Find yourself skipping exercise on a regular basis?
When your weeks are jam packed with uni or work, catching up with friends, walking the dog, revising, watching Gogglebox, food shopping, checking Facebook, etc, etc. Exercise is usually the first thing to drop off your radar.
Plus let’s face it, you’ve got to be a bit wacko if you wake up every morning raring to go for a workout. Most of us have to drag ourselves to the gym doorstep.
We all know that it’s important to get regular exercise but it’s always that thing that ‘future you’ will start doing next week (or maybe the week after).
Well, not any more… it’s time to stop making excuses.
These self-motivation tips are aimed at tricking, guilting and pretty much puppy training you into working out.
Whatever works right?!!
1. Make the time
And spend it wisely.
Try swapping some TV watching or cutting down on some guilty pleasures *cough* Facebook stalking *cough*. You’ll be amazed how much time it’ll free up.
If you’re all for getting things over and done with, set your alarm half an hour earlier to make time for a morning workout. You could even put your gym gear right next to the bed so you pretty much have to stumble over it (and hopefully into it) when you wake up. Or the other option is…
2. Little and often (if you can)
Start doing something every day, and it’ll soon begin to feel like second nature.
If your aim is to get at least two hours of exercise a week – that works out at less than 20 minutes a day. I mean c’mon, some people spend longer choosing funny hashtags.
But seriously, starting small with a tiny habit isn’t just easier to fit into your day, it’s also easier to build up into a more substantial habit. But even if it’s just 20 minutes a day you manage, that’s still over two hour’s exercise that you wouldn’t normally have done come the end of the week.
3. Think positive
Trick yourself into action by thinking about an instant benefit of your workout.
For example, try imagining the cool air and sunshine on your morning run. Or try to focus on that “I-feel-freaking-amazing” rush you’ll get after working out. Thanks endorphins!
4. Pencil it in
Physically write it down. And write it somewhere that you’ll see it every day. It could be in your organiser, scheduled email reminders, in a fitness app or even on your fridge.
Having that in-your-face reminder will keep your (20 minute) workout top of mind. And again, making it part of your schedule will help to cement exercising as part of your daily or weekly routine.
5. Tick it off
Then when you’ve actually done the deed, you can tick it off.
Wherever you have it written down, cross it off your to-do list. Enjoy scribbling it out in your organiser, clicking ‘done’ in your app, or tallying up your workouts on your fridge.
It feels good to achieve what you’ve set out to do that day or week. Go you!
6. Tell people
Don’t do it for yourself, do it for others. Sounds weird huh?
Instead of promising yourself you’ll do something – ‘cause let’s be honest, we break those ones all the time – promise someone else you’ll do it. That way, when they call you up on it, the last thing you’ll want to do is admit that you haven’t worked out ALL week.
You could even take it a step further and actually have someone rely on you to turn up for workouts. Get yourself a workout buddy, and the guilt of leaving them hanging is sure to get you out the door.
7. Reward yourself
This doesn’t mean go and buy a double cheeseburger after your gym session. As great as that would be.
Instead whip yourself up a super-healthy smoothie or put your feet up and watch an episode of GoT.
Having something tangible to look forward to after your workout (not just one day having washboard abs) is a lot more of an effective incentive to sweat it out.
So now over to you…
Try them all, or try just one or two.
Hopefully you’ll find that at least one of these tips will take the edge off exercising and help turn working out from a horrendous, I’d-actually-rather-be-studying chore into something that’s just simply part of your routine.
Got your own tips to share? Let us know in the comments what works for you and put them out there for others to try.
Flickr Creative Commons Image via Matt_Weibo.
Flickr Creative Commons Image via Arya Ziai.
Flickr Creative Commons Image via Jason Devaun.
Flickr Creative Commons Image via Emily Carlin.