HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED & STICK TO WORKOUT PLANS
I am not a morning person. I know that if exercise means less time in bed, I will hit the snooze button. I just know that about myself, especially if it’s dark and cold outside. But when have you ever felt worse after a workout? You never regret doing exercise, but you always regret skipping a session. It obviously makes you feel better, so why is it so hard to fit exercise into your routine?
Roughly 12% of people sign up to the gym after Christmas and within eight weeks, most of those have quit. If you’re finding it hard to motivate yourself, at least you’re not alone.
But if you get out of that rut, things get so much easier. To help you beat some of those ‘I can’t be bothered’, ‘I’m too busy’ and ‘I’ve had a really bad day’ gremlins, here are some tips to stay motivated after you create a workout plan; because it always make you feel, sleep and look so much better.
1. Know Yourself
If you know you are better in the morning than the evening, create a workout plan for the morning. It sounds simple. But don’t set yourself up for failure from the start, or staying motivated will be that much harder and your workout plans will fall by the wayside.
2. Get it in the diary
Schedule your workout plans into your planner or digital calendar like a meeting. Or, set alerts on your mobile phone. If you do that, you will be less likely to conveniently ‘forget’ about it.
3. Look the part, and feeling the part will follow
Chuck away that baggy t-shirt and those smelly shorts. Buy yourself some running apparel and some new trail running shoes that will make you look and feel good, and you'll be more likely to want to get into it. And once you’re in it, you’re halfway there. There’s no turning back.
4. Fit running into your routine
Create a workout plan around other activities you have to do. I used to plan all of my exercise around getting places. So I would cycle to and from work, run to do errands or teach someone else yoga. Then you don’t spend the whole workout battling with your mind on when to start heading home. I used to leave my train tickets and wallet at home whenever I could so I had no other way of getting home than to run it!
5. Find a buddy to keep each other motivated
Find a partner. I have someone I do boot camp training with. We make each other go, even when it’s dark and pouring rain. You also get to know the people in your group so it’s obvious when you skip a class. Running groups have the same purpose. So join different groups and mix up your exercise. This will give you a varied workout and lots of different people keeping an eye on your attendance record.
6. Get the perfect running music mix
I used to say “I’m not made for running,” but once I'd decided that the gym wasn't for me, I forced myself to run. To do this I needed something more, and music really helped me get into it. Nowadays I prefer running without, but music can seriously help you get you out there and keep you going when you are feeling tired.
Most of all, though:
7. Be realistic with your workout plans
Sign up to one thing at a time – and make it attainable. Trying to train for a marathon in a month can leave you feeling defeated – and in pain. Create a workout plan to meet your goals. Find a buddy. Get your gear on. Put your music in. And go. These tips to stay motivated will help you stick to your workout plans, but the most important thing is to just ignore excuses and go. Go before your brain tells you not to. You will never ever regret it.