NEWS FLASH…. Sometimes we do not feel like working out! There I said it. As a fitness coach, I get asked all the time, how I find the motivation to keep going or to workout so early in the morning. The truth is, I do miss days and fall into slumps just like everyone else!
They key is to remember WHY you are doing it. Our bodies are designed to move and designed to perform for us if we take care of them. We crave activity. That is why that endorphin high after a great workout or run happens! Your body is thanking you with positive reinforcement for moving!
Motivation is the NUMBER ONE reason I became a fitness coach in the first place. I needed to make drastic changes or I was headed for a health disaster! One evening while in a hotel room (traveling for work) I stumbled upon an opportunity to become an online fitness coach. I read that it would give me the tools, training and opportunity to help others. I saw that it would also give me a reason to keep my health top of mind and how helping others would help me too! I jumped in and almost Nine Years later have never regretted it one bit!
If this is a topic you want more of, please follow me on Instagram and like my Facebook page. I will be doing a video series about motivation, for both exercise and nutrition plans, over the next several weeks for you!
So…. How do I help my clients with this #1 question about Motivation?? Here are some tips:
The biggest factor in motivation to exercise is your mindset. You must shift your mindset from Punishment mentality to reward or Privilege mentality. Often times we get so frustrated with the scale or how we look or our energy level, general health, you name it, that we say enough is enough I am going to FIX THIS! While not necessarily a bad thing to know where you are and want to change, the danger is when we feel bad about ourselves and look at exercise as the torture or punishment for making poor food choices or to whip ourselves into shape. The problem becomes we create a negative association with exercise vs. a positive one. This gets our subconscious working against us from day 1!
Think about it. Why would you NOT want to exercise? Like I said earlier, our bodies are designed to move and be active. Look at kids, they love to be out moving and playing and have tons of energy! it is because their body craves the activity to grow and perform. It is the same for us. So how do you make the shift?
- Remember why you are doing it. You are not doing it just for the scale or to be more comfortable in your clothes. Think of how accomplished you feel. How much more energy you have during the day. How much better you will sleep at night.
- Take the time for YOU. The 30 or 60 minutes per day you set aside to exercise is YOUR time. It is your peace and reward. Everyone likes time to themselves. If you would rather it be a social activity, there is the gym or better yet classes. These are great opportunities to do something for YOU.
- Build Strength. Your physical and mental strength are improved with exercise. This helps you think more clearly. have more patience. be a better parent, spouse and even employee! I do not know anyone that does not want to have better focus or mentally clarity from time to time. Or be able to manage the stress of everyday life easier. The fact it, regular exercise helps with that!
So next time you feel like you are dragging yourself to the gym or you HAVE TO Workout to not gain weight or look a certain way, consider all the other positive factors. pretty soon your subconscious will start working for you and help you crave the physical activity. That little voice that today may say “Do I have to?” will shift to “When DO I Get to”
2 – Build the Habit
- Schedule your workouts. Choose a time of day where there are the least amount of distractions. For many of us, that is 1st thing in the morning. for some, it is last thing in the evening. Pick what works for you, when you have the least amount of distractions. Put it on your calendar and BLOCK that time. Make it like any other appointment. If you can use technology tools like your phone or computer to set an alarm to remind you even better!
- Commit to 10 Minutes! Make it a MUST to do at least 10 minutes no matter what the distraction is. No matter how tired you are or how much you do not feel like working out. Start. Go through 10 minutes and at the end of that if you do not feel it, STOP. No regret and no beating yourself up. Just listen to your body and stop. I can tell you though, 99% of the time you will keep going. Then you are one more step closer to this becoming a habit.
- Reschedule if needed. Sometimes things will come up that no matter how well you schedule or plan, you may get interrupted. That is OK. You must plan for that as well. When scheduling your new habit, have an alternate time in mind that you can quickly reschedule. My example is I schedule my workouts before my kids wake up and they become the focus. If one of them gets up early or is sick and needs attention, I just move my workout to 8:30 PM. I know that is another safe time for me. (My kids do join me from time to time and that is fun too)
3 – Use a Coach or Accountability Partner
Often times we will do things for others more than we will ourselves. Don’t fight it, go with it! Coaches can help. OK this could turn into a shameless plug but honestly, that is what we are here for, to help! A coach will know your goals, your schedule and level and push you to be better. We will step in and provide another form of accountability that you may not apply on yourself.
