Some people dread the word ‘exercise.’ Thinking about purposefully going to the gym can be very intimidating. Too often people will find every excuse in the book not to go to the gym. “I’m too tired,” “I don’t have enough time,” or my personal favorite “I don’t want to get sweaty.”
Motivation is hard to come by, but figuring out what motivates you is the key to getting moving. There are two major types of motivation- intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsically motivated individuals can find it within themselves to go get stuff done. The drive and need to workout is very self propelling. Extrinsic motivation is an outside source helping to push you in the right direction. This could be as simple as having a trainer encourage and push you or having a reward to work towards. To be the most successful, try to find motivation in both.
Make a plan
Having a plan of action helps keep you on track. This is the same idea as going grocery shopping. Most people will make a shopping list and go to the store and buy what they need. Going into the grocery store with no list usually means missing some items and buying impulse foods. Make sure you have a plan. How many days a week do you want to workout? For how long? Are you going to the gym, a fitness class, going for a run, swimming, dancing? Plan it out and stick to it!
Have an end goal
What’s the point of making a plan if its not working towards something? This could be as simple as “if I run 3 miles today, I’ll allow myself a treat tonight” to “I want to lose 10lbs for a special event in 3 months.” Making a plan is much easier when you know what you’re working towards.
Tell people about your plans and your goals
The more people that know what you’re working towards, less you will get off track. Talk to your family and friends. Share your goals and achievements with them. It will be more rewarding and you will have to be more accountable.
Learn time management skills
Make exercise and physical activity apart of your day, not something that you will get to if you have time. After a while exercise should feel like a part of your routine and you will feel strange not doing it.
Make it fun
The steps in your plan and your end goal should be realistic. If you have never run before and you want to train for a marathon, don’t start 4 weeks before. It will not be fun that way. Remember, you are doing this for yourself. Really sit down and figure out what makes you happy and what you enjoy doing. If the activities are fun, then it's one more reason to do it! The goal is yours, the reward is yours, so make sure you enjoy yourself!
Blog post by Nikki Courtney.