Motivating one’s self to exercise is probably one of the most challenging parts in every person’s waking life. There simply comes a time (plenty, actually) when we hit a certain point where we wonder if this really is worth doing (or starting).
We are aware of the huge benefits of exercising regularly. The only problem is that we lack motivation. How do we break the mental walls that are keeping us from getting active, then? How can you motivate yourself when you don’t feel like getting your butt off that chair?
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to motivate one’s self to work out and this article elaborates on eight of them.
#1: Find Your “Why” and Keep It in Mind
Why do you want to exercise? More specifically, why are you considering to put or are putting yourself in a situation wherein body pain and tons of sweat ensues? Find your reasons and turn these desires into pure motivation.
One Facebook user told BuzzFeed how simply remembering your reasons for exercising can keep you up and moving.
I remember all those times I tried clothes on and they didn’t look good because of the extra weight, or the times I wanted to wear shorts and weren’t brave enough. That always gets my ass moving — it’s not about keeping the motivation, it’s about remembering why you started in the first place, and asking if you really want to start all over again because you couldn’t be bothered.
#2: Pledge Your Commitment to Doing Workouts
@ThrowbackFit | Instagram.com
According to Daily Burn, we are likely to follow through with promises if they are made in front of our friends. So call up a friend to do so. Better yet, sign a workout commitment contract. Stanford Professor Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert even suggests paying a penalty every time you fail to follow through. It could be as simple as paying your friend a $20-fine or as challenging as letting that friend think of some (embarrassing) consequences that you have to do. This way, you’ll be forced to get your butt up and running even in times when you don’t feel like it.
#3: Give Yourself a Reward
A tangible one, that is. Not just a mental pat on the back. You could make a deal with yourself: for every time you finish a workout, you can watch an episode of your favorite series or treat yourself to your craving.
BuzzFeed Community member Danalil has a different kind of reward in mind, but, hey! It works just as well.
Real life, I only allow myself to wash my hair after working out. So if I don’t for a couple days… I have to face the ridicule of my peers… Or my hair gets too tangled from all the baby powder.
Make it habit to give yourself a reward, but only during the first few months, or weeks, of exercising so that your brain can start to associate pain and sweat with the feel-good rush you get after a good workout session.
#4: Find a Workout Partner, Coach, or a Fitness Group
Boredom is the number one motivation killer. And when you lose motivation a drive, you face the risk of quitting. To keep it at bay, ask a friend to workout with you. Better yet, join a fitness group. Beyond breaking the boredom spell, exercising with someone and seeing their dedication and progress may instill some much-needed inspiration.
If you want to amp your game, then getting a personal trainer for motivation’s sake may be worth your while.
#5: Set the Bar Low
John Howard | Getty Images
As Woody Allen once said, 80 percent of success is showing up. But most of the time and especially after a stressful day at work, we are tempted to pass up on a workout. In an article, dietitian Wendy Bazilian says it has something to do with setting our goals too high.
If you tell yourself that you have to go to the gym for at least 15 minutes, you’re more likely to go than if you have an all-or-nothing mentality.
She added that setting your bar ridiculously low and easy may even get you to stay and workout a little longer.
#6: Treat Your Workout Sessions as a Time for Friend Meet-Ups
Instead of meeting up over cocktails, plan a sweat session to catch up with a friend. Although you might not be actually chatting up during a yoga class or a Bootcamp, the fact that you are meeting a friend gets you excited so you are more likely to hit the gym.
Take it from Helene, who sees getting her ass to the gym a bigger obstacle than the workout itself. “Whenever I’m meeting friends at the gym, I’m excited to hang out with them, rather than grumpy about getting off my couch,” she told Buzzfeed.
#7: Turn Your Goals and Inspirations into Decor
Surround yourself with some inspirational shape-up photos and messages just as what Gab Capasso of BuzzFeed Community does.
I hang up motivational pictures on my mirrors, like Kendall Jenner or just good sayings. I also have my goal weight written everywhere — car mirror, refrigerator, calendar, etc. — so it’s a constant reminder to work toward that number.
#8: Find Something That You Enjoy Doing
@SashaDigiulian | Instagram.com
Is the usual gym workout boring you? If it does, then try something else. Crossfit, yoga, climbing — there are practically endless workout options out there. You just have to find one that you’ll love and you will never have to motivate yourself into doing it ever again. If anything, it could even motivate you to do exercises you normally hate just because you want to get better at it.
If keeping in shape is easy, everybody would be doing it. Just remember: There will come a time when you are going to want to give up, don’t.