Let’s face it: it’s much easier to motivate ourselves to do things when someone else tells us what to do, so how do you maintain your fitness mojo?
Sometimes, no matter how important your goals are to you, it's a struggle to work up the motivation for your workout. But whether you're trying to lose weight, train for a race, keep your stress in check, or any of the other worthwhile reasons to make fitness a part of your life, staying consistent is key, even when you really, really, really don't feel like it. If you sometimes struggle to remember why it's worth all the effort, these tips might help you keep on track and on top of your fitness routine this Summer.
1. Make a schedule, and stick to it
How many days a week do you want to work out? Get really clear on this ahead of time—then actually schedule your workouts in your calendar, just as you would with any other appointment.
It may seem unnecessary, but when you start planning your workouts beforehand, you move them from ‘optional’ to the ‘must do’ category.
And if you know things are destined to come up, you can always build in a buffer day or two in case something happens and you’re forced to reschedule.
2. Keep a workout log
This is a great idea, and pretty much the premise of fitness training, whether you have the help of a Personal Trainer, or you are doing it alone. In order to actually measure the results of your hard work, you need to measure your starting point, identify goals (short and long term) and track your progress periodically (every 4, 6 and 12 weeks are ideal).
Using a physical book or a smart device to record and track measurements like weight and body fat percentage, as well as any progress made in individual workouts, will keep you much more motivated than looking in the mirror every day.
Just being able to see in print (or on the screen) that all your hard work has paid off can be the motivator you need to keep you working out on a regular basis.
3. Create goals
As eluded to above, when you work out day after day on your own with no coach or trainer to push you, it’s easy to fall into a slump. That’s why you have to create goals for yourself.
Fitness goals can be anything, small or big—you might have a goal to be able to do 10 burpees in a row without stopping, or a goal of doing a handstand push up without a wall (my goal for the first part of this year).
Signing up for some type of race or event can also be a good goal and motivator. Whatever sounds fun to you.
Goals will keep you motivated, because you’ll always be working toward something tangible rather than just exercising because you know you should be.
Ideally, find a like minded friend who could also do with some fitness motivation, and you can work out together. Sharing your goals with others can help to keep you even more accountable and have a sociable added benefit.
4. Give yourself rewards
No, you shouldn’t eat a doughnut or slice of cake every time you get yourself to the gym or out for a long walk, but giving yourself a tangible reward for exercising can be a great motivator.
Try setting a number of days you want to exercise for and give yourself some kind of reward when you meet your goal.
Just make sure your reward is motivating enough that you really, really want it. A kale salad at the end of your desired workout period probably isn’t (but might, I suppose), going to do it for you!
You can do it
Yes, working out alone can be hard at times, but just remember...
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” —Thomas Jefferson