New Year – New You! You want to change your life for better, you want to loose that extra fat at last, oh yesss you’re gonna do this!!! You want to become stronger, fitter, better and you feel you could move the mountains with the amount of energy and determination you have in the beginning of the year! It feels so easy to do, you are powerful and unstoppable! And then… the reality hits you like a wall and gradually your will becomes weaker and weaker… you loose your motivation like a balloon looses air… slowly… squeaking… and in the end you find yourself dropping the towel and quitting. ….sounds familiar?
Study says that it takes from 18 – 66 days to form a new habit. It is very individual and depends on various factors (reference article HERE). So if you find enough strength to “survive” that most demanding period of time, you have a great chance to STAY loyal to your resolutions, keep your motivation high and go get them GOALS done!
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KEY QUESTION: How important is it to you, really?
Now tell me, how many times have you lost your motivation? What helps you to keep your motivation on a certain level? I’m sure everyone has his own ways, and I guess what works for one person may not necessarily work for someone else. However one thing is common if you want to stay motivated: whatever you do, it has to be IMPORTANT to you.
Every time I start loosing my motivation, there’s those words which sound like church bells in my head:
It’s like a slap on my face which makes me WAKE UP and get my shit together. Because it IS important to me! It’s just the busy life itself that makes it difficult to stay focused… but there is a few ways which have ALWAYS worked for me, and I’m going to share it with you now.
12 SUPER-EASY WAYS TO STAY MOTIVATED TO WORKOUT:
1. Set Up Your Goal
Guys, I find this extremely important and I would like you to stay with me here for a moment. If you don’t clearly specify and name your goals, everything you do is rather meaningless. Here’s why, AND a few steps how to set up your goals right:
I love the comparison to driving a car. Before you sit behind the wheel and start driving, you need to know WHERE you want to go, right? Specify your destination point. Otherwise you’ll just go in circles, meaningless, without any particular reason. So, first of all, you should sit, take a pen and a notebook and WRITE IT DOWN – what do you want to achieve by doing this? What is your goal? Is it loosing (how many) kilograms/pounds? Is it becoming leaner, stronger? State it clearly, name it and write it down. It’s actually very important to put this on paper because by doing so you give it a meaning, it stops being only your wish and becomes your aim, your goal, your destination.
Next thing you should do is decide WHEN you want to get to that point. Think about a particular date and also write it down. For example: “I want to loose 10kg by the end of February 2018“. It has to be a specific date. And now you know where you want to go and when you want to reach your destination. You are setting up a navigation map in your journey.
The last step for you to do is finding the “HOW“. And that’s when all the detailed planning comes in place. This is where you should sit and think about as many steps as possible, steps which will help you get closer to your destination. For example: “I sign up for the gym in the beginning of January. I get a personal trainer. I workout 3-4 times a week.” etc…
Once you have that navigation map, you should not get lost. Remember to set 1 GOAL at a time. It should be ambitious but don’t overwhelm yourself. Take one step at a time. Once you reach your goal, set a new one. Always have a goal you want to reach if you really want to achieve what you want. If you don’t manage to achieve your goal within your set time, don’t stress out, adjust it, set a new deadline, and keep working for it. You’ll get there eventually!
2. Keep Record Of Your Progress
I strongly recommend keeping a record of your progress so that it keeps you on track and you would be able to go back and see how far you’ve come. We often forget about the beginnings and get discouraged thinking that we’re not doing any progress, which of course very often isn’t true… Keep a journal and note when you had your workout and what you were doing. You can also keep track of what you eat throughout the day, if that’s one of your related goals. There’s a few apps which can greatly help you in that, for example: My Fitness Pal.
I also strongly encourage you to take a photo of yourself in the beginning of your fitness journey. Believe me, you will thank yourself for it in a few months time! It’s an extremely powerful motivation-booster to see your own progress and we often don’t see it in real life, but photos don’t lie! So take a picture of your body and keep it (as a future reference).
3. Plan Ahead
Plan on which days you’re going to do your workout – write that down in your calendar. Also plan your days and prepare your meals in advance. Your sub-conscience will do the rest. It will nag you. If you find it difficult in the very beginning, use post-its: write short notes / reminders to yourself and stick them in visible places (eg. your bathroom mirror or a fridge?), or set up reminders on your phone.
