When I recently asked what people are struggling with when it comes to fitness, motivation was a common theme!
Motivation seems to be one of the biggest barriers for people when it comes to fitness and working out! Working out does not need to mean jumping into a 5 day weight lifting program. Find something YOU enjoy that works for you at this phase of your life! It might be going for walks, yoga, pilates, Crossfit, spin, etc… We all want to continue doing what we love until we’re 120 years old, right?! My goal is longevity- to stay the healthiest I can for the longest amount of time! I want to be lifting those dumbbells and working on those glutes at 95!
Motivation is something we ALL struggle with and it comes and goes!
Here are 5 tips to get you motivated!
Let’s start with the easy/superficial ones:
- Coffee/ caffeine can do wonders 🙂
- A new outfit and sneakers can definitely help as well.
- A new workout program can help get you excited to try something new!
- Joining a challenge! You have the support of everyone else doing it along with you and it can also help keep you accountable!
- Join a fitness class you enjoy! If it’s a good instructor this can truly make a difference!
- Find a workout partner.
Unfortunately, these tips are good but they are short term. They might help you on a day or two that you are feeling a little bit off, but if you really want to create longevity we need to get down to the root of your motivation! Keep reading if you want to dig down deep! You’re going to need a pen and paper.
Values are what motivate us. WE ALL have different values and different things that will motivate us! For example, If you value your health, you’re going to be more motivated to workout.
TIP:1 What are your values?
- Step 1: What are your values? Here are some examples – Health, love, Intelligence, cheerfulness, honest, passion, gratefulness, fun, happiness, making a difference, learning/growing, achieving, being the best, investing, contribution, creativity (Thank you Tony Robbins).
Rank them 1-15. 1 being the most important to 15 being the least important to you.
- Step 2: Start with your why? Create a list of however many why’s you need.
Get clear on your why. Be specific. Think SMART GOAL – Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time.
Why is working out important to you? You might have to dig deeper than, “I want to look good.” A 2018 study found that woman who wanted to lose weight for appearance reasons were less successful vs. woman who were more concerned about working out for their health. What is your outcome?
For example, I want to eat healthy. Why? NOT because I want to lose weight. Because I want to have the energy I need, to do everything I want to do! The energy to workout in the morning because it makes me feel better. It helps set my day up for success. I want to have the energy to go to work and be productive and have energy for my students to help them grow and learn. I want to go snowboarding and do whatever activities I want to do, when I want and not have to worry about needing to take 2 days off because I have a sore throat.
- Create your list. Hang it up somewhere or keep it on your phone! When you start losing motivation, refer back to your list of why’s!
Confirm your why is in alignment with your core values, otherwise it will not be sustained. For example, one of my core values might be family. My WHY could then be too workout so I have the energy to be present, create quality time and give my family the best version of myself.
TIP: 2 Decision Fatigue
Decision fatigued is a real thing – minimize your choices! (Coined by social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister)
We make hundreds of choices everyday and as the day goes on our ability to make the best choices can start to run out. When you get home from work and your significant other asks you, “What do you want for dinner?” Do you ever just want to chuck the frying pan at them :). At the point you don’t want to think about having to make another choice and you end up throwing a pizza in the oven because it’s quick and simple! (This is where meal prep comes in handy, but that is a topic for another day!)
- Think about what areas in your life you could minimize making choices. The night before I set out my workout clothes, one less thing I have to think about in the morning. Or if you workout in the afternoon, get everything ready so when you come home from work it’s there starring at you ready to go! Join a challenge or workout program. I love creating my own workouts, but when I am really busy, I do a program because again, it’s one less thing I have to think about! Fitness classes are great for this too. You just have to show up 🙂
What is an area you can minimize making a choice by doing it the day/night before?
TIP 3 : Set yourself up for success
We don’t always have motivation, and when it comes to fitness and working out sometimes taking a rest day can also help increase your motivation the following day! Other times, you might just need to talk yourself into it or do it before your brain realizes what you’re doing and starts talking you out of it. Just get up and go. For example, in the morning my alarm goes off, I drink my pre-workout (no going back to bed after that!). You could also set your coffee maker on a timer so it’s ready to go! My workout clothes are in the bathroom where I have to go already to put my contacts in, I change and head down to my basement. By the time I am fully awake, I’m already dressed in my workout clothes and downstairs!
TIP: 4 Create a visual for yourself
I. LOVE. VISUALS. That is how my brain works and learns. I also create checklists for EVERYTHING and I love crossing things off a list.
Confession– sometimes I’ll add something just so I can cross it off. Anybody else find making a list and crossing things off as satisfying?!
- Add the workout (yoga, walk, pilates, Crossfit, etc…) into your google calendar. On Sunday’s I go through the week and type in “Lower body” on Monday 5am. Tuesday “Upper body” 5 am. I find that also keeps me more accountable.
- Print out a calendar here. Feel free to print out, hang up on your fridge and start checking off the boxes! Also a great tool if you want to create monthly challenges yourself!
Tip 5: Develop daily habits that will help you achieve your goal
- Attach the habit you want to create, to another habit. Back to my morning routine- I go into the bathroom every morning after I wake up to put my contacts in, otherwise I can’t see anything! Therefore, I place my workout clothes in the bathroom. I’m already going in there, so I might as well get dressed as well and seeing the clothes triggers that “oh yeah, time to workout!” Before quarantine, the best/easiest habit was on my way home I stopped at the gym or signed up for a fitness class right after work because I found once I was home, there was no getting myself to go back out! Unless for my spin class 😉
We overestimate and expect what can be done in a day, but underestimate what can be done or achieved in 1 year!
What is something I didn’t mention that helps motivate you?! There are so many great tips and tricks out there and we are all so different! I could always use more motivation tips. I use this reference as a special education teacher a lot with my families- Think of yourself as Mary Poppins- we want to build up our bag of tools and strategies so we can keep pulling from it until something works! Things are alway changing, the more tools we have the better off we are!