The hardest part about working out is not the workout itself, the hard part is being motivated enough to get up and go to the gym, and be CONSISTENT with your workouts. I think what helped me the most is the fact that I was an athlete from up until the time I could walk, all the way to my last year in high school. Although I stopped playing sports, I never stopped being active. In college I joined a lot of intramural sports teams (flag football, softball, volleyball), and the fact that I was always working with/around athletes all day I was constantly being exposed to the importance of staying fit (majoring in exercise science and having to workout in almost every course I took also played a big role). But I know this isn’t the case for everyone, and I sometimes myself still come up with excuses as to why I won’t be able to go. When I don’t workout though I always regret it. Working out is what keeps me energized, stress free and clear-minded so when I don’t I’m like a big blog of blah, and I am of no good use to myself when I’m in that way. I have found a few ways to keep myself motivated to get up and go to the gym so now I am here to help/encourage you to stay motivated to do whatever you can to be healthy, and get that workout in at least 3 times a week. Spring break is here so that means summer is around the corner ladies and gentlemen so act quick! It’s crunch time.
Tip #1: BUY CUTE WORKOUT ATTIRE & GYM BAG
When I buy/have a cute workout fit, tennis shoes, water bottle, etc. it MAKES me want to go to the gym. The feeling is similar to you having a cute outfit that you can’t wait to wear out and be seen in, like for a girls night, date night, etc. For gym purposes however, it makes it look like to other people that you know what you’re doing and you’re not new to this. Confidence is key, and looking good at the gym will definitely boost your confidence. And guys, workout attire is for the gym so of course if you have cute workout gear that’s where you’ll want to wear it most. If you need ideas for your gym bag you can refer to a previous post of mine, WHAT’S IN MY GYM BAG!? Beauty, Snacks & Essentials.
Tip #2: GO TO THE GYM WITH A PLAN
Walking into a gym, seeing all the machines, seeing everybody doing something and moving around, can be overwhelming if you don’t come with a plan. One time I showed up at the gym without a pre-written workout routine, looked around, got anxiety, and left lol. My workouts are much more systematic, body area specific (e.g. leg day, back day, arm day, etc.), and efficient when I plan ahead. Writing out workouts always makes me eager to go to the gym and get it done. The same goes for writing out at home workouts, I stick them where I can always see them so if there’s a time I’m just sitting down I’ll randomly look over and see it, and then get up and do it.
Tip #3: DON’T SET OVERLY AMBITIOUS GOALS
It is important to set goals, but make sure that they’re achievable. You can get easily discouraged and lose motivation when you set a goal for yourself and don’t meet it. Exercise is not a quick fix, it takes time. Stay the course and knock out one achievable goal after another. Always work toward something.
Tip #4: TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Nothing kills motivation like going to the gym for weeks, months, and feeling like you’re not getting anywhere. You definitely are making progress with each workout you endure but if you don’t take the time to note changes you can easily get discouraged. I make note of what all I ate that day, what exercises I did and I weigh myself at the end of the week to see if I’m on track (trying to gain weight). I enjoy going back to read and see what all I accomplished that day. It also allows you to see if what you did that week was beneficial or not and what you can change. I’m old school so I have a notebook/planner but if you’re into technology, MyFitnessPal is a great free online (they also have an app) tracking tool. Create 365 has a great day/fitness planner. It has a monthly calendar/day planner, weekly food and exercise log, and a progress selfie and reflection page (I don’t use this part but maybe one day I’ll start adding photos to it).
Tip #5: REWARD YOURSELF
This is the most important tip. Rewards reinforce habits and once your gym routine is habitual it won’t require you trying to convince yourself to go, you’ll already want to. My favorite way to reward myself is treating myself to a nice breakfast, lunch, or dinner at a cute coffee shop or café. This is important specifically to me because I make all of my own meals and I do not eat out (unless my parents decide to treat), which makes eating out a luxury for me.