When you’re struggling to find ways to inspire you to exercise more, how do you motivate yourself to hit the gym when you don’t feel the spark? You might not be content with how many times you workout each month, but how can you transform the negative nit-picking into encouraging positivity?
Remember the über-awesome feeling at the end of a particularly effective gym session? That sense of accomplishment, that you can do anything, that the world is at your feet? Now try to think about the feelings of frustration, resentment and depression that come when you wish you had gone to the gym but instead stayed at home slumped in front of Netflix watching a “Hoarders” marathon and chowing down on leftover pizza. See how disparate those feelings are? However, you can reverse this thinking with the following tips.
Visualize how you’ll look when you’re both slimmer and fitter. Keep that image in mind as a form of driving motivation. Think about reading fitness magazines that are not only filled to the brim with fantastic exercise techniques and healthy new recipes to try, but also a very effective way to spur you on when you need a little prompting to not “having a rest day.”
Actively involve yourself with online groups (Facebook support networks, get fit forums, exercise-related blogs, etc.) and find out how other people in the same situation are trying to improve themselves. Joining Facebook groups where you can read about other people’s struggles is a helpful way of putting your own trials and tribulations into perspective. Read blog posts written by others who have successfully lost weight. Finding and interacting with like-minded people is a perfect motivating technique that creates a comforting sense of inclusion.
Keep a food diary. Although some may scoff at this, a study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research found that “keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss.” Additionally, get a workout partner so you can encourage each other; time will pass much quicker when you spend time working out with a friend who shares the same goals as you. If possible, try to schedule exercise sessions at the same time of the day so that they can become an established routine.
If you know that you’re the type of person who every so often forgets to do their morning get fit training, a neat tip is to never put away your workout clothes. Utilize visual cues to make your brain remember your morning jog or yoga session; leave your workout clothes in plain sight, perhaps folded up on top of your dresser so you see them as soon as you wake up. You can even place your gear in a couple of key locations that you’ll never overlook, such as near the TV or computer. This kind of aide memoire will keep exercise at the forefront of your mind.
Finally, the “F Factor.” Make your workouts FUN, so you harvest health rewards while at the same time enjoying yourself. Ultimately, you want your workouts to become synonymous with enjoyment. With a little optimism, you can shake any sluggish reservations and hopefully trigger the inner impulses you need to increase your overall wellbeing.