Updated: May 5
Are you lacking motivation to exercise?
You are not alone! Many suffer with the same problem, but there is a solution!
Are you wondering how do you get motivated?
Read my 33 tips, choose one or a few to focus on and let’s get started.
Are you wondering how do you keep yourself motivated?
What to do if you are losing motivation for gym or have lost motivation to workout.
Are you struggling with depression and motivation to exercise?
Lost motivation to workout depression is common but exercise is actually your best choice to counterbalance depression.
How do I get myself motivated?
I would describe myself as a motivated person. My struggle would normally be managing to stop!
I don’t remember the last time I sat on the sofa, I’ve recently made a decision not to work past 11pm! That’s right 11pm! And its 10.35pm now on a Friday night as I rapidly try to type this and get as much done as possible so I can get this blog post out tomorrow.
I have plenty of physical activity motivation. I can honestly say I exercise EVERY day.
Motivation for strength training?
I weight train 6 days a week as I understand how important it is as I am turning 50 this year, I have a slight frame and struggle to build muscle, my mum has osteoporosis and I understand from personal experience and almost 30 years as a Physiotherapist the importance of keeping muscle strength to avoid injury and live my best life for me and my loved ones.
Cardio motivation or motivation for walking?
I run 6 days a week as I love the endorphins, being outdoors in the sun, warming up in winter and its a quick easy way of staying fit and healthy and stretching my legs, getting my blood flowing to my brain to help productivity and helps me get my 10,000 recommended steps per day in the minimal time.
Abs workout motivation?
I incorporate an abdominal workout 3-4 times a week as I know how important a strong core is to prevent lower back pain and I have a degenerated disc in the base of my spine from a work injury as a young Physio in my first job at 21.
I perform a 30 minute yoga and pilates routine every night before I go to bed to stretch, rebalance and maintain good posture, muscle and joint health. It’s also is a great calming and reflection routine to help me get a great nights sleep.
I enjoy being active, I know my body needs and expects it and I need to take care of myself to be my best for myself, my family and my clients, who depend on me. I need to support, motivate and inspire those around me so they can function their best and love their best lives, as this is my job and I believe my life’s calling.
I am also motivated in my life in many other areas. I run a business solo, doing all the things, working with clients face to face in my studio and online, designing programs, admin, receipting, bookkeeping, planning, marketing, cleaning.
I have 2 kids to take care of. I like to clean and tidy, I make sure my kids eat healthy, exercise, do their homework, feel supported and get plenty of sleep.
I am working on getting enough sleep myself as I struggle with getting all my business, family and home tasks done and going to bed early enough if I haven’t completed my day’s ‘to do’ list.
Last year I made a decision to commit to writing a blog post once a week to share with my clients and the general public who are struggling with a health problem I can help with.
However the last 3 Tuesdays, (my dedicated Blog day), I haven’t managed to publish a blog. I have procrastinated between ideas, got bogged down in research, worried it wasn’t good enough, anything new, or thorough enough and become increasingly annoyed and frustrated at myself for not getting done what I had committed to doing. It is not a good feeling!
Ironically my blog is on motivation! I recently set up a small Facebook group to help clients post cancer and NDIS participants and I have discovered the biggest struggle for most to reach their goals is MOTIVATION! Just like me they have strong reasons for wanting to exercise but somehow it’s just not happening!
So what are their reasons for lacking motivation to workout?
I asked a few clients and these are some of the barriers we discovered:
Not enough time.
Haven’t worked out a plan.
Not sure what to do or whether you’re doing it right.
Worried about injuring yourself.
Not wanting to get up early in the dark and cold.
Too tired after work.
Not enjoying exercise.
Too self conscious and intimidated to go to the gym.
So how do people stay motivated? Gaining motivation to exercise could be through:
Positive motivations focus on the positive things that will happen when you take action. Visualise how you will look and feel when you achieve your goal.
Negative motivations focus on the negative backlash that will occur if you don’t take action. Visualise your future health, fitness and function and how you will look and feel.
Here are 33 simple strategies I Use
that REALLY CREATE the CHANGE you need:
Understand your why. Sometimes it's not so much the what or the how that matters, but your why? The purpose behind what you're doing. Being clear about what you're working for can give you the stimulus to stay on course. We make time for things we prioritise. Write down at least 3 reasons why you need to exercise and stick them on your fridge to remind yourself constantly.
Define your goal. Defined goals put your ideas into action mode. It's the vital step between planning and doing. Set a goal which excites you in a specific time and build up towards your goal. Write it down and book it in.
Seize the power of a deadline. You are less likely to miss training if you know a fun walk or run looming!
Create a clear vision. If you want to succeed, you must create a clear compelling vision, something that you can relate to and resonate with. If it doesn't speak to your heart, it won't motivate you to stay on target. Create the highest grandest vision possible, because you can achieve only what you see.
Produce a plan. Once you have a goal in place, a plan is will take your vision and break down the steps you need to get it done. A goal without a plan, as we know, is just a dream.Work out the best time of day for you, which may vary dependent on the season. Motivation to workout in winter is often harder as early morning workout motivation is harder when it’s dark and cold. Move exercise from the bottom to the top of your priority list. If you can, get it done first as often motivation to workout after work is harder as our energy and willpower diminishes as we tire later in the day.
