Despite the numerous benefits of exercise, there are those days where we just can’t muster the motivation to pull up our socks and hit the gym. How do we overcome this? This article will teach you how to be motivated to workout. Everyday, effortlessly.
Step 1: Choose An Activity That You Actually Like
You have decided to become more physically active, great! It means you’re already halfway there to establishing a successful workout routine into your everyday life. In order to see your success all the way through however, you need to seriously consider what type of workout you’ve chosen.
Too many times I have seen people go full throttle into whatever exercise program is in vogue, and shortly after they realize that they actually don’t like the activity they’ve committed themselves too. After the initial enthusiasm wears off, they start to skip a day here and there.
A few skipped days becomes a skipped week, and suddenly it’s been two months since they’ve gone to Zumba class.
Establishing a workout routine and turning it into a habit is not easy. Sometimes your desired end result of improved health and a toned physique isn’t enough to keep you going. You need to actually like the activity. You need to have fun!
You don’t have to commit yourself to a hardcore, regimented routine to see the benefits of physical activity. You can join a synchronized swimming club, you can pound it out with your pal on a tennis court. As long as it gets you moving, it’s exercise.
What will get you more results, an activity that you like and you can actually stick to long-term, or an activity that you dread and can only commit to for two weeks?
Exercise does not have to be you grimacing in pain, drenched in sweat, and on the verge of vomiting. Find something that you enjoy.
Step 2: Set a Clearly Defined Fitness Goal
You are much more likely to attain a goal if you have clearly defined it. Write down your goal, and be as specific as possible. Maybe you want to weigh a certain amount or fit into a particular pair of jeans. Just make sure it is measurable.
Review it regularly.
When you have a clear goal in your mind it gives you a destination. It gives you direction. Now you have something to work towards that you can conjure up in your head to help motivate you at your convenience.
Goals are an essential tool that will enable you to actually see results.
For more about goal setting, here is my full video about it.
Step 3: Write Out a List of Benefits
This is a very effective exercise that will bolster your motivation. Simply sit down and write as many benefits of getting in shape as you can. Again, be as detailed and specific as possible.
The more benefits you have come up with, the more you will want to succeed. It will automatically inspire you.
Read this list as least once a week and it will re-ignite your ambitions and spur you forward. You’ve chosen to better your life because you want change it, make sure you remind yourself of how that change will transform your life.
Note: This exercise can be used for any goal, not just fitness.
Step 4: Utilize Visualization, Everyday
Visualization is a powerful technique that is used by olympic athletes, top performers and highly successful business owners. They all use it, because it works.
You know what Michael Phelps–the most decorated olympian of all time–did every day, for his entire swimming career? He visualized the perfect race in his head. Visualized every detail of it, every sensation. Over and over and over. Once before bed, and once upon waking up.
He even won one of his gold medals when the seal of his goggles malfunctioned, filled with water and obstructed his vision. He was basically swimming blind, but he still won. How? Visualization, don’t underestimate its power.
Visualize yourself already having achieved your fitness goal. Visualize your ideal physique, and your body in perfect health and harmony. Whatever you’re striving for, imagine it vividly everyday.
Step 5: Turn Your Routine Into A Habit
They say that it takes about three weeks of engaging in a new activity everyday before it is formed into a habit. The basic structure of a habit consists of three steps, and they form what’s called a “habit loop”.
Once you are able to successfully form a habit loop with your workout routine, this is when it will become effortless. Here’s an example of a habit loop:
Say every morning you go to the gym. You wake up, brush your teeth, put on your workout attire and head to the gym. You do your workout, then you go to a smoothie bar for a protein shake afterwards.
Now let’s identify the cue, routine and reward. The cue in this case could be putting on your workout clothes. This signals to your brain that you’re going to workout, and it becomes the trigger for your habit loop. The routine is the actual act of working out, and the reward in this case is your smoothie afterwards.
Be aware that lot of regular exercisers–myself included–anticipate the reward as a feeling of accomplishment, or the endorphin boost afterwards. I always feel at peace after my workout, and it’s that specific feeling that I look forward to and associate with reward.
So for yourself, you need to identify your habit loop, and do it over and over again. Eventually it will be ingrained in you, and you will start to crave it. This is when you know you’ve successfully incorporated exercise into your lifestyle.
For more on the workings of habits and how to create and change them, read The Power of Habit.
I used to hate physical activity. The notion of building muscle and sweating made me cringe. Once I came to the realization that investing in my health should be a priority though, I had to figure out how to stick to an exercise program. It was really hard, and I struggled for 2-3 months to make it a normal part of my life.
After implementing these tactics and turning what I used to dread into something that I now crave, I can proudly say that I am presently experiencing the countless benefits of exercise! It’s become as effortless as hoping into the shower every morning. I transformed my body, increased my self-esteem and strengthened my self-discipline.
With the right methods, there’s no reason why you can’t too.
Feel free to share your thought about your fitness journey below in the comments.