I have a confession to make: sometimes, I really, really, really don't want to work out. I enjoy staying active, and I love the feeling I get after exercising, but let's face it, sometimes, I'd rather sleep in or binge watch Netflix in my PJs than get up and sweat. We've all been there before, and it's okay once in awhile, but if you're finding it harder and harder to make it to your workouts, consider these ways you can stay motivated and get your booty to the gym!
1. Hold yourself accountable
Ask other people to hold you accountable for your exercise intentions. This could mean booking an appointment with a trainer or signing up for a class that you're expected to attend or training with a gym buddy. You can also consider fitness trackers or apps to keep yourself accountable. Ever since I got my own fitness tracker and began setting my daily activity goals, I found myself doing whatever I could to meet those goals at the end of the day. If you say you'll do something, and other people (or things) are counting on you to do it, you'll be more likely to actually do it.
2. Exercise at a time of day that works for you
There's no rule that says you have to work out at a specific time of day. For me, I like to get it over with first thing in the morning so that I don't have to worry about it for the rest of the day. I also find that I have less energy in the evenings, so morning and afternoon sessions are typically the best times for me. For others, they might find it more effective to work out in the evening to beat work stress or to clear their brains. You need to find what works with your work and personal life schedules so that you can fully engage in your exercise routine and not feel rushed.
3. Set (realistic) goals
Many of us work out for different reasons... to lose body fat, to increase muscle mass, to reduce stress, to improve health, to feel more energized, etc. It is important to set realistic short-term and long-term goals for yourself. Rome was not built in one day, so don't expect to lose 30 pounds in a couple of months. If you consistently set goals that you want to achieve, it is much easier to commit to your workouts. You'll be able to track your progress and feel a sense of accomplishment. Tracking your fitness journey also allows you to stay motivated and remember why you're working out in the first place.
4. Change up your routine
Do you go to the gym and find yourself going through the same monotonous motions just for the sake of getting them done? Change up your routine every once in awhile so that you don't get bored. Our bodies respond to change, so if you feel like you've plateaued or stopped making progress, then it's time to switch things up! If the gym is not for you, try joining a sports team... or a yoga class... or a running club... or try rock climbing... or hiking... the options are endless. If you enjoy what you're doing, there's a higher chance that you'll do it.
5. Keep your workouts short and effective
It's better to do something than nothing at all. Often, people think that if they can't complete the full planned session, they might as well not do it at all. While you might feel like you need to do an hour plus long training session every time to get results, it is not aways possible. I actually don't encourage such long tedious workout sessions anyway. For me personally, I like to keep my workouts short but intense, and they never last more than 20 to 40 minutes. In fact, if all you've got is 10 minutes, then yes, use those 10 minutes effectively!
6. Find a gym that's convenient to go to
Join a gym that's convenient, accessible, and easy to get to. If it's out of your way, you'll be less likely to go. Find something that's along your usual route home, something that's near your house, or something that's close to your work. Or if you're like me and can't even go to a gym that's in the same plaza as your work, then get some workout equipment and do it right at home. That would literally give you no excuse not to work out!
7. Schedule it in and plan out the week
Make a workout schedule for each week and put it in your planner. Shape all of your other appointments around this schedule so that you don't have an excuse. Don't let working out become an option... make it an obligation. It's an appointment that you need to keep!
8. Get past the beginning
The start is what stops most people. A workout can be 2 hours long, and 1.5 hours of that could be you convincing yourself to get to the gym. There is nothing worse than the first few minutes of a workout, but once you get past it, most people realize that they actually enjoy working hard, feeling strong, and being in the zone. So instead of focusing on how miserable the beginning feels, think about how good you'll feel during and after!