So you decided to get in shape. Your mind goes wild with planning your workout schedule, picking out your routines, choosing what type of workout you want, be it aerobic fitness or strength training, etc. You made your choices and implemented your plan. For 2 weeks you were able to commit to your schedule but come the 3rd and 4th week, you started missing your classes, skipped a few repetitions, and found yourself losing interest. How do you stay motivated?
I’ll be grabbing something from Shape as my basis: 10 Tricks to Get Motivated to Hit the Gym. I’m a Shape subscriber and so I usually receive articles from them and this article got me reading. Though going to the gym may be its purpose, I believe it can be applied generally in order to motivate yourself to workout or at least propel yourself off the couch.
Here’s my take on the tricks and how I see myself applying it:
1. Bring a Buddy
This trick is not exclusive to gym goers. If you’re like me who attends yoga, Zumba, and dance classes, this advice also works. Of course, choosing a buddy should be carefully considered. You’d want an “enabler” rather than a buddy who discourages you from exercising.
If all your friends are couch potatoes (most of mine are), try chatting up the people who’re already in the classes you go to. The regular goers are your best bet because they will most likely encourage you to return and attend regularly. Plus, you see for yourself how regularly working out positively affects their aura, so to speak. Just don’t do this after, not during, yoga classes though, especially during headstands.
BONUS TIP: Try bidding your new found buddy a “see you tomorrow” at the end of every session instead of just a good bye. This will compel you to make good with this indirect promise and you are also encouraging the other to stay motivated.
2. Consider the Aftermath
Need I say more? Not only will you be a happier person, exercise prevents you from murdering people! Plus, you just need to picture yourself several sizes smaller and finally fitting in to your skinny jeans, and that’s all it takes to propel yourself off the couch.
If this doesn’t work, scare yourself into thinking that if you don’t get up to subtract the pounds, soon you’ll be as big as the world is round… or something to that effect. Please excuse my attempt to make the statement rhyme.
3. Keep it Real
True. I have tried setting up many goals but sadly, it didn’t work. The few that worked though, did not last.
I add “concrete” to “small, achievable, and realistic goals” as stated by Shape. Setting up abstract or broad goals such as “I will lose 30 pounds by the time a reach 30”. Like debating points of an idea, this statement is just a major point that requires supporting statements. Statements such as “I will exercise at least 3o minutes every day”, “I will lessen my carb intake by eating a half cup of brown rice instead one 1 cup”, “I will not eat after 8pm”, “I will eat small meals every 4 hours”, etc. are needed to make your major goal concrete.
BONUS TIP: List down possible support statements to your major goal and mark the ones most doable for you. You only need to meet three of these to be on your way to changing your lifestyle. My lifestyle hasn’t changed yet. I’m only a few weeks past my “Day 1” but I haven’t missed a single concrete goal, yet.
4. Find a Reason
My best friend’s wedding (classic movie!) is this coming June. She’s fit but doesn’t regularly workout. However, since she got engaged, she did nothing but jog/run everyday to fit in to that wedding dress. You’d think she had her wedding dress made 5 sizes smaller, hence her crazy determination, but that’s beside the point. My point is, that’s one reason to get motivated. It’s no wonder this is the example Shape gave in the article.
As for me, my reason is this blog. In my category page you will find that this blog was originally intended to be named “30 by 30”, the contents of which would be to journal the things I do to reach that goal. Though the name didn’t push though, the challenge is still there. It’s a 2-way thing for me. One the one hand, publicizing my promise to be fit motivates, if not compels, me to workout. On the other, the things I do in order to keep that promise provide me with content for my blog. Selfish? I call it killing two birds with one stone!
5. Create a Killer Playlist
Not only does music pump you up, it sets your rhythm. If you’re a runner, jogger, or walker (like me), you can create a playlist to control speed or steps-per-minute. You can begin and end your playlist with a slow beat for your warm-up and cool down, then place several fast beat song in between for your actual workout. Imagine, for a 30 minute run, you only need 6-8 songs!
BONUS TIP: To amp up your jog/run/walk, you can combine songs with varying beats per minute for that HIIT effect. If you can splice music together, you can have a more personalized workout mix! I suggest creating at least 3 playlists to keep your workouts fresh.
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Watch out for Part 2 next week!