Accountability groups or partners are also a great way to stay on track
- Be Honest. with yourself and the coach or group. Let people know the struggle you have and they can help you overcome it with some tips or examples of how they did it. Many of us have the same struggles. We can help each other overcome them
- Be Consistent. Checking daily. do not think that the group or coach is only there for when you have a problem or a wild success. We need you daily to motivate us too! Posting or checking in right before or after a workout is a great way to keep yourself on track. If you are consistent someone will notice if you are missing and check in with you. It is a great motivator. I use support teams to help me. I post every day and we all cheer each other on, we offer tips, recipes, progress checks etc. it makes it fun and holds us all accountable.
- Use Success Stories. If there are times I do not feel like exercising, I read some success stories. I get energized by how others have overcome a challenge or reach a similar goal that I may have. It is not about comparing yourself to someone else but about learning that we all have the ability to reach our goals and if they can do it so can you!
4 – Invest in Your Fitness
This is not to say you need to spend lots of money. What I will say though is invest in something to make it special for you. It can be a gadget, workout gear, monitors, mats, space etc. I recommend getting some things to start but also to use new gear as a reward. When you reach a milestone or a goal, treat yourself to some new shorts or logo gear of your favorite program.
- Workout Wear. Dress for success! Treat yourself to some new gear! You would be amazed how much better you feel when you have new workout clothes compared to the old shorts and tee with the stains on it. Even if you workout at home, make it a point to dress for your workout. It lifts your mood and makes you look forward to your workout. For those that are budget conscious, it can also be a good motivator to not let that money you spent go to waste by not using it! 🙂
- Gadgets. There are a ton of monitors and trackers on the market at various costs. I use a smart watch but things like fit bit and other trackers are awesome ways to keep track of your progress all day long. There is even a watch that can connect to your Beachbody On Demand app to track your progress!
- Massage or Spa day. When you workout regularly, you may need to take some time for a massage. It is an excellent reward for yourself but will also help your muscles heal and build. It helps with flexibility and relaxation. It can even prevent injury as you put more stress on your body. If you schedule it only when you meet your number of workout or time goals it can motivate you to do a little more knowing you have a sweet reward waiting for you.
5 – Track your Progress
When you track your progress you will find more energy to workout. Track not only the workouts but details. It is VERY motivating to see how much you have actually accomplished!
- Weight and Reps. If you do resistance training, be sure to write down how much weight you lift and how many reps you do fro each exercise. Challenge yourself to do more or use better form each time! You will be SHOCK and MOTIVATED by how much progress you can make in a short time if you are keeping track. Your strength and form will improve pretty fast so it is a great incentive to keep going. You may even get addicted to the accomplishment and the feeling you get to beat your personal best!
- Time and Breaks. Be sure to make note of how long you can continue without a break. This is also something to feel good about. Maybe you did not drop the 20 pounds you wanted to in the 1st week but you increased your endurance by 5 minutes! That is something to celebrate and will drive you to keep going.
- Workout and Rest Days. When you schedule your workouts, a tip is to post a calendar to physically check off the days. Yes, online tools are great but there is something special about taking a marker and putting a line or big X through the day for a completed workout! Make it a point to NEVER go 3 days in a row without some activity. You can clearly see that if you post your schedule and make an X through the completed days. For me, I put one diagonal line from top left to bottom right corner for my workout then another diagonal line from top right to bottom left corner for nutrition to form the X 🙂 Do not get discouraged if you miss days, just use that information to be better the next week. If you did 3 days this week 5 next week is an improvement and a WIN!
Bonus Tip: Every program I recommend and work with my clients on, comes with a tracking chart. Print and post them and keep them up! I have workout space in my home. Part of the decor are all the tracking charts from the programs I have done. It is a great motivator to see how much my performance has improved. I also keep all my individual workout logs with weights and reps. I can look back to when I was at my best or when I started to slip and it motivates me to see how fast I can actually get back to my peak level.
I hope these tips help you. Feel free to drop a comment with your fitness motivation tip. If you want some personal help with your goals and motivation, please reach out, I would love to help you!
Also, join me on Facebook and Instagram for the video series that I will be doing for us to kick off the new year!