Every now and then, I’ll get a comment from someone about how motivated I am when it comes to working out. But the thing is, I don’t necessarily feel motivated. I just feel like it’s part of my every day life – kinda like my addiction to TV, bad jokes, and thought bubbles.
Basically, I do it because it makes me feel good, so I don’t think about it much – until now. So, here are the things that keep me motivated enough that I don’t have to think about motivation.
1. Scheduling Workouts
At the end of each month, I schedule my workouts for the coming month with my personal trainer. I make sure to schedule them around my marathon training and around any plans I may already have set.
I pay for all the sessions up front, so they are set in stone unless there is some type of unforeseen circumstance. There are times when a scheduled work out rolls around and I don’t want to do it. But that’s why I have a schedule to begin with. So I’m kept accountable and I show up.
Oh, and I don’t view a last minute happy hour as an unforeseen circumstance. I schedule all my social activities that arise later on around my workouts.
2. Working Out with a Friend
There’s a reason I work out with personal trainers. There is NO WAY I would do weight training on my own. I could run all day long by myself, but when it comes to weights, if someone isn’t there making me do it…I won’t.
If you can’t afford a personal trainer, find a friend. They keep you accountable and more likely to stick to your schedule. I used to get frustrated by all the money I put toward personal training each month. But then I discovered it’s a big part of my motivation. It’s for my health and that’s never a bad thing. Plus, this money used to go to dive bars every weekend not so long ago. I’d rather that money go toward improving how I look and feel about myself than to a bunch of drinks that will make me gain weight.
3. Surrounding Yourself with Like-minded People
I like being around other people that are active. Working out with my hubs is 100 times better than working out by myself. Running a race with a friend is so much more fun than running a race without one. And meeting my running group at 5am on Saturday morning to run 15 miles is way better than running 15 miles by myself just so I can sleep in.
People who have the same interests keep you motivated.
4. I’ll Never Forget I Used to Look Like This
I won’t lie. It scares the crap out of me to ever look like this again. Mostly the hair. And that tank top. Oh yeah, the weight too.
Get a crappy picture of yourself and post it on the fridge for some motivation to pass up that late night ice cream. (Psst…Hi Lisa!)
5. Reading Success Stories
One thing I like to do is browse the Health page on MSN. They always have success stories. I love the before and after ones where someone has totally overhauled their life and lost a ton of weight. If that person can lose 100 lbs, I can get my ass off the couch and do something active for 30 minutes a day.
5. Getting Compliments and Seeing Results
When I first joined Weight Watchers and lost 26lbs, I couldn’t believe how many people complimented me. It made me want to keep doing what I was doing. It felt great. Once those compliments start coming in, be it for weight loss, or finally doing your first non-girly push-up, it keeps you going.
6. Keeping a Routine
The more I work out, the more I want to work out. Getting into a workout routine is amazing like that. Even on vacation, I try to plan workouts because I feel so much better when I do.
In the past, when I’ve taken a few weeks off from working out, I have no desire to get back into it. If any of you out there are in a workout rut where you just can’t get back on the wagon, set a workout schedule for 2 weeks. Make sure it’s one that works for you and your current schedule. If you don’t normally get up and work out in the morning, you’re not going to magically start loving it.
Set a schedule for whatever activity you like that you can stick to for two weeks, and after those two weeks, you will feel motivated to do more. It always works for me.
7. Buying Something New
Everyone has bad days. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and think everything in my closet looks terrible on me and I feel like a cow. Some days you eat more than you want to and the scale isn’t where you want it to be. Well, that happens to everyone and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. When those days are at their worst for me, I do my hair like I’m going out on a Friday night – even if I’m staying in the house. Good hair always makes me feel better even if my muffin top is covering my belt that day.
Another thing that helps me is buying a new shirt. Wearing something new always makes me feel better. (Note: This does not work for pants. Get the SHIRT.) For everyone that says they can’t afford new clothes, there’s a cute $4.99 shirt at Ross waiting for you.
Not that Ross.
8. Getting Off the Couch
Stop sitting on the couch and feeling sorry for yourself. Do something active. It’s not too late. Vacuum, stretch, walk around your neighborhood, go for a run, jog in place, do some jumping jacks, ride a bike, go to spin class, do sit ups during commercials, see how many lunges you can do in a minute. Do something. If my 73 year old mom can walk around downtown San Diego with me for 8 hours, you can get off the couch.
(Oh, and isn’t my niece adorable? Yep. She is.)
What are your motivation tips?