We all know how hard it is when we get out of bed, walk to that mirror, stare at ourselves and be unhappy with what we see and be unable to do a thing about it. Every person has either gone through that at one time or will go through it. Yes, even the most ardent gym rat has had issues with motivation at some point or the other. You see this most at the beginning of the year in January when gym memberships and subscriptions skyrocket, but inevitably they tail off again before long, even as early as February!
It doesn’t take an astrophysicist to figure out the problem with most is a lack of motivation. These tips will pave the way to growing motivation that will keep even the most fickle person from losing enthusiasm even while under the most mind-breaking workouts.
Write Down Your Reasons for Wanting to Workout
There’s no positive reinforcement action more underrated than taking the time to write down goals and targets. Don’t simply sit and write down long-term goals, also write short-term goals. Break the long- term goals into more manageable short-term targets tailored to be completed in shorter periods. Make sure you’re working out to please yourself and meet your goals rather than someone else’s goals or desires. No motivation other than your personal motivations are likely to last long.
Visualize Your Fitness Workout Goals
Have you ever noticed how you get pumped up about working out when you see fitness workout Youtube videos, a stunning looking figure at the beach, pool or gym only to have that enthusiasm fade away like smoke after a few days? What gives? Have you ever wondered why that happens? It’s because your brain has stopped receiving that visual stimulus that kick-started it in the first place.
Just like our body needs food to stay strong and healthy, so does our mind. Our minds need to be fed through our senses to stay focused and keep being healthy. Maximize the power of visualization by putting up images of what you’d want your body to look like at the end of your fitness journey. Put these images in conspicuous places like a wall within view of your work desk, your computer desktop background, bathroom, and on your fridge (great at giving you a reality check when you’re sneaking into the fridge for those unwanted snacks).
Most people get demotivated and quit their exercise programs without achieving their workout goals because they’re unrealistic from the start. They set goals that are impossible to meet, start at fever pitch, and when it finally dawns on them that they won’t be meeting those goals, they lose motivation and quit. Well, it was always going to happen. Not even an insanity workout motivation was going to make those goals possible. Goals have to be realistic and achievable; a 500lb person would be unrealistic to set a goal of losing a 100lb in a month. Set goals that are achievable!
Focus on the Action
Sometimes, it’s simply not just about the result but more about the actions before that. Most people focus on the results but the actions can be just as satisfying as the result. Make sure your workout routines are centered around actions that you can enjoy. This takes away the focus on the long-term result and centers more on the pleasure gained from the actions that make up the big picture. If this focus can be achieved, the long-term goal will be accomplished in little to no time.
Use Music to Spice Up Your Exercise Programs
Another amazing, yet often forgotten, workout motivational tool is music. Never underrate the power of your little Iphone or Ipod. It can get you over exercise plateaus that would have otherwise seemed impossible to conquer without that extra bit of push that great music can give.
Keep Things Fresh
Even your body knows when things become stale with your workouts. If an exercise routine gets too repetitive, apart from letting your body get too comfortable, there’s an effect on your mind as well. The mind and the body tend to get more unresponsive to workouts as time passes if you don’t switch things up regularly. The best way to beat this and keep things fresh is to vary workouts, exercise routines, reps, and workout times as much as possible. It helps keep both your body guessing and your mind active while maximizing workouts.
Motivation is the most important factor that decides who succeeds and who fails. Most people lose any motivation for the fitness workout they might have because they don’t see any positive results in the short-term. No one ever said getting a dream body would ever be easy. When the going gets tough, motivation is what keeps the mind and body going!
Toft UN, et al. Diet and Exercise Intervention in a General Population — Mediators of Participation and Adherence: The Inter99 Study. European Journal of Public Health. 2007;17:455.