I totally get it. Out of the million things vying for your attention in life, there seems to always be an excuse NOT to work out. Some days you might have to work later than planned. Other days you might not have gotten enough sleep. Over the weekend you might already have things planned…and the list goes on and on.
I’ll admit it. Finding motivation to work out doesn’t always come easily. Some days it might be at the very bottom of your to-do list. However, pushing yourself to work out has both physical and mental benefits. I would even go so far as to say
It will change the way you live life
O.K. I know what you’re probably thinking. Yeah right. How could exercising be that monumental?
Let me tell you.
Exercising and exercising benefits so many things in our bodies. Just a few ones are:
- Improves circulation by carrying more O2 to our brain, lungs and organs
- Improves memory as a result of improved circulation
- Builds stronger lungs
- Strengthens your heart by building a stronger pericardium (heart muscle)
- Promotes a better sleep cycle through increased need for recovery time
- Improves mental health through the release of “feel good” chemicals called endorphins
- Decreases obesity
- Improves self-confidence through improved body image
In addition, it also improves your relationships with other people. Why? Because when you’re in a habit of releasing endorphins and taking care of your body, your mood is going to start affecting others. THAT’S GOOD! Now if only everyone was willing to workout, family units would stay together more, work environments would be less stressful, more people would have the positive mindset and energy to go out of their way to help people…
…sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox now. The point I’m trying to get across is finding motivation to workout is difficult, but SO incredibly worth it. If you’re struggling to find that motivation, then rest assured you’re not alone. From time to time, I don’t feel like doing anything either.
However, it’s in those moments that I realize how much more I NEED to push myself. In order to grow and improve as a person, pushing myself through the hardest times is what truly makes me stronger.
Want to know my tips for finding motivation to work out? Some of them may seem strange, but feel free to try them! They’ve helped me out tremendously.
Wake Up a Little Earlier
What time do you normally wake up? If you’re an early bird, then 6:00 A.M. might be your usual. However, if you’re a night owl, then pushing yourself to get up by 8:00 A.M. might be a challenge.
Whatever the case may be, decide that you’re going to set your alarm 30 minutes earlier tomorrow. It may not seem like a lot (or maybe it does), but that extra 30 minutes can significantly jump start your day. Instead of rushing out the door to work, you might actually have time to eat breakfast (not while driving), read, listen to music, meditate or drink your cup of coffee without trying to gulp it down before rushing out the door.
DISCLAIMER: waking up earlier ONLY helps you find motivation to work out if you get a good night’s sleep beforehand. What do I mean by a good night’s sleep? Although most healthcare professionals would recommend 7-8 hours, a good night’s sleep is somewhat relative.
For me, I’ve found that getting anywhere between 7-7:30 minutes of uninterrupted sleep at night is perfect for getting me through the day. On nights when I don’t get as much sleep (like 5-6 hrs), it’s guaranteed that I’ll have to take a nap the next day. My body simply will not function as well.
Moral of the story? Get a good night’s sleep for YOU…and get up a little earlier. It’ll jump start your day and give you head start on being productive!
Watch an Action Movie
For all you Bourne Identity, Star Wars and Indiana Jones fans, this one’s for YOU! …or maybe I’m just a little weird.
Regardless, I’ve found that my motivation to workout increases after watching a movie with action in it. Why is that? Because – as odd as this sounds – being engaged in a show where the hero or heroine is fighting for a greater good makes me want to be strong just like that protagonist.
Am I all alone on this one or no?
The best way I can describe it is I’m striving to live better through inspiration. Even though a lot of action movies have completely fictional characters in them, some of their good traits are an example to how I could improve areas in my life.
Think about some underlying themes in a movie you’ve watched recently. Do some of the character struggles like finding courage, perseverance, ending self-doubt and learning how to love ring true? Does watching someone else triumph over their obstacles motivate you to conquer yours?
If so, then go ahead and plan a movie night! If you’re weird like me, then it’ll help motivate you to be more active.
