Many people started exercising at least once in their lifetime. Most of them gave up. The reasons for dropping out are many, but the loss of motivation is probably the most common one. The scenario usually goes like this: people start exercising on their own or they enroll a fitness program at the gym, but as soon as the difficulties begin – they give up. Sore muscles, the lack of time, boredom, not achieving the desired results, the lack of commitment… all of these are the reasons why people stop working out and miss their chance to fulfill the most common New Year’s resolution – “I’ll lose some weight”.
Motivation and persistence are the essence of success. So, here are some tips on how to maintain your motivation and strengthen your willpower while exercising.
1. Find motivation to start exercising
Before starting your exercising routine, you need to find a personal, internal motivation to do so. Vague reasons such as “the doctors recommend it” are usually not good enough. Make a list of all rewards that working out will bring you. For instance: “taking a walk every day will solve my circulation problems”. Or: “I need to enroll to yoga classes to reduce my back pain.” However, these reasons are just a start – in order to keep your motivation high, you need to be aware of the psychological benefits as well.
2. Set a realistic goal
Setting unrealistic goals is the most common beginners’ mistake. It only leads to discouragement, frustration and in the end – giving up on your goal. To prevent this from happening, set realistic, achievable goals. Start with small steps and then progress to more challenging and long range goals. Also, it would be wise not to be impatient and get rid of certain bad habits. One of them is checking your scale each day – it will kill your motivation sooner than you think. Limit measuring your weight to maximum once per week.
3. Schedule the workout time
There’s no exercising routine without discipline – and it’s hard to be disciplined when you exercise “when you’re in the mood for it”. Nobody says that you must work out every single day, but you need to have a routine. Create a weekly schedule and decide which days and hours should be reserved for working out. Also, ignore all “urgent” events and distractions during your workout time. When you realize it is as important as any other activity such as washing dishes, it’ll be easier for you to maintain your healthy routine.
4. Get some support
Working out alone may not be such a bad idea for people whose motivation is extremely strong. However, exercising with somebody else is always better. Finding a friend who loves working out is the best way to keep your motivation up and it’ll reduce the chance of missing your training. Also, when you pay for working out, the results are even better. It’s not just the money, but the psychological support you get from your personal fitness instructor. It’s hard to bail out when you have someone to guide you and boost your enthusiasm at the same time.
5. Have fun while working out
Working out doesn’t have to be boring, and you certainly don’t have to do something you don’t actually like. There’s an abundance of activities and sports to choose from, so feel free to find the one you truly enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a gym program or an aerobic class – you can join a softball team, or enroll dancing lessons that are perfect for both your physical condition and psychological well-being. Always listen to your favorite music while working out and you won’t even notice that training has come to an end!
6. Introduce some variety
Scheduling a workout routine is the best way to stay motivated. However, it doesn’t mean you should do the same thing every single day. People get fed up easily, and they need change in order to stay interested. That’s why it’s important to bring some variety into your exercising routine by focusing on different groups of muscles on each training, or learning new exercises every time. If you love working out in the gym, combine your strength exercises with group Pilates classes at least once a week to shake up your routine.