How to Keep Yourself Motivated to Work Out Regularly
If reaching your fitness goals is important to you, you can not neglect the subject of workout motivation.
Not motivated to workout? That will cost you.
Let’s face the facts!
The majority, of fitness goals people make, are never achieved. Depressing? YES. Hopeless? Only if you allow it.
The good news:
There are many ways to increase and sustain your fitness motivation, and make yourself aware of the chains of habit, before they are too strong to break.
Or conversely, make fitness a habit so strong it will not be broken in your life.
This article aims to cover sources of fitness motivation and inspiration, and discuss the science behind motivation, so you know what to do when your motivation runs low.
- Pump it up! – Fountains of Motivation
- Why is it important to set goals and set your goals high?
- How to keep yourself motivated?
- What If you Are NOT motivated to workout?
- The Takeaway
Pump it up! – Fountains of Motivation
You may not instantly associate motivation with social networking sites like intsagram, YouTube and Spotify, but just hear me out.
Social Media sites are good places to find nuggets of inspiration.
Music as Workout Motivation
Everyone knows it is just a little bit easier to workout, or do the dishes, or wash the car with some rockin’ music in the background. Make a custom workout tunes playlist on Spotify that you only listen to while exercising.
One Spotify playlist I like is this one.
This interesting study suggests that listening to music and/or watching a video while working out increases performance and length of training time.
The reason? Music and video place your focus off your body (and the pain or discomfort of working out) and on to the screen or music playing. So distraction is not always a bad thing.
Quotes and Pictures as Fitness Motivation
Looking for some good sources of inspiration? Garage Gym Power posts fitness pics and quotes on all their social media sites to help their friends stay in the game.
Follow Garage Gym Power on Instagram and we will return the favor.
While we are on the subject of social media as motivation, let’s talk about the “selfie”.
The selfie has got itself some bad press lately. Some say taking them is related to narcissism, or low self esteem.
However, new research clarifies things a bit. This research says that viewing selfies of other people, habitually and frequently may be related to narcissism and low self esteem. But POSTING selfies was not related to these two themes.
So where am I going with this?
OK, it has been my personal experience that posting selfies of me dressed for the gym, at the gym or in a group with my friends from the gym, has helped me shape my identity as a “fit lady” in a positive way.
Selfies can be good workout motivation. The support and likes I receive from friends and family is MOTIVATION, and I belief is one took that keeps me on track.
So please, don’t talk yourself out of that selfie. Snap. Share. Success! That was easy!
I often find motivating videos on YouTube, so I will share some with you. When I am feeling blah…or blue, I purposely search for a video or two on YouTube to pick me back up.
As trite as it sounds, it almost always works!
OK, this video uses the “F” word a lot, and has a “tough talk” style. But it says everything I think, but would not say IRL, which is why I like it so much.
Plus it includes Arnold Schwarzenegger giving a mini motivational speech. Hasta la Vista, Baby.
Speaking of Arnold, Here are some interesting motivational videos to inspire you to get off the couch.
He Blinded Me With Science
If you like science and want to know how your body and specifically, muscles work, Jeff Nippard’s YouTube Channel is a treasure.
Just watching a video from this channel is enough to motivate a science geek like me. But you do not need to be a nerd to enjoy the channel.
The videos are straightforward, simple, informative and not boring. Oh, and they are also quite “science-y”. It’s OK to be smart!
Why is it important to set goals and set your goals high?
According to one prominent study on motivation, setting specific and high goals lead to better performance results than moderate or low goals.
This applies to all areas of life, including fitness motivation, health and body goals.
So what gives?
It turns out that the factors that make attainment of a goal more likely are the importance of the goal to the one trying to achieve it, and their belief that the CAN achieve the goal.
How do we make goals Important to us?
When goals are important to us, we are more committed to them. Things that make goals important to us include:
- Declaring the goal publicly. We told our friends and family, so now we must own it to maintain our integrity.
- A goal is set for you by someone who is supportive and has a good reason for giving you the goal. EG, a caring and understanding Doctor that sets a goal for you to lose 50 lbs to reduce risk of heart attack, and gives you tools and periodic checkups, thereby supporting the goal.
- Identifying the specific outcome of the goal and how that outcome benefits you. Eg. What benefits will I receive if I grow my biceps 2” and decrease body fat to 12%? Visualize how life will be different and it may help you stay committed to your goal.
What about our belief that we CAN achieve the goal?
Believing that you can achieve the goal is what researchers call self-efficacy.
Self-efficacy is a crucial component to being committed to your goals.
In other words: you must believe to achieve!
Three Ideas we can offer are:
The right tools.
For example: If your goal is to lose 50 lbs, you must have a plan to get there. A plan might be, lose 1lb per week, following the paleo diet, and tracking everything I eat in a food diary, such as www.myfitnesspal.com.
If your goal is to gain muscle you might invest in an app such as Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut To Size to track food, find meal plans and exercises that target your specific goals and more.
