Do you find yourself struggling to muster up the motivation to work out? If so, you’re certainly not alone. For many of us, sticking to a consistent fitness routine can be a daunting task. In fact, statistics show that a significant percentage of new gym goers give up within the first few months of joining. And let’s not forget about those monthly recurring payments that go to waste. It’s time to stop throwing away your hard-earned money and start seeing results from your fitness journey.
That’s why we’ve gathered 9 expert tips from behavior change and exercise specialists to help you stay on track and reach your fitness goals. From establishing a routine to rewarding yourself for progress, these tips will help you cultivate the motivation you need to succeed.
So, whether you’re a seasoned gym-goer or a newcomer to the world of fitness, get ready to revamp your routine and start seeing the results you deserve. Let’s get moving!
Table of Contents
1. Don’t Count on Motivation
Are you tired of constantly struggling to get motivated to work out? You’re not alone! We’ve all been there, trying to rely on motivation to kickstart our fitness journey, only to find it slipping away when we need it the most. But what if we told you that the key to success isn’t motivation, but rather discipline and consistency?
Here’s the truth: motivation is fleeting, and it can’t be relied on to be there for you every time you need it. Even top athletes and coaches have days where they struggle to find the drive to train. So, if you want to achieve your fitness goals, you need to shift your focus away from motivation and towards building strong habits and processes.
Bestselling author James Clear puts it perfectly when he says, “If you want consistent change, the last thing you want to rely on is something inconsistent.” In other words, don’t let your progress be at the mercy of your motivation. Instead, take control by establishing routines that make working out a regular part of your life. Start small, but be consistent. Over time, these small changes will snowball into significant progress.
It’s important to remember that discipline is a skill that can be developed, just like any other. The more you practice it, the easier it becomes. So, next time you’re struggling to find the motivation to work out, try shifting your focus to building discipline. Create a workout plan, schedule it into your day, and stick to it – even on days when you don’t feel like it. By doing this, you’ll be building a foundation of consistency that will help you power through those low motivation days and reach your fitness goals.
2. Use The 10-Minute Rule
The 10-minute rule is all about breaking down your workout into manageable chunks. Instead of telling yourself that you need to exercise for an hour or more, you simply commit to doing 10 minutes of activity. This could involve a warm-up and one exercise, a quick circuit, or any other form of movement that gets your heart rate up and your body moving.
As James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, explains, the 10-minute rule is a powerful tool for building motivation and creating positive change. He shares the story of a reader who used this strategy to lose over 100lbs. At first, the reader would go to the gym each day, but he told himself he wasn’t allowed to stay for more than five minutes. After a few weeks of this routine, he found himself staying a little longer each day, until eventually he was able to complete full workouts and achieve his weight loss goals.
So why does the 10-minute rule work? According to Clear, it’s all about overcoming the initial resistance to starting. By breaking down your workout into a small, manageable chunk, you can get over the hump of procrastination and start moving your body. And once you’re in motion, it’s often easier to keep going than it is to stop.
Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to just 10 minutes of exercise if you feel like going longer. But if you’re really struggling to get started, telling yourself you only have to do five or 10 minutes can be a game changer. As Clear points out, even a little bit of movement is better than none. One push-up, one minute of guitar practice, one minute of reading – it all adds up over time.
So if you’re feeling stuck or unmotivated, try the 10-minute rule and see what happens. You might be surprised at how much you can accomplish in just a short burst of activity. Who knows, you might even end up losing 100lbs or achieving your own fitness goals!
3. Design Your Environment for Fitness Success
Sometimes the hardest part of getting fit is simply starting. But what if there was a way to make it easier? The secret to success might be closer than you think: it’s all about designing your environment.
That’s right, your surroundings can make or break your fitness goals. Research shows that environmental cues are powerful triggers for habits, both good and bad. By setting up your environment for success, you can make healthy choices automatic and effortless.
Here’s an example: when productivity expert James Clear wanted to start flossing regularly, he didn’t rely on willpower alone. Instead, he made a simple change to his environment: he moved the floss from a drawer to the counter next to his toothbrush. This small adjustment made it easier for him to remember to floss and form a new habit.
You can apply this same principle to your fitness routine. Try laying out your gym clothes the night before your workout or even wearing them while working from home. By doing this, you’re removing the friction of having to find your gear and get ready to exercise. You’ll be more likely to follow through on your workout when you’re already dressed for it.
So, don’t underestimate the power of your environment when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. By making simple changes to your surroundings, you can make healthy habits stick and get one step closer to the body you want.
4. Get Value Aligned
Many people struggle to stay on track when it comes to fitness, but there’s a simple trick to help you get motivated: get value aligned.
What does that mean? It means becoming more aware of your core values and aligning your goals with them. According to the University of Massachusetts, people are more motivated to make important life changes when they perceive a mismatch between where they are and where they want to be. By identifying your values, you can set goals that are in line with them, making it easier to achieve long-term behaviour change.
For instance, if you value spending time with friends, but your workout routine is so time-consuming that it interferes with your social life, you’ll be less likely to stick with it. On the other hand, if you value your health and fitness, but you’re struggling to find the motivation to work out, understanding your values can help you stay on track.
