Working out usually needs a lot of motivation, and even the most highly motivated people find themselves stuck in a slump at times. We need to recognise the fact that motivation is not a constant thing. It comes and goes. While it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Here are a few pointers on how to get and stay motivated to exercise.
Set small goals. Unrealistic goals will set you up for a huge disappointment. Set smaller, easy to achieve goals, which will, with time pave the way for bigger goals. For instance, something simple like, “I will work out three times a week,” or “I will work out for 15 minutes daily.” Once you have built a routine, you can start working out harder and trying to do more with each session.
Commit publicly. No one wants to look bad in front of others. When you say you’ll do something publicly, you’ll probably try your best to stick to it. You can tell your goals to your family, friends, and co-workers or start blogging about it. Not only this, but also hold yourself accountable when you do. Commit to giving progress updates to those you’ve told about your goals as well.
Get a buddy. Working out alone can be boring and it’s easy to lose motivation fast when you do. Having someone to work out with makes it less of a burden and more fun. It’s also great for accountability purposes because you wouldn’t want to disappoint them or break the agreement you have. Your buddy can also encourage and motivate you when you’re not feeling up to it and vice versa.
Mix it up. Doing the same thing all the time gets tiring after a while. Keep things exciting for the sake of your motivation. Try different forms of exercise during your work out time. Try swimming this time, rope-skipping the next time and aerobics class after that. Replace these exercises with those that you enjoy more if you find yourself getting bored. You could also split your exercise into two or three sessions, which has been found by research to be as beneficial as one long work out. For instance, if you don’t feel like exercising for an hour on any given day, do three sessions of 20 minutes each.
Make it fun. Not all forms of exercise will appeal to you. Find an activity you could enjoy. There are many options when it comes to exercise. There are those who’d prefer the gym, while others would prefer dancing and aerobics or even just a jog or a walk around the neighbourhood. Find not only what works for you but also what is convenient.
Keep track of your progress. It’s given that you would like to see results from the exercise you have put so much of your time and energy into. Noting improvement in your health and appearance, or even fitting into clothes you couldn’t fit into before are good motivators and will enable you to stay on track. Of course you need to be realistic about this. Don’t expect perfection or instant results. Also refrain from comparing yourself with others. With time and discipline you will definitely reap the fruits of your labour.
This list is not exhaustive but it will guide you in picking your strengths. Look at the top five strengths on your list and cross off any that you don’ t feel comfortable with. For example, even though you may score highly on leader ship qualities, you ma y not enjoy being a leader be cause it makes you feel drained, and it, therefore, ceases to be signature strength. Once you identify your strengths, use them as frequently as you can and in as many settings as possible.