What Helped Me Stay Motivated to Work Out: 5 Tips
I know many of you agree with me when I say "working out sucks!" It is not something that comes easy to me as I'm sure you know by now. I really dislike it. It is hard, makes you sweaty, it hurts, and did I mention hard? BUT, the benefits are real. I want to live a long life with my husband and fur babies and I can't do that if I'm overweight, diabetic, have heart disease, and have no mobility. So I had to find a way to keep myself motivated to not only start a program, but finish one. Then I had to motivate myself to keep going once I was done. It is not a small feat for someone who hates exercise to keep on track. So, I wanted to share with you some of the ways I kept myself going when all I wanted to do was quit.
1) Start by making a goal
This can be anything from finishing the program, to losing a specific amount of weight. My goal was to work out every day (and follow the nutrition plan), without any excuses, for an entire program. I wanted to get myself into the habit of working out so hopefully it would be easier for me, after the program was completed, to continue on exercising. For me, 3 weeks is not enough time to develop a habit. It took me a longer workout program to FINALLY get me to a place where working out was the new normal. All the other 3 week programs I completed (although much easier to stick to because they were shorter) were not enough to get me to stick with exercise. So I made the goal to keep going past 3 weeks using the 60 day Hammer and Chisel program.
2) Plan your reward
I needed more motivation than just wanting to get fit to keep me working out, so I decided to plan out a reward when I was done. I obviously chose to reward myself upon completion of the program with FOOD! Ryan and I were going on a cruise around the same time we were finishing our 60 day program so I decided that if I could stick with this I would eat what I wanted on that cruise and reward myself with yummy treats. It helped keep me focused on staying on track with my nutrition and fitness.
I will say this though...it is probably not the best idea to only motivate yourself with food rewards. They are not that sustainable and there are other great options to choose from. Options include; a shopping spree, new workout gear, a trip or special date, a massage, etc. You get my point. It doesn't have to be about food, even though, for me, that's a big motivator.
3) Buy new workout clothes
OK, so this probably isn't what you were expecting for a tip to stay motivated, but it worked for me. I love workout clothes, even though I don't like to work out. By purchasing new workout gear, I knew that I couldn't waste my money leaving them in the closet and had to use them. It helped push me to work out. Gotta look good while sweating right? Buy comfortable clothes that you love and make you happy so you will be motivated to wear them, even if the reason for wearing them isn't ideal.
4) Get a "swolemate" to keep you accountable
It is extremely important that you have like-minded people surrounding you to help you through your fitness journey. It is hard enough as it is to work out. You don't need the added pressure of trying to do this alone. You need someone to help you be accountable and someone who can encourage you to keep going.
Obviously, my swolemate is Ryan. I prefer working out with him than alone. He helps me get off my ass and pushes me to do my best during a work out. Everyone needs help being accountable. It is hard staying on track if no one is around to see you fail. You need to have the willpower to want change, but sometimes it is also just as important to have someone to help you through the days you just don't want to sweat.
I know that not all of you have a husband or partner who is interested in working out. I also know that some of you are single. THAT'S OK! You can have a swolemate who is a friend, co-worker, or family member. Someone you feel comfortable with so when they tell you to get off your ass and work out, you aren't upset with them! Ryan and I can be your swolemates too if you don't have people you feel comfortable with. We love helping others succeed. By joining us and the Beachbody community, you will have thousands of people at your disposal to help keep you accountable. There is no excuse to not find someone to help you succeed. This tip is was the most important one that helped keep me motivated to continue working out.
5) You need before and after measurements/photos
So this tip sucks, but it's necessary to help you stay motivated. I do NOT like knowing how large my thighs are or what my body fat percentage is. Measurements don't help with my Body Dysmorphic Disorder, but if I never knew what my before was, I would never truly know if I lost any weight or inches. You NEED to measure yourself and take before and after pictures. I didn't think I had made any progress after 60 days of Hammer and Chisel because my weight stayed the same. Had I not taken photos or measurements, I would surely have quit. The difference in my appearance was as obvious as night and day when I saw my photos and my measurements. Looking at yourself in the mirror is not going to give you an accurate picture of your success. You will be so excited when you have physical proof that what you are doing to help improve your life is working. So as much as you hate it, just do it!!
These 5 tips have made a huge difference for me when it comes to my health and fitness journey. I would not be where I am today without them. I hope these tips help you stay motivated to keep working out and working towards a healthier you! If you have any tips that help you stay on track I'd love to hear about them!