Feeling lazy? Uninspired? Struggling to make it to the gym? Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration and encouragement. That’s why I put together my Top 8 Motivation Tips to help get you moving. Read on!
1. Focus on what you DO want, not what you DON’T want.
My first tip is all about the power of positive thinking and what you choose to focus on.
If several days or weeks or months have gone by where you haven’t exercised regularly, you may be feeling a bit down on yourself. You may be telling yourself unkind thoughts such as why can’t you get it together, or that you were doing so well but then blew it and now you’re mad at yourself.
The thing about thoughts like that is that they tend to trap you and keep you stuck. Instead, have some compassion with yourself and say, “Hey, it’s ok, the past few weeks haven’t been the best for exercise, but I’m ready to change it!” And then add, “Here’s what I DO want…”
“I’m going to start getting up a half hour earlier again and hitting the gym. Because I feel great when I do that. I can’t wait to start feeling like that again. I’m excited to lose those 5 last pounds; I’m going to feel lighter and healthier and have more energy”.
When you focus on what you DO want, it’ll give you a burst of motivation to break the cycle and get back on track with exercise.
2.Write down your goals and say them out loud.
Tip 2 builds on the same idea of focusing on what you DO want. Take it a step further by writing down your goals and then saying them out loud. This is so simple yet so powerful! Be sure to write your goals using positive words and have them focused on what you’re moving towards, not what you’re moving away from.
For example, instead of saying, “I don’t want to feel unhealthy and out of shape anymore”, say, “I want to feel vibrant and be in the best shape of my life”.
Say your goals out loud every day, and say them with enthusiasm. The more often you repeat them, the more you’ll start to believe them and get motivated to start taking action to make those goals a reality.
3.Take a small step, even if you don’t feel like it.
This one may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to get yourself motivated to exercise is to actually do it even if you don’t feel like it!
You may be waiting to feel motivated before you start exercising, but ironically that motivation may not come until you decide to actually start moving your body.
Sometimes you can build something up in your mind until it feels like an impossible mountain, when really all you need to do is take the first step and then you realize hey, this isn’t so bad!
That first step may look like running up and down the stairs a few times, or doing a few sit ups or dusting off your home exercise bike and cycling for 5 minutes.
Don’t be surprised if you then get motivated and want to do more! Take a small step, even if you don’t feel like it, and see what happens.
4. Add your exercise sessions to your calendar.
Sometimes exercise can be an afterthought or something you do only if you end up having time in the day. The problem with that is if you’re like most of us and have a gazillion things competing for your time each day, exercise will be the last thing to get done. And if you run out of time, it simply doesn’t get done.
Instead, add your exercise sessions to your calendar at a set time each day, and treat it like you would any other important commitment.
It’s interesting how we’ll make time for the things in our day we have to do, but when it comes to something we see as optional or not as important, often we’ll skip it.
So try adding your exercise sessions to your calendar and treat them like important commitments. You and your goals are important! When you shift your mindset and schedule time each day to spend on your fitness goals, you’ll feel good about yourself and get motivated to want to keep going.
5. Buy yourself a gym outfit that you feel really good in.
I don’t know about you, but when I love my workout clothes, I’m more inspired to go work out!
This doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be super cute or a brand you love. It may just be an outfit that you feel comfortable and safe in, especially if you know you get self-conscious exercising around others.
When you feel good in your workout clothes, you’ll feel better about your body and more inspired to go exercise.
Next time you find yourself resisting working out, it may just be time for a bit of retail therapy!
6. Put your workout clothes and sneakers next to the bed.
There was a time when I was an early morning exerciser. When my alarm went off at 5am, it took a ton of willpower to just get myself out of bed, let alone get in my car and drive to the gym. I’m not an early morning person, at least not that early.
The only way I convinced myself not to crawl back into bed was by placing my workout clothes right next to my bed. That way they were the first things I saw. I would then put them on straight away, even if I didn’t feel like it.
Pretty soon after I had my workout clothes on, I’d start to feel motivated because I was dressed and ready to go. By the time I got to the gym, I was into my workout and always glad afterwards that I’d gone.
There were so many mornings I could have easily turned over and gone right back to sleep had I not put my workout clothes right by my bed so they were the first things I saw when I woke up!
If you’re resistant to get up and go exercise when your alarm goes off, try putting your workout clothes right by your bed. And then put them on even if you don’t feel like it.
Sometimes you have to coax the motivation out of you. You’ll be so glad you did!
7. Choose a gym that’s close by your house or work.
This one’s pretty simple but can make a huge difference to getting motivated to exercise…
Choose a gym that’s close by your house or work so that it’s easy for you to go.
Convenience can make all the difference in creating a regular exercise routine. When you belong to a gym that’s close to your house or work, you’re much more likely to go.
Depending on where you live, I get that this may not always be possible. So your other option is to buy some dumbbells and do your workouts at home. It can’t get more convenient than that!
The workout plan in my ebook Transform Your Body in 30 Days is designed specifically to be able to do at home with a couple pairs of dumbbells, a chair and a step. And of course you can do the workouts at a gym too.
Make it easy on yourself to get motivated by having your exercise location be easy too.
8. Get an accountability buddy.
Last but not least, ask one or more of your besties to either exercise with you or help hold you accountable.
Be honest with them, tell them what your exact goals are. Tell them you’d like help and encouragement so you can stick to your fitness program. If they’re good friends and care about your well-being, they’ll probably be more than happy to help you out!
And who knows, they may get inspired too and want to join you on your fitness program. Working out with friends can be super fun.
You can also hire a fitness coach. With this, not only do you get a professional to design workout programs for you, but you have someone to be accountable to.
I offer 1:1 online coaching, and many clients tell me it’s way easier for them to stick to their fitness program because they know they have weekly check ins with me. I help hold them accountable, and it helps them to stay focused.
Having an accountability buddy will help you get and stay motivated to exercise.
Now you have my Top 8 Motivation Tips for Exercise!
~Which of these 8 motivation tips will you try out first? Leave a comment below.
If you enjoyed this blog, share it with friends so they too can start to get the results they want!
It’s my joy to support you on your health and fitness journey.
Alethea is a certified fitness trainer, bikini competitor, weight loss and health coach. Learn more about her here.