10 powerful ways to motivate yourself to exercise
Chances are, due to this coronavirus lockdown, your motivation to exercise at home is lower than your motivation to exercise at the gym. At home you get distracted, others interrupt you, a program on TV takes your attention away. And there are plenty of other concussions that get in the way.
Then what do you do?
How to avoid those interruptions? How can you motivate yourself to exercise regularly and correctly?
The key question to ask yourself is: How badly do you want to achieve your health and fitness goal?
Getting motivated to exercise is simple. Answer that question. Think about it with focused intensity. See in your mind the goal you want to achieve and reiterate your goal and, more importantly, reiterate why you want to achieve that goal.
What is WHY you want to be fit and healthy?
What do you want to be fit and healthy for?
The WHY has all the power to go after your goal until you achieve it, even if you are exercising from home in this confinement situation.
How much you want your goal determines the strength of your motivation.
It is that force that will motivate you and firmly drive you to accomplish your goal regardless of any challenge, setback, opposition, confrontation, distraction, interruption, diversion, or anything else.
How to stay motivated will no longer be a problem!
I remember a friend who set a goal that he was extremely excited about. He talked for days and days about that goal; what it meant to him and how he really wanted to achieve it in six months at the most.
A couple of months later, my friend Bill took me aside. I could see that he felt miserable and downcast. He went on to tell me how disappointed he was that his goal hadn’t materialized.
“Target! What target?” was my honest answer. I had forgotten everything. It wasn’t what Bill wanted to hear.
“You know, my goal is to get a toned, sculpted beach body,” Bill reminded me, a deep sense of defeat and frustration ringing in his voice.
“Oh that. I thought you were kidding. We all thought you changed your mind because we don’t see you going to the gym anymore,” I replied, maybe a little sarcastically.
So what happened here? What happened to Bill’s record? Where is his motivation?
At first, Bill was excited about his new goal of having a firm and toned beach body, as he put it. He was full of motivation and determination to achieve that goal. “I’ll get it no matter what” were his last words to me. Hmm.
I was constantly going to the gym four or five days a week. He would drink his protein shakes, his supplements, and always ask the personal trainers questions about his program and training routine.
He was pleased with his progress.
However, by the third month, he started going to the gym twice a week, and halfway through that third month, he started going to the gym once a week.
Her dilemma was that she couldn’t understand why her motivation to go to the gum and exercise had dropped to once a week by the middle of the third month.
“In the beginning, I was so full of enthusiasm and motivation. I felt like nothing could stop me,” he explained, feeling very confused.
So what went wrong? Where did his incredible and unstoppable motivation go?
After careful examination, it emerged that Bill had lost his motivation because he wasn’t passionate about being toned.
She really didn’t care too much about having that beach body. In fact, she used to laugh at people with beach bodies whenever she saw one on vacation.
Interesting point, huh? You see where this is going?
His goal was merely a passing ‘wish’.
In other words, he didn’t want to be toned enough. If he did, if he was passionate about it, he would have continued with his exercise routine no matter what challenges he faced.
Bill was torn between two thoughts.
The first said: “Yes, I would like to have a toned beach body.” But his second contradictory thought argued, “Sure, but you could go through life without it. You laugh at people who have a perfectly toned beach body, now you want one? Come on!”
And who won?
His contradictory thinking had the upper hand.
You see, Bill would have “liked” the toned body, but he didn’t turn that desire into a solid goal.
The idea of the toned body remained at that, an idea or a wish. As such, his once powerful motivation had weakened until he was no longer there.
If I had made it a goal, a solid goal, I would have pursued it. He would have been motivated to pursue that goal no matter how tired or busy he was.
After all, it was his goal. And goals are meant to be achieved.
Passion ignites the drive from deep within to keep you motivated to achieve all kinds of goals.
Passion provides the fuel to keep you in a highly motivated state of mind.
Once you discover what you’re passionate about, once you discover WHY you want to be healthy and fit, getting motivated to exercise will become a simple matter of getting up and going no matter what.
Your motivation to remain persistent, regardless of setbacks and obstacles, will be unstoppably strong.
Now, in this lockdown situation we’re all facing, I’ve included below 10 powerful ways you can use to motivate yourself to exercise – over time, your motivation will increase regardless of distractions or interruptions.
Motivation drives you to take consistent daily action to achieve and live your goal.
