We’re about 3 months into 2017 right now – so who actually remembers any of their New Years resolutions? Better yet, who has actually stuck to any of their New Years resolutions?
I know I’m not alone in setting the infamous resolution to get fit this year – to start eating healthy, hitting the gym, and finally getting in shape. But like many others, this isn’t the first year that I’ve set the same resolution, in fact I’ve been setting the same goal for the last 5 years. This year, like every other year, I started out strong and slowly fizzled out.
So how can we change that? I know many of us may have already abandoned our New Years resolutions, but it’s never too late to start over! Today we’re talking about Getting Motivated to Get Fit, and hopefully together we can push ourselves to finally achieve our goal of getting in shape this year! Keep reading below to see my tips.
1. Make a schedule and set reminders!
It’s very easy to convince ourselves that we’re just not in the mood to hit the gym today, and that we’ll go tomorrow. Eventually tomorrow turns into next week and next week turns into next month. The best way to overcome this and to start sticking to a routine of hitting the gym and working out is to make an actual schedule.
Try to develop a schedule that is realistic – if you are new to going to the gym then you may want to start off with once or twice a week to build up a routine. Eventually, work your way up to three or four times a week. Once you have the days picked, plan for times where you are least likely to have distractions or other plans pop up (i.e. Friday nights are probably not the best idea). Finally, set reminders in your calendar or on your phone so that you are always reminded ahead of time that you have a workout coming up.
It’s also a good idea to plan the focus of your workouts ahead of time. For example, maybe you schedule every Monday as Leg Day and every Friday as Abs Day. Going in with a plan means you’re prepared and know exactly what to focus on during each workout.
2. Substitute workouts if necessary.
Although schedules are a great way to ensure that we stick to our plan of going to the gym on a regular basis, there will be the occasional day where something else comes up and you’re unable to stick to your workout plan. It’s easy to be excited at the idea of a day off from the gym, but taking days off can turn into a bad habit if you’re not careful.
So rather than excusing the missed workout as a day off, substitute it with a shorter workout at home that morning when you wake up or before you head to bed. There are tons of great at-home workout routines on the internet – take advantage of them!
3. Don’t depend on others to keep you going.
There’s a lot of mixed opinions on this next tip. Many people will suggest getting a partner to hit the gym with you so that you can keep each other motivated. But what happens when your partner starts bailing on you?
I have tried this technique on 3 separate occasions, and each time I was extremely motivated for the first month when my partner and I would hit the gym together. But with our busy schedules, my partner would start bailing on workouts and I was too self-conscious to go on my own so I would bail as well. Needless to say, my plan of getting in shape never became very successful.
What I’ve learned through personal experience is that your motivation needs to come from within yourself, not from someone else. You should only depend on yourself to keep you going. Why? Once you start to depend on someone else, it becomes all too easy to blame them for missed workouts. Their lack of motivation dampens your motivation.
When you are motivated by yourself and are only dependent on yourself, then you are accountable to yourself. When you are accountable to yourself, you will likely be more motivated to meet your goals.
4. Find ways to keep yourself interested.
There is nothing worse than trying to get motivated to do something that you find completely boring. While your motivation should be towards your long-term goal of getting in shape, it is hard to stick to those goals when you are completely uninterested in what you are doing.
The goal to overcome this is to find ways to spice up your workout routine and make it more interesting and/or exciting for you. Perhaps group classes, which tend to be a higher energy workout, are a better fit for you than working out on your own. If you are working out on your own, try making a “gym playlist” of music that gets your energy level up and listen to it while you work out. Ladies, this may seem silly, but I know a few women (myself included) who find that wearing chic exercise clothes helps to get them motivated.
Whatever it may be, finding ways to keep yourself interested and energized about your workout are key!
5. Set goals and reward yourself!
Many experts talk about the reward system when it comes to disciplining kids and teaching them good versus bad habits. Interestingly, this method can still be effective with adults!
If we set specific workout goals for ourselves and reward ourselves when we reach them, we are likely to become more motivated to keep working out and meeting new goals. The rewards don’t need to be extravagant by any means, but can be as simple as treating yourself to a donut after every second workout.
A great way to help yourself set goals is to use the fitness apps on your smartphones. The great thing about these apps is that they also count your steps, so even on days where you’re not scheduled for a workout at the gym, you can still set goals regarding your step count.
I hope these tips for Getting Motivated to Get Fit help you in achieving your goals of getting in shape this year! I will definitely be trying to implement these into my workout routine this year. Let me know what other tips you have for getting motivated to hit the gym!