Everyone has started out on an exercise program full of excitement and determination, only to find the excitement start to fade after a few days. What started as something you were sure was going to change your life, has began to make your life a nightmare, trying to keep the enthusiasm at a high enough level to continue exercising. In order to stick to an exercise program, and make it work for you, you need to find a way to keep that original motivation. Here are some tips to help get you motivated, and encourage you to stay that way.
1) Find A Role Model – Who has that “perfect” body that you would love to have? Who sticks to a fitness plan, and shows that dedication in the way they live their lives? Many women tape up pictures of someone they aspire to be like, such as a model or actress. This is a great way to keep your goals fresh in your mind, and to remind you what you’re striving towards. Make sure that you choose someone deserving of your admiration – not someone who has unhealthy eating or exercise habits, or who has an impossible to achieve image.
2) Set Small Goals – If you have set the bar too high by setting goals that are too tough to reach, you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed. If you don’t achieve the goals you have set, you will become discouraged. Just set smaller, easy to achieve goals and work your way towards the bigger goals. Start with something simple like, “I will work out three times this week.” Once you have established a routine, start working out harder, and try doing more each session.
3) Reward Yourself – Setting goals is a great way to get yourself going in an exercise program, but if you have a hard time keeping yourself going, don’t be afraid to offer yourself rewards for any small achievements. You don’t need to go overboard – just small rewards for reaching small goals. Take yourself out to a movie you’ve been wanting to see if you achieve your goal of working out three times in the week. Just remember that if you’re working out to lose weight, don’t reward yourself with food!
4) Get A Buddy – Having someone to work out with makes it much more fun, and will keep you more motivated to exercise. You might even find that you’re actually looking forward to it! Not only that, but having a buddy makes it much harder for you to skip your workout, because they will be there to hold you accountable. Let them encourage you and motivate you when you don’t feel like exercising, and do the same for them. If you can’t find a buddy to work out with, hire a personal trainer to give you that extra push.
5) Make It Fun – Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive. If you don’t like your exercise routine, change it and make it more exciting. Keep trying new exercises until you find something you enjoy doing. If your exercise routine is fun, you will end up looking forward to exercise, instead of dreading it.
6) Mix It Up – Anything you do over and over every day is going to get boring, no matter how motivated you are to succeed. Find several different exercises you enjoy, and alternate. Try swimming on Monday, dance class on Wednesday and a Pilates tape at home on Saturday. Whenever you find yourself getting bored with a workout, replace it with something else you enjoy, and go back to it again when you’re ready.
7) Don’t Take It Too Seriously – If you start treating exercise like hard work, that’s exactly what it will become. Make your exercises light, fun and exciting rather than looking at it as a chore you have to do. Don’t let yourself get a bad attitude towards exercising, or you will be more likely to give up.
Staying motivated isn’t hard if you approach your exercise program with an open mind. Be flexible and let yourself have fun. Eventually, you will realize that you’re actually enjoying working out, and before you know it, you will be looking forward to exercising.