Just not feeling it? We can sympathize.
It happens to everyone, from well trained athletes to well trained couch potatoes, we all lack motivation sometimes, or many times, depending on who you ask.
So, just how do you get motivated?
I just happen to have 11 tricks up my sleeve that may help you get your booty to the gym or your own home garage gym…
1. Just Show up!
Do one thing everyday to move you towards your goal.
I read an inspiring Reddit post by /ryans01 about making everyday a Non Zero day.
Basically what he said is this: Even if today you do something small, having a consistent run of “non Zero days” is what ultimately gets you to your goal and makes working toward your goal a habit.
Doing one set, or one pull-up, or whatever does not seem like it does much for your fitness, but the point of making a day a “non Zero day” is about building a habit, not building muscle.
It is a mind hack. Continue with it and working out will become a habit; even if some of those days are one sit-up days.
2. Get with the program
Have you heard the Phrase “Not making a plan is a plan to fail”?
It seems so simple, but it causes quite a few folks to trip.
When it comes to fitness, it’s true. You must know what you are going to do, in order to do it.
Find a fitness program that has all the details laid out for you. It may be easier to workout when you don’t have to finagle all the details, which takes additional work and can be an exhausting task.
Find a program you trust, designed by a fitness professional, ideally designed with your specific needs and goals in mind.
3. Find an activity you truly love
Some folks like HIIT, others running, CrossFit, Basketball, some have an affinity for Kettlebells.
Make sure whatever you have planned, or whatever routine or program you follow involves exercise you actually enjoy performing.
Studies cite “intrinsic motivation”, that is love of the activity for the activities sake, is far more likely to result it sticking with it long term.
4. Get Specific
What is your goal? What do you home to achieve. Visualize yourself achieving and maintaining this goal. What do you look like? How do you feel?
If you have a specific goal you can visualize it. If your goal is fuzzy and vague, your mind picture of what you want to achieve will also be fuzzy.
Specific means measurable and with a time frame in mind.
- I want to fit into size (Fill in the blank) jeans by summer.
- I want to bench (Fill in the bank) by February.
- I want to run the Yorkshire Marathon this year, without stopping to walk.
You have to be able to visualize yourself crossing the finish line, before you are actually able to cross it, if you know what I am saying.
5. Rock Out!
Program your iPod, Cell phone or MP3 with a rocking workout only playlist. Only allow yourself to listen while you are exercising.
Plan the Playlist carefully
Music makes working out more fun, and adds a cadence and rhythm to your movement. Structure the playlist to start out with slower beats for the warm-up and add faster music to motivate you as your routine progresses.
6. Make a date and dress for success
Schedule your workout on your calendar, preferably with a built in reminder. Then make sure your clothes are always ready. Set them out the night before. If you hit the gym right after work, pack them up in your gym bag while you are preparing lunch.
If you are at home, and you just can not get your bum off the couch, remind yourself of the “no zero day”. If you need to, tell yourself, “I am just going to do one pushup, or one pull up”, and get dressed for it! This will reinforce the habit in your mind.
Practice this Jedi Mind Trick daily and soon you will have yourself a real habit.
7. Drink a pre-workout drink or protein shake
This is another sneaky trick.
If you are just not feeling the gym, grab your go-to pre-workout drink. It can be a protein shake, an energizing pre-workout, whatever drink you associate with exercising, that’s the one you need.
Now, drink it.
See how silly you will feel wasting that pre-workout drink if you don’t get your behind in gear and get to stepping? It’s like Neo after he takes the red pill. There is no turning back now, baby!
After you drink it your proverbial foot is already halfway in the door you are already committed. Now you need to go and do.
8. Bet on yourself
This one can be painful, but research shows it is indeed effective, according to the big brains at Yale University. They say you are 3 times as likely to meet your goal using this method.
These university researchers created a website called Stickk that’s helps people stick to their goals.
The premise is simple.
You sign up, define your goal, make a deadline, put something up at stake (can be money or reputation, ouch) and if you do not meet your goals you must pay up or suffer a blow to your reputation.
The site is pretty cool because you can assign who will get the money should you not meet the goal, and you do not have to bet money, if you choose not to.
9. Get a virtual accountability partner
Reddit is amazing for so many reasons, and when I stumbled across this I thought it was pure genius.
There is a subreddit called r/getmotivatedbuddies
Go to this subreddit, post a want-ad looking for an online accountability partner, for just about anything, including fitness goal accountability, and you will receive some replies back from like-minded souls.
You can share goals, stay in contact daily, or whatever you both decide, and hold each other accountable to your goals.
10. Track and measure, with pictures
Take pictures before you start. Just use your smartphone, no need to do anything fancy.
Make sure to get a face and full body shot, and a shot from the side, and if you are really brave get a shot from behind using a full length mirror or very understanding friend.
The tracking you do depends a lot on your fitness goal. If you are looking to lose weight, or follow a specific diet and track macros, may I suggest www.myfitnesspal.com?
It is an awesome food tracker and diary that lets you see the past, track today, and even export data and view the year in review. How cool is that? It also tracks weight and some basic measurements.
11. Tangible Treats
Reward yourself for working out. Not with food, but with something tangible.
“I can watch one Episode of “Better Call Saul” ONLY after my workout.
If I do not miss a workout once this week, I am going to reward myself with the lifting gloves I had my eye on.
Giving yourself a tangible reward may be just the motivation you need to get moving.
I hope you found these tips useful and helpful.
If you have any tip you use to get in gear, I would love to hear them! Leave a comment below to let us know how you keep yourself motivated to workout alone.