Look for the bigger picture. When you have to stay motivated, think of the bigger picture. How does this relate not only to yourself but to others? How will it contribute to something important? Where will this make a difference? To accomplish more, think bigger.
Keep it positive. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions, and self-affirming statements will help you to achieve your best. Take control of how you think, how you feel, how you act. Positivity will help you make the choices that lead to accomplishment. Surround yourself with positive people.
Approach exercises in new ways. Sometimes just getting started might be the problem. A different approach might give you a new perspective and more energy. Start small then build as your confidence grows.
Break down goals into manageable pieces. One important key to your success will be your ability to break down your goals into shorter-term and smaller pieces. Keep your program manageable. Reach out if you need help to break down your goal. Enlist a Physio or Exercise Physiologist to design a program for you and work through it with you until you feel confident you can safely perform it yourself.
Find a mentor. Choose someone who is experienced in the habit you are trying to change to advise and support you.
Get organised. Have suitable clothing and necessary equipment and gym membership ready.
Organise your schedule. Write down your exercise sessions for the whole week in advance in your diary every Sunday. Each day check your schedule and don’t let your self off the hook. You must complete your session as you have committed to yourself. If you don’t have a lot of time use the time you have. Even 10 minutes a day will make a difference and once you start you will likely manage longer. If you miss your session commit to making it up later in the day.
Tackle procrastination head on. Don't make excuses or waste time rationalising why you haven't already started. Instead, try to uncover the real reason for the delay and get to it immediately. The best way to begin something is just to begin, don’t think about it! Even a 10 minute walk is a good start.
Don’t make excuses. Don’t let yourself down or you will start to loose self belief and trust in yourself. Commit to yourself and build trust with yourself, as you would your best friend.
Starve your distractions. Stop being distracted by people, tasks, or electronics. Commit to your exercise as scheduled. If you are distracted at home train at the gym or go outside.
Stay in the zone. Ask yourself how to create the perfect environment for you. Exercise outside or at home if you struggle with gyming motivation, or in the gym or outside if you are too distracted at home. If you love being outdoors exercise outside in a beautiful, inspiring environment.
Choose success. Choose to be successful, then stick to your choice and see it through to a conclusion. By creating a mental picture of yourself successfully completing your goal, you can increase your chances of success.
Follow through on your commitment. Even if you feel tired after work still get started, it will actually makes you feel better, boost your energy and help you sleep better. Don’t listen to the voice in your head trying to stop you!
Keep it fun. If you seriously want to stay motivated, find a way to make it fun. Fun is not the enemy but a great motivator. Exercise should be fun! Choose exercise you enjoy. Walk, dance, play sport.
Positive Distraction. Listen to your favourite music to pick you up, or a podcast to distract you. You could even watch Netflix!
Use exercise as one of your daily goals to improve your mental health. You’ll be amazed the difference exercise makes to your mental as well as physical wellbeing. Every thing looks different, clearer and less bothersome.
Use a smart watch or Fitbit. Monitor your heart rate, move goal, steps and track your progress. Seeing the evidence recorded is great positive reinforcement for your efforts.
Tick off your exercise in your diary once completed each day. You can look back on your day, week, month or year and feel a sense of achievement.
Try new exercises and keep your exercise varied. Mix it up, progress and adapt your program regularly so you don’t become bored.
New workout clothes motivation. Buy a new exercise outfit so you feel the part. Make sure it’s comfortable and you can move well and are cool enough in summer or warm enough in winter.
If you are social exercise with a friend or family member. Combine socialising with exercise to save time and feel happy and fulfilled.
Quiet time away. If you need some space from people around you at work or your kids at home, combine your quiet time with your exercise. Your mental health will benefit also.
Be passionate and inspire others. Help those around you leading by example so they can be healthier, fitter and improve their mental health.
Tell your family or a friend. Share your plan and goal so those close to you can support and encourage you to make your goal happen. Once you verbalise your goal and plan it’s harder to pull out as you don’t want your family member or friend to see you not keeping your word. You can ask them to check in and make sure you don’t let yourself off the hook.
Harness the power of optimism. Belief that you can accomplish something is essential to your ability to do it. Optimism is the foundation of progress.
Visualise yourself succeeding. Visualisation is a powerful technique that can help you to focus, stay motivated and achieve your goals. By creating a mental picture of yourself successfully achieving your goal you will stay motivated.
Reward yourself. Learn what it takes to get yourself to complete your program and reward yourself for completion. Congratulate and reward yourself for your consistency and achieving your goal. Celebrate your wins by rewarding yourself with a treat.
Regularly review your goals and progress. Continue to set new goals to stay excited.
Let me know below what are your barriers to exercise motivation? Are they listed or can you add some more?
Which of my strategies are you using or going to try? Or do you have your own to add to my list?
Remember, motivation starts within.
We need to find it, keep it and make it work for us.
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