How do you find motivation to exercise when you just don't feel like it and don't have the energy? I ask myself this question from time to time, and I believe it's always a matter of priorities and how strong your goal is on whether you stay disciplined or not.
A few weeks ago, I wrote down my own personal formula to quick start your motivation in just 4 steps … then all of a sudden I realised that the step by step guide that I created wasn't really going to be effective in getting people active and inspired. I believe if you are struggling with motivation it's not because you are a lazy that's just a symptom of your lifestyle, environment and the people you surround yourself with.
It takes more than just a positive affirmation that you repeat to yourself out aloud each day to keep motivation levels high and it definitely takes more than just signing up to the gym for a whole year to really make exercise a habit. There needs to be a sense of urgency, desire, commitment and most importantly a compelling reason to break you away from your plateau, aka comfort zone.
Don't bother waiting for the day to feel highly motivated because I can assure you that day will not come. If you really want to make those changes you need to decide and commit to the necessary changes. Making changes is simply making improvements, don't look at change as drastic and radical because all too often change is scary and unfamiliar so there is less likelihood and much resistance to take any action. Instead appease yourself with the view of change as a gradual process and that change will have positive outcomes. Remember to say to yourself it's changing not change, by repeatedly doing this you will continually evolve your mind set.
Being in a mental rut and a physically de-conditioned state doesn't help with the motivation levels, it can be for some but for most it only weakens their desire to improve their quality of life or body. Further neglecting of one's health, vitality, fitness and body is the result of many unhealthy bad habits.
There are a million ways to motivate yourself to exercise, here are a few that I found to be the most universal for anyone to be empowered by:
How you're going to look. Imagine a slimmer, fitter you. Now let that visualisation run wild and drive you. Imagine what you will be doing differently once you really start making progress. Imagine all the things that you haven't done because you have been neglecting your body and health. Imagine how uninhibited you will be once you really start to look and feel good.
Other people's goals. Reading other people's journeys and fitness aspirations. It gives you ideas and raises your standards on what you really want to achieve.
Success stories. Finding success stories that you resonate with and find incredibly inspirational. It reassures you it can be done.
Rewards. If you exercise for a few days, give yourself a reward like new gym gear. Rewarding yourself with upgrades allows you step into the habit just that little bit more.
Putting on new clothes. Try on clothes that you once avoided and see how you look compared to how you looked before. It's amazing how diversified our wardrobe becomes once we start creating changes in our body.
Finding a workout partner. One of the best motivators and best strategies to keep you focused, accountability is an essential tool.
Stress relief. The physical release of energy can put your whole body back into equilibrium and leave you in an optimal mental state. It makes a world of difference. When you do something positive for yourself it allows for negative moods and feelings to go away.
Group Training. Sign up for a class, perhaps with a friend, and you'll be motivated to get there and work out. The social aspect of a group workout can be very engaging and exciting.
A coach or trainer. Worth the money, just for the motivation. A professional to keep you consistent and accountable to your goals
Track your adherence. Writing down your exercise frequency per week allows you to structure your time better and plan ahead. How you performed enables you to plan for further progression.
Take photos. You often don't realize how far you've come. Take pictures, to monitor your progress, this will create extra drive to compete with yourself to be better.
Train for an event. Register for an event and you will be instantly focused, more determined. Extrinsic motivation has its place especially when it links to your internal motivations.
Objective measurements. Weigh yourself in weekly; you'll be motivated to have it keep going down, instead of up. Combine the scale with the measuring tape, and measure your waist.
Reaching your targets. Set a goal for weight, body fat, or girth measurements for key areas of your body. You can also set a number of days to work out, or the number of kilometres you will run for the week. Setting and tracking goals helps with motivation levels and allows you to see that you are progressing.
Make it public. Tell people about your goals and what you are doing; make it a focal point for yourself. Public accountability can bring out your best and prove to everyone that you are an achiever.
Motivational quotes. Print out your favourite inspiring quotes or alternatively put them on your computer desktop or wallpaper. Read them often and sink them deep into your sub conscious.
Books. Research what you want to get better at, the more knowledge you have the more you will be able to action. Learning more creates excitement and more possibility.
It's a simple question, 'How often do you like to feel motivated?' if the answer is every day, meaning you want to be motivated 365 times a year then I suggest you put together your own personal list and use it every day.
In the end if you know what motivates you and everyday you are doing things that are on your motivational list, you will never fail in your quest to achieve what you set out to achieve.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.