With the new year having just begun, now is the peak time of year when gym memberships increase by double digit percentages. Obviously, people who have joined gyms intend to keep with their exercise regimen… but the odds are not in their favor. It’s easy to hit snooze on the morning alarm instead of getting to a spin class before work; or tell yourself you’re too tired after a day in the office.
This is why it’s valuable to figure out ways to motivate yourself to keep going to the gym. The following examples are some of the ways that exercise enthusiasts are able to stay motivated year-round to keep up with their routines.
Find the Right Mood Music
Hollywood has always filmed great training montages with inspirational music in the background, like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” that gets your adrenaline going and makes you want to pump iron like Rocky.
Try this experiment: watch any decent sports film and pay attention to the music. Go download the song that was used and crank it up on your favorite pair of sport exercise earbuds and see how you feel afterwards. If done properly, you should want to run through a wall before knocking out 20 pushups for fun! The right music will make you want to workout every time you hear it. Make a playlist worth hitting the gym for.
Get a Friend to Join You
A great way to keep wanting to exercise is having a friend who always joins you. Having someone who holds you accountable makes you less likely to sleep in on morning classes, plus they will help with the intensity of the workouts like your own personal trainer.
A bit of healthy competition will only help you both. Nothing will push you more at the gym than having a friend who runs farther or lifts more than you. They will push you to increase your workouts and they can also help you celebrate significant milestones.
Dress for Success
The key is just putting on your workout clothing. Scientists have found the brain is susceptible to “enclothed cognition”: this means you are more likely to complete a task if you are dressed to do the task already. It is similar to the concept of “dressing for the job you want, not the job that you have”.
The point is making the effort to get dressed to work out means you will find you need to workout; for some reason. Hey, you might as well.
Consider a Trainer
This will increase the cost of working out, but is worth it; especially in the beginning when getting motivated can be hard, and for people with little knowledge of how to lead a healthy lifestyle.
A trainer can help create a workout routine that will get your desired results. It’s their job to help push you in the gym. They can also teach you about nutrition so that you eat to maximize your energy levels and therefore workout better.
Always Have a Goal – But NEVER Over-Commit to Anything
It is important to have a goal that you write down and tell your friends about, like wanting to complete a 10k Fun Run or to lose a set amount of weight. More important though, is having realistic expectations.
If you begin and can only run an 8-minute mile, but then claim you intend to run a 2.5-hour marathon in 6 months, you’re setting unrealistic goals. It is safer and more effective to give yourself small improvements that are realistic than aiming for the impossible because you will be more likely to stick with it if you see yourself making even slow progress.
After the holidays it makes sense why people make resolutions about working out. By being realistic in your goals, being held accountable by a friend and simply getting into the mood to work out, you are more likely to be successful at whatever exercise plan you decide to follow. A little motivation can go a long way towards helping you achieve all your desired fitness goals.