So, how can you get value aligned? One way is to complete the value cards exercise. Start by identifying your high-priority core values, such as health, family, friendship, or personal growth. Write them down and keep them in a place where you can see them when you need a reminder.
Having a strong “why” for your new health behaviours that aligns with your values can help you stay motivated even on the days you don’t feel like exercising. By focusing on what matters most to you, you can create a sense of purpose and meaning that will keep you going.
5. Have Fun While You Sweat
According to research, the key to staying motivated to work out is simple – have fun!
When we have fun while exercising, it doesn’t feel like a chore anymore. We’re more likely to stick with it and make it a regular part of our routine. So, if you’re struggling to find the motivation to work out, it’s time to switch things up and make exercise fun.
The best part about exercise is that it doesn’t have to be confined to the gym. If you dread the thought of lifting weights or running on a treadmill, don’t force yourself to do it. Instead, find an activity that you genuinely enjoy. It could be anything from playing basketball with friends to going on a hike or even taking a dance class. The possibilities are endless, and the key is to find something that feels less like a chore and more like a fun activity.
Not only does having fun while exercising make it more enjoyable, but it can also improve our self-efficacy. When we feel more confident in our ability to exercise, we’re more likely to stick with it. In fact, research shows that greater physical activity enjoyment is a predictor of regular physical activity. So, by having fun while working out, we’re setting ourselves up for long-term success.
Remember, there’s no need to put too much pressure on yourself when it comes to working out. The most important thing is to find an activity that you enjoy and have fun with it. Whether it’s trying out a new workout class or going for a walk in nature, make sure you’re doing something that makes you happy. When you’re having fun, exercise becomes less of a chore and more of a lifestyle choice. So, get out there, have some fun, and sweat it out!
6. Create A Clear Workout Plan
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to have a clear workout plan. Whether you’re a seasoned gym-goer or just starting out, having a plan in place will help you stay on track and make progress towards your goals. Not only will it save you time, but it will also remove any anxiety or uncertainty around what you should be doing.
So, where do you start? First, consider your individual needs and resources. Are you short on time? Do you have a limited budget for gym memberships or equipment? Your plan should be tailored to your unique circumstances to ensure it’s realistic and achievable.
Next, decide if you want to create your own plan or enlist the help of a coach. A coach can provide accountability and support, as well as tailor your plan to your specific goals and needs. But if you prefer to go solo, there are plenty of resources available online to help you create a plan that works for you.
Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to execute. Stick to your plan, but don’t be afraid to make adjustments as needed. And remember, progress takes time and consistency. Celebrate your small victories along the way and keep pushing towards your ultimate fitness goals.
7. Adding A Little Caffeine To Your Routine
One way to boost your workout is by incorporating caffeine into your pre-workout routine. That’s right, your morning cup of coffee or tea can actually benefit your training. Research has shown that moderate doses of caffeine (around 3-6 mg/kg body mass) can improve exercise performance. But caffeine’s benefits don’t stop there. It can also reduce skeletal muscle pain and force sensation, which leads to a lower perception of effort during exercise. This can help you sustain your effort during your workout and even push you to go the extra mile.
While caffeine can be a great addition to your pre-workout routine, it’s important to use it in moderation. Large amounts of caffeine can be dangerous and negatively affect your sleep, which can ultimately harm your overall performance. So, be sure to monitor your caffeine intake and use it wisely to get the most out of your workouts.
So, next time you’re struggling to find the energy to work out, try adding a little caffeine to your routine. With this simple tip, you’ll be able to fuel your workout, boost your motivation, and crush your fitness goals!
8. Create Your Ultimate Workout Playlist
Are you tired of the same old gym playlist, with songs that don’t quite match your musical taste? Well, it’s time to take matters into your own hands and become your own DJ! According to recent studies, music has the power to influence your motivation, decrease your perception of effort, and even boost your exercise adherence. So why not use this powerful tool to your advantage and create your ultimate workout playlist?
No matter what genre gets your heart pumping, creating a personalized hour-long playlist can help you stay in the zone and crush your workout goals. With the perfect mix of rhythm, cultural impact, and musicality, your playlist can work wonders for your mind and body. Plus, with the freedom to curate your own tunes, you can make sure that every song speaks to your personal preferences and keeps you motivated to keep pushing.
So, charge up your headphones and get ready to unleash your inner DJ. With your carefully crafted playlist in tow, you’ll be unstoppable in your fitness journey.
9. Find A Workout Buddy
Having a workout partner can make all the difference when it comes to staying motivated. When you have someone to meet at the gym or go for a run with, you’re more likely to show up and give it your all. After all, you don’t want to let your friend down, do you? And if you’re both pushing each other to do better, you’ll work harder and see better results.
But what if you don’t have a friend who’s into fitness? Don’t worry – there are other ways to find a workout buddy. You can join a fitness class or group, where you’ll meet like-minded people who are also looking to get in shape. And if you’re feeling shy, remember that everyone is there for the same reason – to improve their health and fitness. So don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation and make some new friends!
Still not convinced? A study by the Society of Behavioural Medicine found that exercising with a virtually present partner can improve performance on an aerobic exercise task across multiple sessions. So even if you can’t find someone to work out with in person, you can still benefit from the power of social support.