Getting motivated is not an easy feat and staying so is even more difficult, but let me tell you a secret… it is only difficult until working out becomes a habit.
Once you’ve pushed through the initial stage and you are set on a regular workout schedule, working out becomes second nature.
This is when you also begin to see results, which then is its own motivator. After all what is better than to see a slimmer/fitter YOU?
In order to make something a HABIT it first needs to be a behavior.
It takes a variety of time to make a behavior a habit, unfortunately I do not have a secret number just for you.
This number varies from person to person as we are all different, but if you keep at it in a consistent manner one day you will wake up and realize that you don’t have to convince yourself to workout anymore.
You will feel that it is a need, that you have to workout in order to feel good, both physically and emotionally.
I can share with you that for me, this happens after about two weeks of consistent workouts. Let’s discuss the seven tips to motivation.
Step 1: Set a Routine
In order to make your workouts a habit, my recommendation is to start with a routine.
Begin with working out every-other day or everyday, mon-fri, taking the weekend off.
For my lifestyle I prefer Mon-Fri, this way I know that there are no excuses, Mon-Fri is when I work out. It also helps to set a specific time of day that is best for you to workout.
I prefer mornings, that way I get it out of the way and feel great for the remaining day.
It’s also great to start the day with a workout as it sets a nice pace for your metabolism and avoids any chances or excuses if you are tired later on to workout.
My suggestion is to set a calendar reminder for yourself so that you don’t forget.
Step 2: A Little is Better than Nothing
“80 percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen
Don’t get overwhelmed thinking that you need to work out for the entire hour. At the beginning, forming a habit and setting a routine is most important.
Even if you start by doing just 10 minutes, it is all about making it a habit. Increase your workout as you see fit, 5 min every day or even every week, whatever it takes to get you to workout without overwhelming yourself.
Step 3: Choose a Program
Having a program to follow is fun and sets a challenge. It is easier to stay motivated by following a program that has specific outcomes.
My personal recommendation is P90, P90x and/or Insanity. I began my workout routine a year ago with P90 and then moved on to P90x which is more aggressive, and then unto insanity.
Each of these programs is challenging and will most likely require you to modify it per your stamina and strength.
Don’t let this discourage you as per tip three.
Ultimately it can be any program of your liking that resonates with you and makes you excited about the challenge of completing the workout in full sometime in the future.
Step 4: Don’t Make it About Intensity
Don’t get discouraged if you can’t maintain the intensity. When I first started working out with each program I had to modify the intensity to fit me, I still modify it to this day.
So long as you try, you will see that as you are continuing with the program you are able to endure more and more. Don’t think that if you modify you WILL not see results, you still will.
Step 5: Don’t Make it About Losing Weight
Make it about being healthy.
This way when it takes a while to lose the pounds or when you fluctuate a little up and down with weight, you won’t get discouraged and will be able to bounce back into the routine.
This mindset will allow you to fight through the challenges of the begging when results are hard to see. Do it for yourself, for your family.
Do it to set an example for your loved ones and if you have kids, do it for them. Show them that a healthy lifestyle is the most important aspect of working out, that it is not about the body image but mind over matter.
“Many people are willing to change their behavior in return for instant rewards,” says Dr. Richard Cox, a sports psychologist at Edinburgh University in Scotland. “That’s the problem with exercise—there is no instant reward. But if you were exercising more to have fun than to lose a few pounds—and you had fun—you accomplished something.” What you really did was create an intrinsic motivation.
Step 6: Set Small Goals
Yes the end goal should be that you will lose wight, or get buff. That you could do a whole hour of the workout or even more, but in order to get to the ultimate goal start with small ones.
For example begin with setting a routine, that is your goal number one. Goal number two is increasing the time spent working out.
Goal three is increasing your intensity and so on, but ultimately YOU are the one who sets and defines these goals.
Step 7: Reward Yourself
Put that ice-cream back in the fridge, I did not say reward yourself with food. :) Reward yourself with anything but food, get a new book to read, see a new movie you wanted, buy yourself a new accessory.
This way when you reach the goal you set for yourself you get a little perk.
The main motivation will come when you begin to see results, when you notice that you are more defined and especially when you receive compliments. Once this happens your motivation will be propelled exponentially.
“The best motivations are intrinsic”, says Nanette Mutrie, a sports psychologist at Glasgow University in Scotland.
They can be as simple as enjoying what you are doing or realizing a sense of achievement. Remember though that to have best results and to see them faster combine healthy nutrition with your workouts and eliminated refined sugars.