All of us have been there. We commit to an exercise goal with gusto, and whatever means are necessary to achieve it. We wake up early, sign up for classes, exercise with friends, and buy new gear. Then, “poof”, our mojo is gone, or we are sidetracked by life. Take heart, you are NOT alone, and the right fitness motivation tips will get you back on track.
According to research, we lose our way with fitness due to two main reasons: 1) the lost motivation, and 2) we don’t give ourselves permission for “self-care”. Tackle your fitness motivation detour with the below tips.
Fitness Motivation – The Nitty Gritty
1. Know Your WHY. View a workout as a to-do list item, you’re less likely to stay committed. Dig deeper to find the root cause. Perhaps it is how great exercise makes you feel, or you feel better mentally, or you set a wager with a friend for an upcoming 10K. 😉
2. Give Yourself Permission. We often put our job, family, other people before ourselves, as we think it is selfish to spend “me time.” “We’ve been socialized to not consider well-being important, but you have to [take care of] yourself in order to give your all to everything you care about,” says Michelle Segar, author of No Sweat.
3. Make Yourself Accountable: sign up for a race, a class, tell others your goal(s), commit to an exercise ‘date’ with a friend. We are less likely to bail on an exercise session if we’ve committed to something in advance.
4. Buy Good Gear! Just like the first day of school, when you’re not exactly excited about school starting, but excited to wear a new outfit, the same applies to exercise. Not only can the right gear make you look/feel better, it can impact your performance, too.
Motivation – Stay on Track
5. Devise a Strategy. What is tripping you up? Too tired after work? Or barely enough time before work? Lack of child care? All of us have factors that can sabotage our workouts. Know what they are, and determine strategies to remove those obstacles. If we often have the same excuse, it is time to come up with a solution for that excuse.
6. Start the Day with Exercise. Exercise any time of day is most important, but there are some distinct benefits of starting the day with exercise. 1) You are more likely to form good habits as there are fewer distractions. 2) Improved mood and energy to tackle the day, and 3) better sleep habits (p.m. exercise can sometimes interfere with sleep quality).
7. Say YES to Adventure. Being physically fit better prepares you for adventure. Dai Manuel, a CrossFit coach/author of The Whole Fitness Manifesto states “without a strong foundation of health, fitness and wellness, the ability to do the things we want most in life becomes more and more difficult. Don’t miss out, allow yourself the power to choose what you do, rather than letting your health decide for you.”
8. Build Mental Strength. We learn so much about ourselves, our discipline, our limits and capabilities through exercise. I recall when I ran my fastest marathon, I thought “I can do anything if I can do that.” Seriously. Mental strength in exercise translates to strength in our day to day life. Adam Rosante, celebrity trainer and author of The 30-Second Body states “I start to question what else I’m capable of in other areas of my life. It’s a game changer.”
As always, anything worthwhile requires effort. Being physically fit is an important goal, but it takes effort, some strategy, good habits, and definitely motivation to stick with it. More to come on this topic, but in the meantime, I welcome your thoughts and feedback on this subject!