I think the hardest part about working out isn’t completing your exercises – it’s motivating yourself to get to the gym in the first place! Forcing yourself to actually get to the gym for a workout is half the battle! Once you’re there – your workout doesn’t seem near as daunting as it did an hour ago when you were looking for excuses not to go. Motivating yourself to workout is a mental battle you fight against yourself – and you have to learn what techniques work best for you to win this battle and get your workout in!
If you work out in the morning, it’s easy to hit the snooze button, roll over in your warm, comfy bed and turn your “gym time” into “sleep in time.” If you work out in the evening after a long day of work or classes, it’s easy to make excuses as to why you can’t go to the gym – you need to go grocery shopping, you need to make dinner, you need to work on homework, or you really need to binge watch your favorite TV show on Netflix. The excuses you can create for yourself are endless – so the motivators you create for yourself have to more powerful than your excuses.
Below are eight ways you can mentally motivate yourself to work out – try a few and see which ones work best for you! Everyone is different, so what motivates you may not necessarily work for someone else, but once you find the thing that makes you *click* - you’ll be killing your workouts everyday – no excuses!
1. Complete your tasks at the gym
I’m the queen of “I could go to the gym, but I really need to…” The best way to battle this thinking is by completing whatever tasks you need to do while you’re at the gym. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect you to be running on the treadmill while chopping veggies for tonight’s dinner – but if you need to do homework, catch up on emails, or even watch a show on Netflix – you can do all those things while working out. Cardio and “chores” go hand-in-hand; while you run on the treadmill, you can easily put your notes or a textbook in front of you to study for a test. While you bike on the stationary bikes, you can easily respond to emails on your phone during slower pedal sets. While you jog on the elliptical, you can easily put a Kindle, iPad, or phone in front of you and catch up on your favorite Netflix show. Rather than being the queen of excuses, become the queen of cardio multi-tasking!
2. Participate in a challenge
You can find tons of monthly challenges on Pinterest and Instagram – or you can make your own! Challenge yourself to run 30 miles in a month – then next month, up your mileage to 40. Or challenge yourself to squat a new personal record ten pounds higher than your current record by the end of the month. Or challenge yourself to hit the gym four days a week – no matter what! The possibilities here are infinite and reusable – once you complete a challenge, start a new one!
3. Find a workout buddy
Finding a workout buddy is an awesome way to motivate yourself to workout. If you’re working out alone, then there’s no one holding you accountable except yourself. With a buddy, there’s always someone there to help make sure you get your workout in. Plus, if your buddy is waiting for you at the gym, it’s almost impossible to not show up! You have to be there for them, and they have to be there for you. It’s a supportive relationship you’ll both benefit from!
4. Sleep in your gym clothes
It’s one less thing you’ll have to do when you wake up! Sleeping in your gym clothes gives you the ability to *literally* roll out of bed and out the door to the gym in the morning. It may sound silly, but it will definitely make morning gym routines a least a little bit easier!
5. Envision yourself killing your workout
If you walk into a workout with the mindset that you’ll just meander your way through your exercises and take it easy, then that’s exactly what you’ll do. If you envision yourself killing your workout and doing more than you originally thought you could, then that’s exactly what you’ll do! You have the ability to finish your workout strong – you just have to have the mindset to make it happen.
6. Listen to audio books
Okay, I know this sounds silly, but it can be so helpful! Running on the treadmill isn’t always the most fun activity, but running on the treadmill while listening to Jim Dale narrate Harry Potter is ten times more enjoyable! [Maybe not everyone loves Jim Dale and Harry Potter as much as I do, but you can find books that work for you!] Set ‘workout chapter goals’ where you have to finish ten chapters by the end of the week – which means you’ll have to spend those ten chapters in the gym working out!
7. Make a gym schedule
Simply writing your scheduled workout time in your calendar may help you commit to actually working out during that time frame. I keep a daily planner where I write my work schedule, meetings, family dinners, and my workout schedule! Seeing it written down as a daily activity helps me commit to actually making my workouts happen!
8. Think of the end result
Think about the results you want and how you’ll feel once you achieve those results. Envisioning the future you who is stronger and faster will help motivate you to achieve those goals. If your end result is to have more toned arms, you can’t achieve that goal by sitting on the couch – you have to get your arm workouts in. Thinking of your end results is a sure fire way to motivate yourself to workout!
Do you have other motivators that work really well for you? Share them with us on Instagram by tagging us @thinkallways. We’d love to hear what motivates you!