I try to exercise around 4-5 times a week, whether it be a run, a fast walk, or body pump or cardio class. I consider working out one of my top hobbies – I love the endorphins, I consider taking care of my body and brain a top priority in my life, and it’s a major stress reliever for me. Let’s also not forget that I have to balance out my intense love for ice cream, cheese, and carbs.
Yet, there are many days when the last thing I want to do is drag myself to the gym and workout for 60 minutes. I want to go home and just crash or be lazy.
I’m the queen of making up a million reasons why I shouldn’t go. It’s raining. I’m hungry. I should do laundry. I have cramps. I had a long day. It’s going to be too crowded. I will after I take a nap. I deserve a day off. I want ice cream.
I need a routine and I need motivation.
Here are my top ways of keeping myself motivated to work out, when I really really won’t want to.
1. Tell Yourself You’re Only Going to Workout for 15 Minutes
They say that 80% of success is simply showing up. As soon as I start a work out I almost instantly get into the “groove”. So by telling myself I’m only going to walk for 10 -15 minutes, barely even pushing myself, I get myself started. My body starts to wake up after about 5 minutes and soon enough I find myself running at full speed and nearing the end of a 45 minutes workout. I’ve never ever regretted a workout.
2. Reward Yourself
Set up small and instant rewards for yourself. For example, I tell myself that I can have uninterrupted couch time and binge on my favorite TV shows the evening after a work out. Maybe a long and relaxing bubble bath, a night free of chores, or a bowl of your favorite snack is an incentive for you.
3. Bring a Buddy
A work out buddy holds you accountable and makes going to the gym seem like more of a social activity. Help each other, push each other. Make it fun!
4. Give Yourself A Results Goal
Print out a picture of a new dress or bathing suit you’d like to buy for the summer. Make the destination of you summer vacation the wall paper of your phone or work computer. Look at photos of you in a healthier state. Visualizations of goals I want to meet help me realize that they are in the near future – meaning I better get my butt in gear sooner rather than later!
5. Put Out You Gym Clothes The Night Before (or wear them all day!)
If you go to the gym after work, pack your gym bag and put it in your car the night before. Or, if you can, wear a part of your work out gear to work. I’ve been known to wear my sports bra under my work day sweater or top (I work in a very casual office though). If you’re a morning exerciser lie out your work out clothes right next to your bed so you can’t miss them. Better yet, if you need a real push, sleep in them!
6. Remember How Good You’ll Feel When You’re Done
As I said above, I never ever regret a work out once I complete one. Try to visualize how amazing you’re going to feel after your run. Those endorphins are game changers! If I’m tired – I wake up. If I have cramps or fatigued feelings – working out always improves them. If I’m feeling depressed or anxious working out helps resolve some of those issues. Oh and that sweet burn, toxin release, and feeling of accomplishment! Can’t beat it!
7. Stay Positive. Smile
This may sound obvious, or even a little cheesy, but nothing will kill your motivation like a negative attitude. I find that if I make a firm intent in the morning to work out after work and smile while thinking about following through with it, I’m much more likely to end up working out. By the way, smiling helps me when I’m actually in the middle of a run or a body pump class as well. When I feel like I can’t push anymore, I break out in a big smile and it helps to open up my brain a little. (Remember mind over matter) Try it.
To help you smile here is a totally weird gif of poodles and “she poodle” doing aerobics:
8. Think About The Money Being Wasted
Think of the money you are wasting by underutilizing your gym membership. I pay a monthly fee for my gym membership but I like to look at it as a per day charge. My husband and I pay $72 a month – which comes down to $2.32 a day. If I don’t go for 5 days in a row – that’s wasting $11.60. I would never just throw out $11.60 on anything, or even $2.32. You’re paying for it, use it!
What motivates you to keep up with your workout routine?