Human beings are very adept at making excuses - we're all guilty of procrastination at some point in time. (Cue hitting the snooze button multiple times...……) On other occasions, we can find ourselves struggling to find motivation - especially living in the Macedon Ranges in the winter months! So now that spring is well under way, people are noticeably happier, more energetic and more inclined to leave the confines of our warm and cosy homes. So I thought it was an opportune time to give you some extra reasons to keep motivated and stay on track with your fitness goals.
Put your activewear on! There is a concept called "enclothed cognition" where a correlation exists between the clothes that you wear and psychological actions such as emotions, attitudes and self-evaluation. For example a study was done showing that attention was increased when subjects wore a lab coat as opposed to those who didn't. Same thing goes for wearing activewear - you are more likely to go and exercise if you have your workout gear on! So if you're undecided about whether you'll go to class or not, put on your activewear anyway and that in itself, may just change your mindset.
Schedule a regular workout time: If you convince yourself that you'll exercise "after work" or "when the kids go to bed" or when you're partner gets home, you will most likely fail. It is thought that when it's not 'on the calendar', people tend to find more excuses such as inclement weather or the kids wouldn't nap etc etc. So the advice is, schedule your workouts and prioritise a time of day for you to exercise. This might been moving work meetings, kids activities or other responsibilities around so that you have a committed time to work out!
Make it fun and have variety: Human beings need change to stay motivated. Choose a class that excites you and makes you feel good! Make sure when you're working out that you try and enjoy it (and forget the fact that you're burning!) Variety is not only good psychologically, it is also great for you physically as it engages different muscle groups through differing functional exercises. By nature of environment, group classes tend to be more motivating whilst also being social. Additionally, group classes that change format regularly are also beneficial as you never know quite what to expect when you turn up which automatically piques interest......…. (or fear :)
Set a goal: If you need to "dangle the carrot" in order to stay focused, set yourself a goal! BUT make sure its achievable. This may mean setting smaller goals that you then reassess regularly. It may be something like "I would like to be able to run 5km" or "I want to be able to do a full pushup." Others may be include "I want to reconnect with my inner self" so you may prioritise doing yoga or meditating, or "I want to fit into those jeans I bought before I had kids!". Irrespective of what it is, by setting a goal you are more likely to stay on track and keep motivated towards your fitness.
Find a workout buddy: Do you feel intimidated to come along to class on your own? Find a friend to come with you! It's easy to make an excuse not to exercise when you're only letting yourself down - if someone else is relying on you turning up, you are far more likely to commit to the class. Working out with a friend can make you happier, more confident and more likely to enjoy the class as opposed to going solo. You may also set similar goals and work towards them together. With a 'wingman' you always have someone to keep you accountable.....
Well there you have it, 5 ways to stay motivated! Upon reading this, it should be apparent that these tips are actually very achievable and practical for you to implement. Changing your mindset and perspective towards exercise is a huge barrier in overcoming resistance to working out. Remember positive thoughts for a positive life!