I’ll be honest. I don’t always WANT to jump out of my warm cozy bed an hour before I have to and jump around my apartment or lift weights. I know, crazy. Half the time, especially on weekends, this is my “motivational” thought process:
“Ugh, I sooo don’t want to workout today. I’m sore, I should rest. Even though I just had a rest day. I could do this tomorrow; I bet I’ll want to tomorrow.”
“I guess I could stretch. I have a little energy, just to stand up and stretch but so NOT for the whole workout.”
“Let me just turn it on. I’m not going to do it, I just want to see how it starts. Assess the situation.”
“Oh, okay that was fast, they’re warming up already. I guess I can do the warm up, that’s like nothing.”
“Oh, we’re already on to the first move. I could do that one. Let’s just keep moving, see how I feel.”
“Well, I might as well keep going, I need to shower anyway…”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I end up working out. Just put on your clothes, turn on your workout program, and before you know it you’ll be halfway through.
Although this is what works when I really don’t feel like working out, it’s not the most inspiring, motivational, or reliable way to get me going most mornings. You probably don’t want to hear this, but the real “secret” to getting your daily exercise is to make it a habit.
Yep, yep, you’ve heard it all before. But guess what? There’s no “special secret” to getting in your workout (unless you count my energize pre-workout drink ;)), it is a conscious choice that you make every day. It can be easier, however, if you do it every day, around the same time- which is a habit. You know how it is, no matter what you’re trying to do, the more days you take off, the harder it is to get back into the activity.
I’ve put together a few tips to help you create daily exercise a habit. But remember you have to make the decision to do it every day, and every day you CHOOSE not to, you’re only making it harder for yourself the next day!
1. Visualize Your Goals.
Whether you write them out or create an inspiration board, putting your goals up where you will see them every day can help to remind you of your bigger “why” behind each small step that you take to get there. When it’s Tuesday morning and your alarm is going off, it’s easy to forget the big picture- so visualizations of where you want to be and how you want to feel can help pull you out of bed!
2. Schedule Your Workouts.
Treat your workouts like a meeting with yourself- a non-negotiable. Unless you’re sick or injured, you’re showing up to that meeting at work, right? So why not have the same courtesy for yourself! At the beginning of each week put your workouts in your schedule, and be specific. If you don’t have a plan, it’s harder to visualize and easier to pass over for something else.
3. Prepare Ahead of Time.
If you’re going to get up early to workout, be sure to lay out your workout clothes and anything else you might need the night before. If you’re going after work, pack them together to take with you or leave in your car. These small steps of preparation not only save time, but they help to remove obstacles between you and your exercise routine.
4. Get Accountability and Support.
There’s a big difference between not showing up for yourself, and not showing up for someone else. We’re typically inclined to put in more effort if someone else is expecting us to be there or they’re going to check in with us later. If you can’t have an in-person workout buddy, consider joining a challenge group or pairing up with a friend to exchange workout schedules and check in with one another.
5. Include Other Positive Habits.
Working out is great, but adding in other healthy habits will make you more inclined to keep at it. If you’re eating healthy, getting lots of sleep, and drinking plenty of water, you’re going to feel better all around and want to keep treating your body well. Plus, what’s the point of all that exercise if you’re not eating well too? Remember, nutrition is 80% of the game!
What are your tricks to motivate yourself to exercise?
What’s your favorite workout class you’ve ever taken?