Getting yourself to start working out is quite a challenge, but once you’ve overcome the initial barrier of getting off your couch, you’re in for quite a ride. Sure, the first week is exciting, new and fun; you wake up each day with sore muscles to remind you of a good day’s workout the day before. However, as time passes, the exercises start becoming repetitive. The repetitions become unbearable and the muscles start getting ‘bored’. Without proper motivation, your missed workouts are going to start snowballing and you’ll be back where you started.
Know that habits take time to form
In fact, the process lasts approximately 66 days. That’s 2 months of pushing and challenging yourself. Until “the habit” takes charge, the “motivation ball” is in your court. It helps to keep track of your exercise regimen and head for that 66-days landmark – having a particular goal is always a great motivator.
Find a regime that suits you
Working out isn’t easy, and it’s not supposed to be easy. However, there’s a difference between a healthy challenge and a complete mismatch. A healthy challenge will keep you motivated and push you into making progress, while a mismatch will constantly pull you towards giving up. Trying a ton of different activities helps here – from cycling and roller-skating, to rock climbing. Once you’ve found an activity that fits you, the motivation is going to come on its own.
Break out from the loop
On the other hand, no matter how fun an activity might be for you, it’s going to start getting tedious after a while. This is why not being afraid to shift things around is so important – jumble it up a bit, go for a casual jog instead of the scheduled HIIT session, go hiking in place of your regular CrossFit workout.
Don’t go too wild here, though, and don’t start shifting things up in the beginning – it’s easy to lose track without a solid foundation.
Don’t leave it for the late afternoon
…and not just because this is good motivation; if you finish your workout early in the day, your entire day will be less cluttered and you’ll feel better overall. In fact, the earlier in the day, the more efficient a workout will be in terms of fat burning and enhanced metabolism. Cross it off your list as soon as you’ve opened your eyes, and you’ll quickly realize that you’ve got the entire day before you.
Don’t go crazy in the beginning
Sure, this might seem like a sound plan for breaking that sedentary barrier, but a workout that ends up kicking your ass while you’re still out of shape will make you unable to continue the next day, or even the day after; not to mention the increased risk of injury. Start gradually, don’t be afraid of cutting yourself some slack in the beginning, and gently glide into self-motivation.
…mental or real ones, whatever you choose. The only thing that matters is that you are able to see your results. Flex in the mirror, look at your body and take note of every single positive change that takes place. This is one of the best motivators out there; it will get you hooked on the active life.
Have workout equipment at the ready
When calculating the amount of time a workout regime “takes away” from you every day, most people only refer to the actual workout. In truth, everything is a factor: from commuting/driving, changing clothes, taking a shower, even packing for the gym. While there’s no universal way to speed up the rest of the routine (other than being as efficient as possible), keeping your weightlifting clothes ready will not only save you time, but will even work as a motivator.
Always do an extra rep
Working out is pretty much a constant battle with yourself and going over the top is often very helpful. If that exercise plan of yours says: 4 rounds of 10 pushups, do at least 11 in the last round. Pushing your own boundaries is essential for motivation.
Working should be more than an item to cross off the list for you. Buried deep down inside you lies a fountain of motivation, you just need to learn how to use it. This process takes time, but with the right amounts of dedication, your lifestyle will change completely and you won’t even notice it.