Do you struggle to find ways to exercise? Motivation is one of the hardest things we deal with in our health and fitness journey and that will probably never change. Motivation is a constant struggle, a constant fight, and typically ends with us looking back and wondering what went wrong. It looks different for everyone, which is why I believe it is one of the hardest aspects of fitness. If there is one thing I want you to take away from this article it’s that what motivates you will not necessarily be what motivates your neighbor. Look at your life, desires, passions, likes and dislikes. They are vastly different from the person next to you so why would you think your motivation would be the same?
I am by no means the poster child for motivation and still struggle with it on a consistent basis, but I learn more and more each day by paying attention to my emotional and physical wellbeing. Understanding that you will struggle with motivating yourself will help you preemptively prepare so you can fight against those struggles. One thing I have started paying attention to is how I feel physically and emotionally when I do not exercise. I feel physically sluggish and weak. Emotionally I do not feel confident, which in and of itself is a huge motivatorfor me. Even though there are many things that keep me going, just these two reasons alone motivate me immensely because I know I will reap the benefits later. Here are 5 ways to help jumpstart your exercise motivation:
1. Make it convenient; Take into account your work schedule and home life. Does it make more sense to exercise from home 3-4 days a week or do you have the ability to make it to the gym? Exercise may not look the same every day and that is okay! One day you may be at the gym and the other days you may be at home watching an online exercise video, cycling, or running.
2. Listen to your body; there will be days when working out seems like it may take all the strength in the world, but think about the end result. How will you feel after you work out versus not working out? Your body will feel stronger and more energetic after 15 minutes of exercise I guarantee you!
3. Invest; whether that is paying for a personal trainer or buying a monthly workout subscription online, making a financial investment in yourself is one of the best things you can do to start and help you stay consistent and accountable.
4. Find a friend; Find a friend who is like-minded in their approach to fitness and/or who is similar in strength and capabilities. These people will help push you along the way and not hinder you.
5. Make your goals SMART; Specific (simple, sensible, significant). Measurable (meaningful, motivating). Achievable (agreed, attainable). Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based). Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive). I would start with “measurable” in this case and then add in the others. Is what you are trying to achieve meaningful and motivating?
Choose one that speaks to you and see what happens—the outcome will change your life and maybe someone else’s along the way. This is a learning process and takes TIME to grasp. Be patient with yourself and start again the next day. You’ve GOT this!