Build a Hardcore Playlist
This one’s fun! If you love listening to music while doing other things, then it’s time to build yourself a killer playlist (or multiple ones). That way the next time you want to workout, all you have to do is pop in your ear buds and go.
I have 4 different playlists made on Spotify for different workouts. Some days I use a pop playlist, other days its Latin dance music. For some days, I like more rock…the point is, for whatever genres of music you like to listen to, turn them into a playlist.
When you listen to music while exercising, it helps distract you from fatigue. This is actually a good distraction, because you want to build strength by challenging yourself more. Listening to music allows you to go farther because you’re simply not focused on the discomfort of fatigue. It’s also great at helping you keep a good pace and outlook throughout your workout.
For my two favorite waterproof headphones, check out Best Headphones for Swimming – My Top Picks
Sticky Note Your Bathroom
This is another personal motivator that I’ve found to be super helpful. It’s basically a visual reminder to stay positive and to build on your strengths. For those like me who all-too-often get distracted and discouraged, these sticky notes are a huge help. Not only for finding motivation to work out, but also for other areas of life as well.
For instance, if I want to wake up an hour earlier the next day, I would do two things.
1) I would set a personalized message on my alarm clock to help get my butt out of bed, and
2) I would set a sticky note on the bathroom mirror with a short motivational message on it.
Even if getting up in the morning is not difficult, reading a sticky note of encouragement from yourself is a nice way to start the day. It’s a way of building up your own self-confidence and motivation.
In a world where we too often beat ourselves up over our imperfections, something as simple as sticky notes can make a considerable difference in our self-awareness.
Follow People on Instagram Who You Want to Emulate
STOP right there. Before you think of various fitness models that promote a strict, un-maintainable diet and workout habits, then think again. Following people on Instagram or any other social media platform only for their looks, the type of clothes they wear (or don’t wear) or their “fire emoji” factor is not what I’m talking about here. What I’m talking about is finding good role models. Someone that you are encouraged or motivated by when you view their photos or posts.
Follow people based on their inner traits – not always what they look like
Notice that I said “not always what they look like”. Have you ever heard the advice to surround yourself with people better than yourself? This is what I’m talking about. Not everything you see online or on social media is realistic. If finding motivation to work out is something you want, then follow some people that have similar traits as you (hobbies, lifestyles, body types).
The reason I mentioned body types is because comparing yourself to someone who’s seemingly “perfect” and looks completely different than you is not healthy. For me, comparing myself to a Victoria Secret fashion model is not realistic. If I follow those women exclusively on IG with the wrong focus, I risk beginning to only see my flaws instead of how many positive traits I do have.
Basically, what I’m trying to get across is,
follow those who you want to emulate
Is it wrong to follow someone just because of their looks? Of course not! That’s not what I’m saying. Just make sure that whatever you view builds you up instead of tearing you down.
Find Some Cute Workout Clothes
This one’s also a fun one! Because who doesn’t like to look good when they workout?
Now for those of you who are on a budget (like me), this doesn’t mean go to Lululemon or Nordstrom and buy all their latest leggings and sports bras. It means you find something reasonably priced to start off with and try it before deciding to buy out the whole store.
My philosophy with this one is simple. If you’re on a budget, but find that you’re more motivated to workout when you’re wearing cute gym clothes, then set goals. For example, say that your goal was to workout for four days this week. If you succeed in reaching that goal, then great! Reward yourself by going out shopping. The more goals you set and reach, then the more you can reward yourself.
Making a habit of rewarding yourself is important to happiness. Read more about it in Finding Happiness – Unlock Your Inner Magic.
The whole idea is to boost your confidence while also not breaking the bank.
Conclusion – How to Find Motivation to Work Out
In conclusion, whatever way you find motivation to work out – just do it! It doesn’t matter if it’s taking extra time to get ready so you feel your best. If that’s what helps motivate you then heck – do it every time!
Especially when you’re just starting off with building better habits, finding motivation is essential. If you can do that, then you’ll already be well prepared the next time life throws you excuses not to workout.
What about you? How do YOU find motivation to work out? I’d love to hear your responses!