Try These 5 Most Effective Tactics
- Finally find the motivation to work out you need!
The motivation to work out regularly is the key to a healthy life. Unfortunately, most of us can think of 100 things to do instead of going to the gym.
It’s a lot easier to relax on the couch than work up a sweat. And family, friends, or pets make better evening companions than a rowing machine. Still, you know you need to exercise to stay healthy and reap the benefits of fitness.
The solution is to be strategic in your thoughts and actions around exercise. Don’t just wing it – use one of these five tactics to give yourself easy motivation to work out. Used alone or in combination, these strategies will get you up off the couch, and with the right tools you’ll be in better shape in less time than you think.
1. Enjoy the Emotional Boosts
Exercise is hard work that causes specific chemical reactions in your body. Some of these reactions boost your metabolism, but others boost your mood.
Working out releases “feel-good” brain chemicals and calms you down by raising your core body temperature. The results are powerful – medical trials show regular exercise reduces stress, cuts anxiety, and even fight off clinical depression, according to the Mayo Clinic.
You can use exercise to protect your mental health and build a positive emotional cycle that keeps you happy most of the time. That’s a pretty big motivation to work out!
2. Make It Convenient
Another key motivation to work out is making exercise convenient to do. This is the big problem with gyms – you have to leave your house to go to them.
Let’s face facts: people are lazy. We like the path of least resistance. If it’s not convenient to exercise, not one of us is above finding a million reasons to do something else.
You can motivate yourself to stick with an exercise program by making it convenient for yourself. If you hate the gym, get DVDs to do at home, says Carla Sottovia of the Cooper Fitness Institute in Dallas. More convenience means more motivation, which means you get fitter and healthier faster.
3. Aim for Small Chunks
It is easier to motivate yourself to do a small task than a big one. If you’re struggling with motivation to work out for three hours … would it be easier to motivate yourself to work out for 30 minutes? All signs point to yes!
Try doing something small every day. The motivation needed to work out for five or ten minutes at home is a lot less than what you need to get yourself dressed, get out of the house, and drive across town in traffic to your gym.
Think of it as the Nike approach to exercise: Just Do It. Your small chunks of motion and exercise add up to big health benefits over time, and you’ll find that maintaining the motivation to work out is pretty easy once you’re already used to being up and moving.
4. Write Down & Share Goals
Setting goals helps you motivate yourself – but writing down your goals makes them even more likely to happen. Tell a friend, and you could improve your odds of hitting your goal by 33%.
Why not leverage the power of goals as motivation to work out? In just a few minutes right now, you can write down your top work out goals. Maybe you want to lose weight, burn away ugly fat deposits, or look incredible for a reunion, wedding, or upcoming vacation. Write it down, tell a friend, and then make it happen.
Help yourself further by choosing exercise programs that have goals and progress built into them. It’s easy to keep up your motivation to work out when have a set program and can see you’re moving forward.
5. Pick Your Reward
Remember when you were in school and the teacher would give you a sticker or a gold star for a job well done? You’re a grown-up now, which means you get to pick out rewards that are even better than those shiny gold stars.
Work out every day for a week … go see a movie this weekend. Drop 10 pounds and get yourself a new watch. Fit into your jeans from high school and book a trip to Europe.
Extreme? Maybe, but you know yourself better than anyone else. Pick the things you want more than you want to sit on the couch. Make them your rewards for working out and your excuses for sitting around will disappear.
No one can make you get up and work out – but there’s no reason to make exercise harder than it has to be or let working out becoming a time-consuming hassle. You just need a system that’s simple to complete and truly delivers on its promises so you can get your rewards