July 16, 2020
You’ve tried working out before – maybe once, maybe twice, or maybe a million times. The first few days, you always feel brimming with energy, so much so that you may even go a bit overboard… but it’s all good! You want to do this! You’ll keep at it, and this time, you promise yourself you’ll stick to it.
And then you don’t.
Does this sound familiar? Losing motivation as weeks go by is super normal, but just because that’s the case, it doesn’t mean you have to take it. It can be difficult at first to stick to a certain exercise regime, but there’s definitely stuff you can do to make it easier. As a certified personal trainer, and after having helped so many people throughout their workout journeys, here’s what I found are the keys to keeping you motivated:
And then you don’t.
If I had a dollar for every time people have told me “I’ll start working out on Monday”, you wouldn’t believe how rich I’d be. Here’s the truth – starting on Monday, Wednesday, or even Saturday afternoon won’t make any difference on the long run. If you’re thinking about exercising more, then this is for sure the best moment to start. Grab a pair of sneakers and comfortable clothes and start your workout: you can check out my Instagram page for some great workout ideas, go out for a run, anything you’d like. And if that is physically impossible right now (and you better not be making excuses here!), schedule yourself a class with a trainer so that you know you’ll do it later. Bonus points if you sign up with a friend! Which brings me to…
Training with someone can be a great way to make sure you don’t miss a workout on those days that you’re feeling really lazy. Don’t pretend they won’t happen – they will! The key here is having a strategy on how to make sure that you’re still putting yourself and your health first and you keep on rocking those workouts. Training with a friend or a group of friends can make exercise fun, build friendships, and create great memories. Setting a goal like training for a marathon or a competition together can also be a great way to add structure to your workouts and keep you focused!
Training with other people can have an additional advantage: connecting you with your inner competitive self to boost your performance. Whether it’s to best someone’s speed when going for a run or to be able to pull off more reps than them when it comes to a specific exercise, training with someone with a slightly better performance than yours can drive you to improve your own personal results.
Just remember – each person’s path is their own! Let competition be something that drives you, but know that ultimately, the only person you need to prove something to is yourself. As long as you keep giving it your all, you’re doing amazing!
I mentioned structure before, and that’s because it’s absolutely key. “I can’t do it right now, but I’ll for sure do it in a few hours” – we’ve all heard that before. Sometimes it may be true, and you may get to it in a few hours… but more often than not, that’s not the case. Just like you set time apart to work, to go the doctor, pay your bills, you name it, you have to set time apart to workout – and it needs to be just as important.
Pick one, two, three days where you have between 45 to 90 minutes to workout. Be reasonable: you’re super excited to start right now, but you need to be honest with yourself about what you think you’ll be able to keep on doing on the long run. Once that’s done, chose certain days of the week and certain hours, and consider that time sacred. Call it what you want: “Gym time,” “Me time,” “Winning,” “Don’t quit on me,” “Time to build the booty”… you name it. Now go, and start making yourself your own priority.
Why are you working out? What’s different today from how things were yesterday? What’s pushing you to be better?
You need to focus on why you’ve decided you needed to do this, and these reasons must be 100% related just to yourself. If you’re working out for someone else, you’ll ultimately quit. I’ve heard it before – “My doctor says I need to workout”. That may be true, but under that framing, working out seems like a tedious obligation. You’re not exercising because your doctor believes you need to do it – you’re doing it because you want to feel better with yourself and about yourself. You crave feeling more energized to do whatever you’d like with your body. You want to be able to go for long walks with your partner. You want to run around with your child and not feel tired after 10 minutes. You want to do things and experience life to the fullest – and that’s the ultimate goal.
Think long and hard about what’s pushing you to do this and write your goals down. Place them somewhere you can see them or just remember them, that’s up to you. But whenever you want to quit, think about these goals and remember why you’re doing this. There’s no way you’ll want to give up now!
Yes, things will get hard. Yes, some days you’ll feel tired, you’ll want to give up, you’ll want to eat junk food and make it all go away. Congratulations, you’re normal. Take a second. Breathe, deep inhale, big exhale. It’s all good – even if you didn’t do your best today, you’ll start again tomorrow. Remember, profound change doesn’t happen through short bursts of energy, but by keeping yourself accountable and continuing to try every day. If you continue choosing yourself and putting yourself, your health, and your energy first, you’ll see your body and mind transform before your eyes!