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 routines 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: I took a photo of myself in my undies - yikes!
That was the wake-up call. If you need motivation, check yourself out in the bathroom mirror. But don't take it too seriously. Yes, you can be discouraged, but only for about 90 seconds! Then snap out of it and use that photo for good, not evil (your inner critic would love nothing more than to CONSTANTLY whisper in your ear about that photo - don't give it the time of day!)
Tip #2: I found something I truly enjoyed.
At that time it turned out to be Crossfit. The crazy hard workouts, the sweat, and the camaraderie kept me focused and inspired to keep coming back. When you have all that on your side, it's hard to skip.
Tip #3: I signed up for an event.
I'm always up for a good challenge, and every month my gym would post a challenge of the month. Once it was a 5-minute plank challenge, and another one was a 100 push up challenge. (Truth be told I never was able to hold a plank for 5 minutes or do all those push-ups, but I practiced a lot and got better, much better, at both!) I call that a win.
Tip #4: I found a devoted fitness buddy.
And it was my husband (who got me into Crossfit in the first place!) When you don't feel like going and your buddy simply isn't listening to your litany of excuses, that's when you know you have the right buddy!
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: I rewarded myself!
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!
I want you to know that you’re not alone if you’ve fallen off track and are struggling to find the motivation to get back into it. I hope these tips can help you rediscover your motivation and get you moving again! They definitely helped me.
I share tips like this every Tuesday that are centered around fitness and wellness, I call them #Twosday Tips. If you’d like to follow along and pick up a few helpful tips, follow me on Twitter @am_costanzo or Facebook @amcostanzowellness :)
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What strategies have helped you in the past when you’re feeling stuck?