We’re over half way through the first month of the new year! How are you resolutions holding up? Motivation comes and goes and it isn’t built overnight–I’ve been working on building and maintaining motivation for years. It takes diligence and trial and error. Luckily, there are strategic steps to keep your fitness fire burning so that you can stay on track with your goals.
- Enjoy Yourself
When you enjoy something and you’re having fun, you tend to repeat that activity. We watch marathons of shows we love. We frequent the same restaurants with our favorite dishes. We listen to a favorite track over and over again. The same theory applies to your workouts. Exercise does not have to be torture, it can be fun. Take the time to find a physical activity that you truly enjoy doing and you’ll be burning calories left and right. I’m still a big fan of spinning class, but I’ve also grown to love incorporating elements of kickboxing into my routine. The other day when I was working out with my husband, I found a heavy bag stand and I went it. I punched and kicked and made up some other combinations/moves and it was awesome. By the time I knew it, I had reached my calorie burn goal and I was done with my workout. I don’t enjoy every single one of my workouts — there are some brutal workouts I hate but that yield awesome results. My main point is that at the very least, you should try to have more enjoyable workouts than workouts that you absolutely can’t stand and you will be able to stay active without even thinking about it.
2. Create An Amazing Workout Playlist
I am not one to workout in silence. If my music playlist is lacking, I find it harder to stay focused and amped up during my workouts. This is the most true when I’m doing cardio. If I don’t have music, I will fixate on the amount of time I have remaining in my workout or sometimes my thoughts distract me and tell me to just pause or to wrap things up early. When I have my best songs playing, I hone in on the music and I lose myself in the workout. The beat gets me going, the lyrics inspire me (or simply entertain me) and it’s the perfect remedy for those negative thoughts that can creep up. I’ve been loving Apple Music as of late because they have awesome curated playlists for pretty much every occasion and it saves me time if I haven’t been able to manually make my own playlist.
3. Set Visual Cues to Get Moving
We all need reminders for certain tasks. These reminders don’t have to be blatant but can be a bit more subtle. Why not set up your own subliminal messages to get moving? I set my heart rate monitor and watch on my dresser and it’s one of the first things I see when I wake up in the morning. At times I lay out my gym clothes on my dresser too and I set my gym shoes close to the door. It’s like all these objects whisper to me and tell me to get a workout in.
4. Tap Into (Friendly) Competition
Motivation can come through by way of competition with friends and family. I’ve been able to clock more miles and drop more pounds when I compete with others on Nike Running and with random strangers on the Lose It! app. You can set up challenges on either app. My favorite competition is with myself though. That’s what really tends to motivate me because I always want to keep improving. Lately, I’ve been trying to improve my mile time on Nike Running and i don’t focus so much on the act of working out as I do my end goal which is to improve my time. It’s the perfect motivation.
5. Be Flexible
My inflexibility has been my fitness downfall over the last couple years. And I think this is because when I initially lost the bulk of my weight in 2004, I was pretty rigid with my diet and overall routine. After that period of time, whenever I fell off the wagon, I would beat myself up, get off track and then set another date to start again. I thought I always had to be “perfect” or at least close to perfect like I felt back in the day. But those days are over. I have been really working on balance and trying to realize that one bad day or one bad workout does not constitute a pass to throw all of my good habits out of the window. This way, my progress is not destroyed and my motivation is still in tact.
How do you stay motivated? Share in the comments!