We’ve all started an exercise program, gotten all excited about it, but then gave up on it a week or two later. While we start out super motivated, that excitement fades quickly. They key to sticking to an exercise program is finding a way to keep that original motivation. Here are a few tips for getting for getting and staying motivated.
Find a role model. Many women get motivated to diet and work out by taping up pictures of models or actresses. This is actually a great way to remind yourself what your goals are and keep a visual of them fresh in your mind. Just be sure to pick an appropriate role model and not someone with unhealthy eating and exercise habits or an unachievable image.
Set small goals. If you start out setting tough goals, you probably won’t achieve them and will then become discouraged. The key is to set smaller, easy to achieve goals and work your way up. Start with “I will work out three days this week”. Once you get yourself into a routine, get yourself to work out harder and do more during each session.
Reward yourself. Setting goals is good way to get yourself into a workout program. If you have trouble keeping yourself going, try rewarding yourself when you reach a goal. Don’t go with big rewards, just small rewards for reaching small goals. For example, I can go to that movie if I work out three times this week. If you’re working out to lose weight, don’t reward yourself with food.
Get a buddy. Having someone to workout with can help keep your mind off the work and keep you entertained. That means you’re more likely to want to go work out. Having a buddy also makes it harder for you to skip your workout because you’ll be letting someone else down and they’ll be there to talk you into going even if you don’t feel like it. If you can’t find a buddy to go with you, you can always hire a personal trainer to keep you going.
Make it fun. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring a repetitive. If you don’t like your exercise routine, change it. Keep looking until you find something you enjoy doing. This way, you’ll end up looking forward to exercise instead of dreading it.
Mix it up. Even the most exciting workout can get boring if you do it over and over every day. Find several exercises you like to do and alternate. Try swimming Mondays, dance class Wednesdays, and a Pilates tape on Saturday. Any time you find yourself getting bored with a workout, replace it in your rotation for a while and start it again in a few months.
Don’t take it too seriously. If you start acting like exercise is hard work, it will become hard work. Make your exercise a light, fun, activity rather than a chore you have to do. This will keep you from getting a bad attitude and make you less likely to give up.