4. Buy Yourself Some Fitness Clothes
Well, that ALWAYS works for me! Whenever I buy myself a new pair of leggings or a top I have to test it. Try doing the same. I’m sure that also the fact that you’ve invested some money will work as an additional motivation.
5. Stay Within A Similar Environment
By that I mean: choose the people you surround yourself with. It’s best if they share similar interests / goals because you will motivate each other! Find yourself a fitness buddy, join a Facebook fitness group or set up a group together with your friends who also want to get fit. I’ve been a member of one fitness group on Facebook for the last few years and it’s absolutely amazing how motivating it is! I made fantastic friends in that group, we often meet together, we share our success stories, our worries, even personal defeats sometimes, and those girls are always there ready to help and support.
6. Join Challenges
If you like them of course. I do and I often take part in different challenges. One of the places where you can find them is Endomondo app (which is also a great app to keep track of your fitness progress btw). You can also find fitness challenges on Facebook pages, invent your own short challenges together with your Facebook group friends, or if you’re on Instagram, try browsing hashtags like #fitnesschallenge – it will bring you loads of results!
7. Share Your Progress With Others
Yes! Don’t be shy! Everyone had to start at some point and it’s great to share even the tiniest achievements. Besides, it is extremely motivating to see someone going through similar struggles. So by all means DO share your progress with others. You can do it within your closed fitness Facebook group or on your Instagram account. You can also set up a blog (like I did a few months ago). It’s your visual journal where you keep track of your progress, and also your example may be a great inspiration for others to live healthier and become more active.
8. Listen To Your Favourite Music While Working Out
Music can be a huge motivational tool. I find it extremely powerful especially while running.
Read how music helped me to run my first 10K HERE.
When you listen to music, you don’t notice passing time and also by listening to your favourite tunes, you will sub-consciously start associating your workouts with something you like. It’s fun when you add some music to your workout (I guess that’s one of the reasons why I love Zumba classes so much).
9. Introduce Variety To Your Fitness Plan
Try different things. It is good for your body to train various parts of your muscles, it’s good to do some cardio from time to time, or some strength exercises, or perhaps spinning or yoga. Variety is good and there’s so much to choose from. I’m not saying you should jump from one class to another like crazy, but you can try something new every now and again. There’s nothing worse than boredom and monotony in your workout.
I focus mainly on lifting weights, but I also love Zumba and I used to go to Zumba classes once a week. Sometimes I might go for a run instead, or I do some pilates at home. This year I’m hoping to finally try yoga because I need to improve my flexibility. Don’t be scared to try different things – you never know what you might fall in love with!
RELATED ARTICLE: Strong by Zumba for Charity
10. Reward Yourself
You really deserve it! You DO! Whenever you manage to reach your goal, do something good for yourself. Indulge yourself, buy something nice, eat at your favourite restaurant, go out to a party with your friends… You can decide on your reward while setting your goals and also write it down. It will definitely work as an extra motivation! Whatever you choose to reward yourself with, make sure it makes you feel SPECIAL!
11. Your Own Health & The Way You Feel About Yourself
Always remember that you do it FOR YOURSELF. Not for your boyfriend, husband or wife, nor anyone else but ONLY for your own benefit. You’re working out to become healthier, stronger, more flexible, to become a better version of yourself.
I find that when I eat healthy I feel much lighter and I have more energy, also I feel really proud of myself after every workout (which sometimes requires fighting my own temptations and is very challenging because I have to literally “make” time for this). I’m really happy to see that at my age I can look better than when I was 18, and that I can be stronger and more flexible, which is also very beneficial for the future.
12. Think Positive & Don’t Stress Out!
This is the hardest part but so very important! And here’s where your fitness groups and friends come in helpful. Always think positive and don’t worry if results don’t come fast. Be patient and remember that by exercising you are doing something really good for yourself, for your body and your mind.
Another quote which also puts me back on track is this one:
It would really be a great pity to put all your previous effort to waste… Remember why you started and don’t stop! Because every workout, every action towards reaching your goal, even the smallest one, brings you closer to achieving your goals.Every little step brings you closer to your aim than you were yesterday. Click To Tweet
Are you ready?
So are you ready to rock this year? Do you have your own ways of keeping your motivation high? Please share it with me in a comment. I would love to hear about that.
Keep up the good work and GOOD LUCK with your fitness goals!