness motivation to get you pumped up and ready to go full on beast mode. Finding the videos are as simple as adding “motivation” to the end of whatever you are searching for. Some examples would be bodybuilding motivation, gym motivation, running motivation, calisthenics motivation, etc.
2. Lay your gym clothes out the night before.
Having everything laid out and set to go takes a lot of prep time out of getting ready for the gym. In other words, it greatly reduces the amount of time you have to talk yourself out of going. Even if you work out at night, lay out all your gym clothes and gear the night before, preferably in a high traffic area of your house. This way you will see them multiple times throughout the day as a reminder that the gym is still on your to do list.
3. Have a plan.
Know exactly what you are going to do that day in the gym. Having your workouts planned out in advance makes it feel more like you are accomplishing assigned tasks rather than just mindlessly milling around the gym.
4. Have a picture of your ideal physique constantly in your face.
Scour the internet or magazines until you find someone who has your ideal physique. Make this picture your background on your computer, tablet, or phone. Tape it to your bathroom mirror or on your fridge. Visualization is a huge part of the process. Seeing this image multiple times a day will constantly remind you what the end goal is, and will urge you to visualize yourself rocking that same physique!
5. Schedule it.
Anything you truly want in life you will find or create time for, and your workouts are no different. Go one, two, or even three weeks into the future, see what your availability is, and pencil it in. Better yet, use ink! This will eliminate the “…and I still need to find time to get to the gym today,” dilemma. It’s in your planner, it’s set as a reminder in your phone, and you know that nothing else but your workout is scheduled for that time.
6. Get a workout partner.
By far one of the best ways to stay motivated to your workouts is to have a training partner to help motivate you on the days you just simply can’t seem to do it yourself. Just make sure it is someone who is just as, serious about their workouts as you are. Sometimes all you need is some positive reinforcement from a friend (or not wanting to let them down by going to the gym alone) to motivate you.
7. Just show up.
Say you have completely ignored all of the tips thus far and your whole day is just up in the air. Just go to the gym! Getting there is seriously half the battle. Once you are there and get your workout started, odds are you will get into it and wind up getting a pretty good workout afterall. If you don’t have your workout planned, start doing exercises you know you enjoy doing and just run with it. Remember the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do!
8. Inundate yourself with health and fitness related material.
Read online articles, subscribe to a magazine, join an online forum, join our mailing list! The more time you spend discussing health and fitness the more you will stay on track with your own. Online forums are also a good resource because you can search any questions or topics of interest you may have and read the (usually) educated replies.
9. Don’t sabotage your social life just because you’re “on a diet.”
If your friends or family want to go out for lunch or dinner, implement number 3 on the list and have a plan. You can find the nutritional information of just about every item at every restaurant or fast food chain online these days. Find out where you will be eating, check out the menu and the nutritional information, and know exactly what you are going to eat before you even walk through the door.
10. Find intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation
Extrinsic motivators are external and non personal, and they are the reason most people begin leading a healthier lifestyle to begin with. Wanting to have a six pack, wanting to be a certain size or weight, these are all extrinsic motivators. And while there is certainly nothing wrong with using them to motivate yourself, there is a good chance that once you meet them, all or most efforts will stop, and you will go back to your old habits. Intrinsic motivators are internal, or more personal tools one uses to maintain focus on their health and fitness goals. Some examples would include wanting to lower your cholesterol, decrease your risk of disease, improve cardiovascular function, live longer for your kids, spouse, etc. These are goals that really don’t have an end or a deadline, and will help to keep you going for years to come.
Published by Michael Quinn