To workout or not to workout — it all boils down to how motivated you are. Easier said than done, right?
How do you gain motivation in the first place, and furthermore, how do you keep that enthusiasm around? Motivation can be a tough thing to keep up. When starting something new, it’s exciting and challenging; but once the dust settles, what can you do to keep yourself interested? Believe it or not, slight alterations in your outlook can make a big change when it comes to staying on track.
There are endless reasons why people choose to workout. It could be the endorphin rush they get, or how good it feels to push through something tough, or because they want to look good naked.
For those who are able to stay motivated, their reasons for exercising likely benefit them directly. If you start working out simply to please someone else, it might be a lot harder to wake up in the morning and hit the gym. Maybe it’s because your well-intending spouse or friends say you should, or you are in a wedding party and need to fit into that bridesmaid dress.
Whatever the reason, if you don’t want it, you probably won’t stick to it. Find a reason that’s just for you — get fit because you want to be stronger and healthier, not because you feel others think you should.
Start by asking yourself why you want to exercise in the first place. Create a list of a few reasons and see if they actually mean something to you personally. If most of the reasons on the list sound something like “my doctor tells me I should” or “I just spent all this money on a Thighmaster” then you are likely going to struggle to stay committed. Take some time and come up with incentives that affect you directly. This way, you’ll be working towards goals that you actually want to achieve. It can be tricky but is necessary in order for you to maintain self-drive.
Once you’ve figured out your list, it’s time to find out what types of exercise you enjoy doing. Think of activities you like to do that just happen to be a form of exercise. This could be something like playing with your grandkids or going for a paddle on the lake.
Whatever it is, make it fun. If you aren’t enjoying the process or the aftermath, you’ll likely lose the desire to do it again.
Finally, give yourself recognition for progress and improvements. Every little bit counts and deserves a pat on the back. Don’t worry if someone else can lift twice as much as you can; when you are focused on what you can achieve personally, you will see a spike in confidence that will keep you coming back for more. Keeping track in a workout book or journal is a great way to see how far you’ve come and if you miss a workout, no big deal! It’s what you do in the grand scheme of things that makes the difference.
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— Submitted by Jill Andrews, Hayley Wilson and Kate Atkinson