The 10 powerful ways on how to stay motivated are listed below. All you have to do is modify your strategy:
1. Plan your health and fitness goal once again
Now that you’re in lockdown mode, just because you have a goal doesn’t mean you can achieve it. Your mind is too focused on this break from going to the gym. Being frustrated and continually asking yourself, “How can I stay motivated with all these interruptions around me? How can I stay motivated without being around others who are also exercising?” and a host of other similar questions will inevitably head in the wrong direction.
As we saw with Bill, you must have a clear and concise objective without conflicts.
Simply wishing you had a certain body type will not help.
Simply wanting to lose weight will not help.
Simply wanting to run the marathon will not help.
Exercising has much more to do with the thrill of achieving a complete and well-rounded physical state.
That is a great goal to live for; at least for now while working out at home and not in the gym.
So what workout plan can you follow at home? Jumping Jacks, Planks, Tricep Dips using a stable chair? Think about it and come up with a plan. It doesn’t have to be set in stone; adjust it over time until you finally come up with a plan that makes you happy.
You may face ‘distractions at home’. Arrange with the people around you a schedule without interruptions while you train. Ask them to respect your training time.
2. Focus on the thrill of exercise, not just exercise
A powerful way to stay motivated to exercise is to focus on the excitement and happiness that exercise will bring.
Endure the discomfort of exercising at home by seeing the end result; remembering WHY you are exercising in the first place.
And an even more powerful emotional booster is looking in the mirror after your workout.
Look and feel how good you look. This is a great motivation booster.
3. Reward yourself:
When you used to work out at the gym, did you reward yourself for doing such a good workout? If not, you should have.
Now that you’re working out from home, it’s even more important to reward yourself after every workout.
Create a list of rewards.
4. Stick to the plan that works for you
As we mentioned in step one, planning is important. Now, sticking to the final plan is crucial to your physical success.
If your motivation to exercise has waned, and it may at times, this is where discipline and your big WHY come into play.
Let discipline motivate you to exercise.
Let the big WHY be your powerful ‘shoulder talk’; that he urges you to stay motivated. This ‘talk on your shoulder’ guides you on how to stay motivated during your workout.
And throughout the lockdown.
5.Quality over quantity
This is the key. The fact that you are at home and not in a gym does not mean that the quality of your training should be affected.
Don’t compromise and settle for less.
Don’t risk what you’ve already earned.
It is true that you may need to adjust your training at home. Sure, getting motivated to exercise can be a problem (at first). It is true that the quality of your training can take a slight hit.
If so, find a way around it to get as much quality back as you can from each training session and go through each session with full determination and dedication.
It’s about quality and not quantity.
6. Set training milestones at home
Break your ultimate goal down into small achievable milestones. You can do this every week if you want. If, at the gym, your goal was to do 100 push-ups and you find it difficult to do at home for whatever reason, break it down into achievable milestones by performing the number you can do at home and work your way up to 100.
Start with small steps to see what you can and can’t do and build up gradually.
This will certainly keep you motivated.
7. Get yourself a training partner
How to consistently stay motivated can be a struggle from time to time. If that happens to you, consider finding a training partner; someone who will work with you and help you stay motivated, and you can also encourage and motivate him.
What a wonderful win-win trade.
8. Music keeps you active
If finding a workout partner is a challenge for you, or if that person can’t be there for you as often as you’d like (even on Facetime), recruit your other workout partner: your music playlist.
For many, listening to music can powerfully motivate them to exercise.
You are one of them?
If not, consider that method.
You may be pleasantly surprised at how listening to your favorite music can energize you; where he will be motivated and where he can stay motivated to exercise.
And for some, they train even longer and harder thanks to the strong beats of the songs they love.
9. A fantastic distraction that you will enjoy
While we wrap this up, here’s one particular diversion that I think you’ll like. Do all or part of your workout while watching your favorite TV show.
This will be a nice distraction that will take your mind off the unpleasantness of working out at home and not at the gym.
It could be a huge distraction if your cardio routine is ‘boring’ at home. This distraction will nullify the boredom, don’t you think?
Make it a point to celebrate your success. You could celebrate each completion of training. You could celebrate reaching each milestone. You could celebrate each week of dedicated exercise.
Celebrate that you’re actually working out at home in the first place and didn’t quit now that gyms are closed.
Create a list of reasons to celebrate and enjoy each celebration.
There you go. Those were 10 powerful ways to get motivated to exercise and how to stay motivated during this lockdown.
Let me end with a quote from Zig Ziglar: People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, bathing isn’t either, that’s why we recommend it daily.