Whatever your goal, you need a roadmap with specific planned actions that will get you there. Once you create these, your belief that you can achieve the goal will increase.
Find 3 or 4 folks, in real life, on YouTube Vlogs, online Blogs or wherever, that have achieved the very think YOU want to achieve.
These are sometimes known as mentors if you interact with them and they offer you advice. But they do not necessarily need to be people you know, as long as you can follow their story and gain inspiration.
Take Jared with his YouTube Chanel Obese To Beast. He lost 180 lbs and became very fit via CrossFit and Weight Training.
If you have a similar weight loss goal, he may be someone you follow for motivation and inspiration.
Whatever your goal is, look for those you can look up to. You can find them at the gym, online, or wherever. Just be sure and collect a few to increase your belief that you can achieve your goal.
Focus on those that believe in you.
This can be family or friends, gym buddies or co-workers. Share your goals with positive people and limit time with those who tear you down.
Support can sometimes be found on fitness tracking sites like www.fitocracy.com where members cheer each other on. Forums like r/fitness allow members to share success stories, ask for advice and support each other.
However you go about it, build a support network. Good support will boost your belief that you can achieve your goal.
How to keep yourself motivated?
Intrinsic Motivation- what is it?
In order to answer that question, let’s contract Intrinsic motivation with Extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is internal motivation, meaning it comes from within. Extrinsic motivation is external, like a reward or money.
Intrinsic rewards are the rewards that we give to our self, not the rewards we get from others. Intrinsic rewards are generally psychological rewards.
Intrinsic Motivation can be:
- Working to become competent, or really, really good at something. Being great at doing something feels good
- Pride that comes from accomplishment- lifting a 100 lb barbell, performing more than one chin up, doing 30 box jumps in a row, or whatever accomplishment you achieve that you are PROUD of, is an Intrinsic reward.
- Fun- having fun is it’s own reward. Love of the sport or workout is intrinsic motivation.
Let me ask you a question.
Let’s say you know two children who ice skate.
One child begged his mom for months for a pair of skates, and skating lessons, and mom finally agreed and now this child is at the skating rink twice a week, faithfully and would go every day if mom let her.
The other child never thought about ice skating, but her mom thought it would be nice for her to try, so she got her the skates and classes and now she is at the rink twice a week also.
Her mom promised her that grandma and dad will be so happy and proud to see her on the rink, and she wants’ to make her family happy, so she continues with her lessons.
Now which child is more MOTIVATED? And WHY?
The first child is more motivated because her motivation is powered intrinsically. She loves the sport.
Intrinsic motivators are longer lasting, studies show, then extrinsic motivation. So if you want to know the secret of how to motivate yourself to be healthy, look a cultivating your intrinsic motivations.
The Bottom Line:
It’s so, so, so, so simple. Find a sport or workout you LOVE to do. Don’t focus on which is “better” or make yourself run on the treadmill and lift weights, if you actually love Zumba and dance.
So what if the treadmill burns more calories? So what if weights build arm muscle and Zumba does not?
You won’t be burning any calories or building any muscle pretty soon if your motivation peters out and you stop going to the gym.
Intrinsic Motivation, people, It’s where it’s at!
What If you Are NOT motivated to workout?
How to motivate yourself to be healthy or how to motivate yourself to workout may be questions you are asking yourself.
How can you stay motivated?
- Whenever you don’t feel like hitting the gym or need to figure out how to motivate yourself to exercise at home, remember WHY you started. Then ask yourself if skipping your workout and vegging in front of the computer will get you to where you want to be. Here is a great article on the “Why”.
- Be a Man (or woman) with a plan! Plan your workout days, don’t be haphazard. Put them on your calendar, make a phone reminder etc. Refuse other events or engagements that interfere with the planned time. This is even more important when trying to figure out how to motivate yourself to exercise at home, because it is SOO easy to skip a home workout.
- You want to know how to motivate yourself to workout? Tell someone about your plan! Eg. If you exercise after work, tell your partner that you are heading o the gym after work. You will be less tempted to just skip it if you have to explain to someone else why you did not go.
- Whip up a pre-workout drink or shake, or even a coffee and drink it. You will feel pretty silly drinking it and then deciding not to go. It will seem like you wasted the drink.
- Start tracking some aspect of your workout. Maybe track how many days you have worked out, or what you ate, how much weight you have gained or lost, etc. Once you see the progress and results on paper, or a computer screen, you will feel motivated, and the practice will become habit.
Mastering self motivation is the KEY to the good life. No one else can do it for you, You must own it and take responsibility for the only person you truly have control over, – yourself.
You must find what drives you. Notice those two words- Find and master.
They are verbs, action words. That means you must act on order to stay motivated. You must FIND what motivates you and become a MASTER at harnessing motivation, don’t just say “I’m not motivated to work out.”
It’s all you.
What Is your favorite fitness motivation or workout motivation?
Share a pic with us on instagram Garage Gym Power or Facebook, or leave a not in the comments below.