I remember when I first started working out. It was so tough to get motivated. On those days that motivation had left the building workouts simply didn't happen. The bad thing was that once I skipped a workout or two it seemed to snowball into me not working out at all! Then I'd wind up starting over again.
No matter how long I've been working out I still have those times that I just don't want to. I can't drag myself out of bed, I don't feel like doing the workout I planned, or I just plain come up with a million excuses not to.
So, how do you get motivated to workout?? Over the years I've come up with strategies to make myself workout even when I don't want to and I thought I'd share those with you!
10 steps to making yourself workout when you don't want to:
- Make your workouts a priority. Truth is: we make time for things that are important to us. Schedule them into your day like any other important task or appointment. I think this is crucial. Part of this for some will be making yourself a priority. Making the time to take care of yourself will make you a better you to offer to everyone else in your life. Just do it.
- Plan your workouts in advance. There are tons of ways to plan out your workouts. Apps, journals, calendars... Try out several methods and see what works best for you.
- Set your workout gear out the night before. Pack your gym bag or simply set your gear out if you workout (or run) at home. Just this one little step can be amazing at excuse-proofing your workouts. I even fill and set out my water bottle.
- Set a workout alarm. For me that's my morning alarm, but whatever time you workout set an alarm on your phone as a reminder.
- No matter what, put your workout gear on when your workout alarm goes off. When I have really rough days I just promise myself I'll put on my workout clothes. This simple step can seem so hard some days, but is often the tipping point for making workouts happen!
- Promise yourself just to start. Even if you can only talk yourself into 5 minutes. Just promise yourself you'll start your workout. Most of the time you'll make it those 5 minutes and keep going!
- Track your data. I find tracking data to be very motivating. Fitness trackers are flooding the market right now. Try one that tracks your steps. Or a GPS to track your runs. Heart Rate monitors that track calories burned can be hugely motivating. Also, social apps like My Fitness Pal to track your workouts over time.
- Seek out accountability. Accountability and support can be huge in reaching our goals. Find a workout buddy to workout with. Make a deal with a friend that you'll text each other post-workout. Or seek out a workout accountability group! In person or online accountability groups are amazing. I'm starting another round of my 21 Days to Fit Challenge December 1st (and another January 5th) and would love you to join us.
- Make it a habit. The main focus should be building your workout habit. Work on making all of these things a habit. Do them, do them, and do them again. Eventually your workouts will become simply a part of your day.
- Set up rewards. A lot of people are very motivated by even small rewards. Promise yourself a reward once you've been consistent with your workouts for a set period of time. I like to keep my rewards fitness related. New workout clothes, new fitness tech, or a new workout DVD. Some like to pamper themselves with a pedicure or treat themselves to a coffee date with a friend. Whatever motivates you, go with that.
For me it comes down to three things: planning ahead, excuse-proofing, and building the habit.
How do you make yourself workout when you don't want to??