When I started working out I had so much motivation! Girl, I was ready to kill it at the gym every-single-day. Rest days? No way! Nothing could stop me 💪🏼…I was always ready to go — until I wasn’t.
Fitting in workouts requires sacrifice. Getting up early in the morning, or exercising after work, can be easy when you do it the first couple of times, but when the novelty wears off, and you realize you need to ditch happy hour to go workout (wait, what?), it can become daunting.
Not mentioning the fact that we are part of a culture that wants to see immediate results, and if our efforts don’t pay off right away we quit and move on to the next thing.
Sounds familiar? Don’t sweat it…you’re not alone. Literally anybody in the fitness world can tell you that staying motivated is not an easy task, and more than motivation, sticking with fitness is about consistency.
Because I’ve learned this with time, I thought it’d be useful to share with you 5 tips that have helped me make exercising a habit — so it can be enjoyable and fun, and not a chore you just want to get over with.
When I started exercising, I didn’t have a clear goal, so I wasn’t giving my 100% to it. I mean, I was motivated, but once I learned to give myself small challenges, and to set up short term goals, it became easier to get up at 5 am to workout.
For example, last year I was preparing for my wedding.
So I set a 5-month plan for myself to get ready for my big day. I “bulked” (ate more and lifted heavier) for about 3 months to specifically gain weight and grow my booty #peachlife, and then did a “cut” (Shorten the number of calories I consumed daily and lifted lighter weights) for the following 2 months.
Having a clear goal and setting up a timeline helped me stay consistent not only with exercising but with my diet as well. I made sure I ate plenty of protein and fueled my body with nutrients that helped me keep my energy up.
So my first tip to stay motivated to workout is setting up a fitness goal – If you are planning a vacation anytime soon, have a wedding, want to go down, or up, two clothing sizes, use that as your motivation to stay accountable.
Having an end goal is a fantastic way to integrate exercising (and also dieting) into your daily life and stick with it. Also, review your goal every week or so; remembering why you started working out might help you get through that last squat or burpee set.
Motivation to workout can also come after you have bought a pair of new leggings, workout gloves, or resistance bands; and I’m telling you this because it works for me😊.
Once the excitement to workout wears off, the routine can make it dull; but having a new accessory I want to try, or nice clothes to wear, make me feel excited to go and get my sweat on.
Also, for me, working out in sweatpants and baggy t-shirts doesn’t help with motivation – if you’ve ever wondered why people wear tank tops at the gym, It’s because they allow you to see that your workouts are working, show the muscles pumping during the workout, and this can make you feel good about yourself.
Believe me; there’s no better motivation than knowing that your hard work is paying off.
However, if wearing sweatpants and baggy t-shirts is what gets you going, and help you feel comfortable, then please, keep at it. Again, I am just saying what has worked for me.
Like I said before, there’s nothing better for workout motivation than seeing your own progress, and believe me, no scale is going to show you the reality of how much you’re improving – Scales are deceiving! And let me tell you why.
1 pound of muscle occupies less space in the body than 1 pound of fat — so you might have weighed 130 lbs when you started exercising, and still weigh 130lbs now, but look very different.
What this means is that you have burned fat BUT also gained lean muscle, which is progress that you are only going to realize by taking photos.
Also, you can take these photos either at the gym or in the privacy of your own home. Taking photos doesn’t mean you need to share them on social. But believe me, they’re the best way to see progress. So, drop the scale, and pick up a camera instead.
A workout buddy is a person that can help you stay accountable for working out. You can either piggyback on a friend that’s already working out, or find someone who’s also looking to be active but is lacking accountability.
My husband and I have been each other’s gym buddies from day one, and it has worked out great. We hardly ever workout together, but we push each other to at least get to the gym.
Workout buddies usually exercise together, but all you really need is a person that can push you to workout even if they’re not in front of you. I’ve had friends and family ask me to help them stay accountable, so sometimes I send them workouts, check up on them, give them ideas on what to do, or exercise with them.
Two of my coworkers decided to be active after they had a wakeup call during a corporate retreat; they agreed to exercise together every day before work, and push each other every day to become healthier. This week is their 12th week, and they exercise at least 3-4 times a week. It is possible!
During a different workout routine whenever you go to the gym can make exercising more fun, but can also stall your process.
I know it is tempting – with all that workout motivation on social, and class-pass type of services, you can do a different exercise every day. But if making your body stronger, or getting better at it, is part of your fitness goals, your body needs you to stick to a plan and give it a chance to learn and adapt.
So, stay motivated and consistent by making sure you know the exercises you’ll do, the reps, the sets, and how long you’ll rest. Having a structure will help you set the mood and will also make your time at the gym more efficient.
I hope these little tips help you understand a little bit better than exercising is more about consistency than motivation, but little tips like the ones mentioned above can make your fitness journey at least a little easier to stick to.
“Some quit due to slow progress, never understanding that slow progress is still progress”. Don’t let this be you!
If you read this article, this means you want to stay active, so KEEP IT UP! 😊