It’s 6AM and the alarm clock beside you is blaring. You can’t muster up the strength to get out of your warm, cozy blanket cocoon, let alone throw your work out gear on. I know. I’ve been there. Whether you’re an early endorphin fiend or prefer to get your fix in the evening, here are some tips to help you stay motivated and on your game.
Schedule your work outs: You wouldn’t ditch a friend for Netflix if you made plans to hang out with them, so treat your gym session the same way. Rather than finding time in your busy day to get some activity in, make time. Schedule at least an hour into your phone or email calendar and set a 15-minute reminder to pop up before your time slot is set to start. I find it’s also helpful to keep a fully stocked gym bag with me at all times. I don’t carry it around while I’m at work or walking through the mall, but I do leave it in the back of my Jeep. Knowing it’s always there discourages me from making excuses; I can just throw on my gear and go.
Recruit a friend: In the same way you’d schedule a workout into your day, schedule one with a friend to help you get ‘er done. A great bonus to working out with a friend is you’ll undoubtedly have a healthy dose of friendly competition to motivate you. A friend to meet at the gym means you’ll always have someone to keep you accountable if you toy with the idea of not going, and it’s always helpful to have someone there beside you motivating you to run faster, push out two more, one more rep, or hold that plank for fifteen seconds longer. Tough love kinda works!
Create a new playlist: This is a tried and true method to motivate yourself in the gym. Good music makes you want to get up and move. , One thing I’ve learned (and it is an obvious one, folks) is that if you listen to your new, awesome playlist a thousand times in your car, the idea becomes less effective. Lesson? Save your pump up tunes for your workout so they won’t get stale. My personal recommendations: the whole Magna Carta…Holy Grail album by my man Jay Z, Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, and I Love It by Icona Pop.
Buy some new gear: Let me tell you, this was my motivation for going on run number two on Monday. Why did I do this to myself, you ask? I bought the new Mizuno Wave Sayonaras and they motivated me to get back in the gym and take them for a spin. Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, a fun coloured top, or a pair of shorts, I firmly believe fresh new gear puts you in the mood to work out. Besides, it’s an excellent excuse to go shopping!
Set a goal: A big motivator for me is signing up for a new race. When my parents signed me up for my first half marathon, I thought I was going to die (or at least crawl over the finish line). My anxiety actually pushed me to become stronger—I focused on training, and because I didn’t want to be the last one crossing the finish line, stayed dedicated to my workouts. Whether your goal is to run a road race, hold a plank for X amount of seconds/minutes (hours!?), or curl a set of 50lbs dumbbells, having a goal in mind will motivate you to achieve it.
If having a specific goal seems intimidating, try to be a little more general with your plan. You made a goal for yourself to run 20 minutes on the treadmill. You only made it to 16.34. Don’t make yourself feel bad! Pat yourself on the back for trying, then alter your goal to be “somewhere between 15-20 minutes.” By being flexible with your targets, you’ll feel even more motivated to continue on your fitness quest.
And once you reach a point where you can meet your goal and experience the euphoria that comes with accomplishment, it will motivate you to set another one. It’s contagious!
What do you do to stay motivated? Do you have any pump up songs that keep you on top of things? Follow us on 8tracks and stay tuned for The Runner’s playlist.