Today I’m sharing some tips on getting and keeping motivation for your workouts.
First off, happy Halloween! I’ll be answering the door tonight giving out treats to the kids who come to the door.
One of the most common questions I get from people who don’t workout on a regular basis is where my motivation comes from to workout. To be honest, it comes from multiple sources for me and that’s a completely normal (and good thing). I’m not always motivated by the same things every single day, so having different sources of motivation to draw on is always a positive thing.
Read on to find out what a few of them are for me.
Not just general, wishy washy goals where you don’t know if you’ve achieved them or not. I’m talking about goals that are super specific, have very clear deadlines, and you have a plan to achieve the goal.
SMART goals are a great place to start. I’ve written a post about creating them, which you can find here. Basically to create SMART goals you’ll want to make them specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve (and what it’ll look like once you get there) is crucial in being successful when you’re working towards goals.
I’ve also written about creating goals specifically related to fitness. These are the things that I generally recommend to people who have been away from fitness for awhile or are new to fitness. It’s so easy to want to make big changes up front and go 100 miles an hour straight out of the gate, but it’s honestly smarter to make small changes and build from there over time.
In addition, I also recommend using a training log when it comes to workouts. Sometimes all the motivation you’ll need is knowing that you’re close to a PR for deadlifts or your 10K. Knowing that you’re about to get a new PR might just be the thing you need to get yourself to the gym or outside for a run. Read my post about training logs here.
Know your values
I actually did this for something non-fitness related that I was working on, and it made a big difference for me in terms of motivation. I spent time thinking about and making a list of all the things that are important to me and that I value.
From that list of things I came up with a values statement. I was able to boil down the list I made into a statement the covered all the things in my life that were important to me. It definitely wasn’t an easy thing to do – I wanted to make sure that everything that was a value of mine was included – but once I came up with the right few sentences I knew I had it.
I wrote out my values statement a few times and I have it a few different places that I’ll see it every day, multiple times per day. I have copies of it on my bathroom mirror, on my desk, and in my paper planner. Making sure that I see it every day on multiple occasions was key for me to keep my values front and center.
Being able to fall back on my values when I’m faced with a decision makes it so much easier to decide to move towards my goals instead of away from them, even if it takes more work.
Find something you enjoy
If you had told me 10 years ago that I would fall in love with yoga and eventually become a yoga teacher myself, I never would have believed you. Yoga seemed way too “woo woo” to me, and I probably would have said that it wasn’t even a real workout.
It wasn’t until a friend (who was going through yoga teacher training herself) invited me to a class that she was practice teaching that I realized that yoga definitely was a workout. I was super sore the next day and I’m sure I walked like I was Frankenstein in those first 24 hours after the class.
I also figured out that there’s a lot of science (anatomy and physiology) involved in sequencing a good yoga class and making sure that students make it through class without aggravating any previous injuries. You want them to leave feeling better than when they walked in and that means creating a balanced class that has a good combination of seated, standing, and balancing poses, as well as forward folds and back bends. Once I started to see more of the details of what yoga actually is, I found that it was a lot less “woo woo” than I thought.
The first workout or group class that you take may not be the one that you love, and that’s okay. You may not connect with the teacher (we all have our favorites), like the modality (you may not love Zumba but you love Body Pump), or even know whether you like group fitness or prefer to workout on your own with earphones on.
Figuring out what you like is part of the fitness journey. And once you figure out those activities that you like and enjoy, it’ll be much easier to have the motivation to workout.
Being accountable to someone other than yourself is huge when it comes to being motivated to workout and being consistent with them. It’s easy to talk yourself out of going for a workout when you know that no one else is expecting you to be there. If someone is counting on you to show up, you’re much more likely to go.
Have a friend who attends the same barre or yoga studio as you? Make plans to meet up a few times a week classes together. Knowing that someone else will be there expecting you to show up can be just the motivation you need.
There’s a reason why all the top athletes have coaches and personal trainers. Having someone there to push you out of your comfort zone, to work harder than you think you can, and give you encouragement is something that all of us need when we’re growing and going beyond what we’re used to.
If you’re new to fitness or going after a new, big goal, maybe hiring a personal trainer is just what you need. There are lots of certifications, coaching styles, and specializations when it comes to personal training. Taking the time and putting in the effort to find someone that you connect with will be worth it in the end.
Not sure where to start when finding a personal trainer? I put together a post about the most important things to keep in mind when hiring someone.
What’s one way that you find workout motivation? Share about it in the comments below.