It has now been several weeks since you made your New Year’s resolution. If you’re like most people, you resolved to exercise more so you can lose some weight and get in shape.
So, how are things coming along? Are you still on track to keep your resolution? Or have you stumbled and given up hope?
The key to success is staying motivated to exercise, but motivation can be hard to come by. That’s why I’ve come up with this list of tips for staying motivated while exercising.
- Post your goals where you can see them—If you don’t already have specific goals, create some. Once you have your goals, write them down, and post them somewhere that you’ll see them on a daily basis. This serves as a constant reminder of what you need to do to stay on track. It ensures you don’t forget you need to exercise, keeping you constantly aware of your goals. It’s a simple tactic but one that’s highly motivating.
- Reward yourself for reaching benchmarks—In addition to having major goals (e.g. lose 50 pounds, work out 3x a week, etc.), you should also have smaller goals that help keep you on track along the way (e.g. lose 3 pounds in the next 2 weeks). Breaking down your large goal into smaller ones helps you stay motivated. Whenever you reach a new benchmark, consider rewarding yourself. Your reward could be to cheat for one meal or something non-food related like a day at the spa.
- Put up pictures of what you used to look like—Find a picture of what you looked like at your very worst before you started exercising, and post that somewhere that you’ll see it every day. Seeing this will remind you that you never want to go back to that place again. It will give you the motivation you need to hit that treadmill when you just don’t want to.
- Do something while you exercise—Whether you’re running on the treadmill or pumping iron, the actual act of exercising can get pretty boring. That’s why it’s a good idea to do something else while you exercise. Some people like to watch TV while they work out; others like to crank up the music to keep them pumped up. Find something that you like to do while exercising, and you’ll discover it’s much less boring and painful that way.
- Identify roadblocks ahead of time—We all have excuses about why we can’t exercise. “Oh, I don’t have time today” or “The gym is too crowded.” You need to identify these excuses well in advance and come up with solutions for them so that you’re ready to overcome these roadblocks when they pop up.
- Alter your routine—After doing the same exercise routine for a few weeks, you might find yourself bored and ready to move onto something else. Changing up your exercise routine not only keeps you entertained, but it also helps you target new muscles and avoid the common workout plateau.
How do you stay motivated to keep exercising? Share your best tips by leaving a comment.