One of the most difficult things about working out is committing and staying motivated. You start off strong, filled with excitement and motivation and visions of grand accomplishments. You’ve purchased the new clothes, joined the gym, and you’re into it… for about a week.
Then the excuses come. And they come. Easier and easier, day after day, they begin to slowly take over. Your enthusiasm dies a slow death and you find yourself saying you’ll get to it, just not right now. Tomorrow. Or later in the week. Maybe.
Slowly your commitment fades further and further into the darkness, unlikely to resurface anytime soon.
This very common phenomenon can be remedied, it is possible to get into the flow of a routine, you simply have to be willing to ask yourself a few simple questions:
How willing am I to change up my routines?
How confident am I in my abilities?
What activities do I enjoy?
If you’re not open to new activities, new ways of doing things or beginning a new routine, how do you plan to implement your new goal of losing 20 pounds?
If you lack the confidence in your abilities to follow through and be successful, how are you going to rise above the mental challenges that you will inevitably face?
If you think you should join a gym but the thought makes you cringe, how do you plan to muster up the mental fortitude to show up there every day? If you don’t enjoy the activity, there is no way you can summon up the excitement to follow through.
These are questions you need to ask yourself if you’re serious about creating change. And to lose weight, a change in your routine is a must!
How to commit and stick with a fitness routine
Motivation is helpful and it will generally get you to up your fitness game, but it’s tricky. It too is like a workout. You need to show up every day and be your own cheerleader.
Motivation wanes quickly so you need to be strategic about how you find and reinforce your motivation on a daily basis.
This, in turn, is what will help to make the commitment part a little more easy and consistent.
How do you get yourself to be excited about the motivation side as well as the working out?
These are some things I’ve implemented in my life that have helped me in the past to work hard and keep reaching toward achieving my goals.
Tip #1: Photos don’t lie folks! I know many people cringe when they hear this but taking a “before” photo can really be a motivational force. It lays out before you what you’re dealing with but also provides sound measurement when you begin losing weight. You can see the changes! Anytime I feel like I’ve eased up on my fitness routine, I grab my phone, get down to my sports bra and take a pic. It’s the only way I can really see my progress over a long period of time.
Tip #2: Find something you truly enjoy. A while back I started taking cardio kickboxing and I loved it because it made working out super fun. That turned me on to spinning classes, which got me to purchase a Peloton bike which I love! Once you begin doing something you truly enjoy, it can open up all sorts of pathways to fitness. My husband and I also began playing squash together. It’s definitely a difficult game but we have a great time playing with each other, so much so that it doesn’t even feel like working out.
Tip #3: Sign yourself up for an event. Like running a 5k or 10k. Having an event to train for is a fabulous motivator and will make excuses harder to swallow. Especially if you tell your friends and family what you are doing, they will be there to support you… and you don’t want to let them down. There are all sorts of fun runs, trail runs, cycling events, tri- and biathlons that you can find around your city. The key is to keep it fun, and you may wind up addicted!
Tip #4: Train with a friend. This one is a massive motivator that makes working out all the more fun! When I belonged to a gym, I had a friend I’d meet once a week and it made getting through the workouts so much more enjoyable. We were there to push each other, come up with creative workouts, and laugh.
This also works with a class. Once you find an instructor you like, they’ll keep you moving and motivated because they love doing that for their class! You simply can’t lose with the buddy system.
Tip #5: Reward yourself! This is a fabulous idea. Rewards are little motivators that can help you work through any excuse that pops up. I use the star reward system on myself (it’s not just for kids!) Every day I work toward my goal, I give myself an emoji thumbs up on my calendar. That little, teeny, tiny “reward” makes me feel so good when I can look over the past month and see all those thumbs up looking back at me! It makes me feel proud and gives me the motivation to keep moving forward so as to not “break the chain.” (And even if I do break the chain, I pick right back up the following day — I don’t let my inactivity linger because to me that means something isn’t right and it needs my attention quickly.)
These are just a few tips that have worked extremely well for me in the past. I know they are effective and can help you when you feel you’re lacking the commitment and motivation.
There are so many more ways to motivate yourself, you just have to figure out what works for you and will help you to be successful. You’ve taken the first step in starting a program, now it’s all about the follow-through. You can do it if you set your mind to it and keep the motivation flowing!
What strategies have helped you in the past when you’re feeling stuck?
Thanks for reading :)