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Have you noticed your motivation to exercise declining over time? Just cant get excited the way you used to, or maybe you never really got excited about fitness in the first place? Does that trip to the gym just seem too difficult or time consuming?
Motivation to exercise isnt something youre born with. It’s something you nurture and cultivate over time. Your motivation, which is really a reflection of your interest level, wanes for a reason. Well, actually two reasons: you either hate what youre doing or you arent seeing any results. Or maybe both.
So how do you rekindle that old flame and fall in love with fitness again?
1) Find Something You Actually Enjoy Doing
Dont force yourself to do something you hate, because, surprise, surprise, youre going to hate it. Not everyone was meant to be a runner, so if you hate running, dont do it. Some people can’t stand the gym- if thats you, dont go! A burnt calorie is a burnt calorie, and youre likely to burn a whole lot more if you arent counting down the seconds until your workouts over.
2) Try Something New
Its simple to say do something you enjoy but what if you hate everything youve tried? You have to start thinking outside of the box. If youve been going at it solo in the gym, try the group setting of a class. If youre a slave to the treadmill, pound pavement outside. Try a sport: adding competition into the mix will breathe new life into your drive to work out, because youll want to train to improve your skills. Or try something you wouldnt normally view as exercise: head into the water with kayaking or the sky with trapeze. Who knows? You may be the next best trapeze artist and you never would have known if you hadnt tried. Do Ariel yoga or pole dancing or sign up for a race. That thing you heard about and thought huh, thatd be fun but never did? Do that.
Need inspiration? Check out SHREDZ Fit Club for ideas, motivational workouts, and goal-oriented tutorials, all for free!
3) Set a Super Simple and Specific Goal
One workout can seem like a drop in the bucket, making them individually seem less important and easier to skip. But, like votes on election day, every workout counts. Long term goals are necessary for progress, but they arent the most motivating force. Setting short term goals help ensure that every workout is a success and you walk out feeling invincible. That accomplishment will push you to accomplish more next time. Always wanted to do a pullup? Pour your whole heart into it for a few weeks. Or you can get even smaller with it, and pick a goal for each workout: do one more rep, go up to the next weight for your presses, add 5 more minutes to your time, or try a new exercise or machine youve never used before. Of course, Tangible, physical improvements like inches, pounds, and easily buttoned skinny jeans are super powerful motivators. Need help setting goals? Talk to a pro like the SHREDZ coaches for motivation, ideas, and a solid plan of action.
4) Its Better in Numbers
The more the social your workout, the more fun it will feel. Grab some friends next time you head to the gym. Just choose those friends wisely- youre there to work, so save the conversations for later. Even just being in a room full of strangers can be more motivating and fun than going at it solo, so if youre feeling like you cant drag yourself through a workout, rely on the motivating atmosphere of a class to push through.
5) Take a Break
If you usually love the gym but your motivation has been lacking lately, you may just need a break. Your body is pretty smart and will usually tell you what it needs, if youre willing to listen. You may be physically overtraining or mentally burnt out. Either way, take some time off. Does the idea of that scare you? Thats another sign you probably need a break. Need to keep moving? Go for a walk or bike ride for a few days. You’ll get back into it.
6) Treat Yourself!
Positive reinforcement is another powerful motivator, so buy yourself something nice as a reward for all your hard work. A good option? New workout gear. It sounds a little superficial, but it works. If you buy new workout gear, youll be excited to show it off. Just dont reward your exercise commitment with food--thats negative reinforcement and can lead to a dangerous cycle.