Fitness Motivation: Getting Started
Fitness motivation doesn't come easy for everyone, myself included, and it's especially hard to find when you’re coming off of a long streak of doing a whole lotta nothin’...been there, done that! I am not afraid to admit that I have fallen off the health and fitness bandwagon before; whether it’s a busy time in life, or you’re going through something heavy, or even if you’ve simply just lost all drive; I can sympathize with you... we've all been there! They say the hardest part is just getting started, and I couldn't agree more. It always seems like when I am in my “I’m over it” state of mind, I can always find an excuse why not to, and the longer I go without working out, the easier it is for me to continue postpone it- which is why my first tip is: start right now! Not on Monday, not tomorrow, right now!!! Fitness motivation has an accumulative effect!
The many times I've fallen into a fitness rut, I’ve found myself expressing that I want to get out of it, but each day would pass, and somehow I was no closer to getting back on track. If you could hear my voice, you'd hear the sarcasm in my tone when I say somehow, because even though I wanted to pretend like I had no idea why, the truth is I did and do know why... my mindset about it, poor prioritizing, and most importantly: no action... that's why.
Creating a plan is super important, but ultimately pointless if you don’t follow it up with action and make it a priority. Finding fitness motivation becomes easier when you decide to look at working out like you would any other daily habit. You have the power to create good habits, you're probably better at it than you think! For example: Most of us have created deep set self-care motivation (perhaps without even realizing it): we are motivated to avoid cavities, so we brush our teeth; we are motivated to feel clean and smell good, so we shower everyday. You have to start looking at working out in the same way, I want to be in optimal health, agile, and feel my best= so I workout.
Finding gratitude for the ability to even have the opportunity to move your body, as well as shifting your perspective from “I HAVE to workout” to “I GET to workout” is quite helpful too. Sounds simple enough, but trust me- I know, it can be really difficult… Just 5 months ago I too was struggling with getting back into a routine after a looooong hiatus; So if the ideas I listed above are just not cutting it, try implementing these 5 tips that helped me get back into the groove!
Tip #1: Write Down Your Goals // Make A Plan !
The first thing I did when I decided to fully commit to prioritizing fitness was write out my workouts and goals. I am old school when it comes to things like this and LOVE the act of putting pen to paper. Get yourself a journal, or simply print off a blank calendar and sort out your workouts- or do both like me! I feel like getting organized and knowing exactly what you are doing on what day takes the guessing work out of it and makes it less likely for you to veer off track. I also happen to think checking off your completed workouts feels AMAZING and now that I am a few months out I feel so proud looking at the weeks of checked off goals. To make yourself even more accountable, it can be helpful to set alarms on your phone and schedule your workouts into the calendar on your phone! Having specific goals can make it easier for you to commit, rather than having that vague mindset of “I’ll start tomorrow”.
Tip #2: Invest In Some Good NEW Shoes
If you are taking your fitness and health journey seriously, you've got to have the right tools to help you reach your goals, and you want to get there without any injuries too! I looked a lot online and in different stores, but ultimately I had to try out a few different pairs before I found some that really work for me. Most athletic stores will allow you to try the shoes out a few times, just ask to be sure! There is nothing worse than trying to workout when you're focused on your ill fitting shoes. Plus, it's fun to get new shoes because then you're excited to wear them, which is a great motivator to get to moving, because who wants to buy a pair of shoes just to have them sit in your closet collecting dust?
Tip #3: Join A Gym
This has proven to be one of the most effective ways for me to reignite my fitness motivation. I put off joining a gym for a long time for a few reasons, but the major reason I thought I didn't need to join a gym was because I could do all of the BBG workouts at home! I bought free weights, a mat, resistance bands, etc… I had everything I needed.. why join a gym? I couldn't see paying for a gym membership when I could easily do everything at home. I was also intimidated to even start working out at a gym since it had been so long since I had been in one (aside from the various group workout classes I was sporadically doing) But after weeks of me postponing, or half starting BBG 1.0 it hit me: I can't workout at home right now, I need to join a gym. I could not focus at home, there were too any other little tasks around the house nagging at me that would distract me. I didn't push myself very hard for whatever reason, I would start a circuit.. and then stop and lay there... like what?!
I checked out the gyms in my area, and mapped out the ones that were closest to me; I wanted to make sure that I could easily get there and that I would enjoy being there. I even asked friends where they went and why, I really did my research! I wanted to take the time before joining, covering all of my bases so there was no room for excuses later as to why I couldn't/didn't want to go once I joined. I found one I liked, bit the bullet and got a membership. And I am SO HAPPY I DID. Having a place I love to go to has made it so much easier for me to schedule in my workouts and create a routine. The energy of everyone else working out gets me hyped. I push myself harder just in case anyone is watching me (that sounds funny to admit but it's true!) even though no one else knows when my workout begins or ends. Also knowing I am paying for it makes me NOT want to miss a workout because that means loosing money...and who likes that? Not me!
Tip #4: "Do The Hard Things First"
Something that REALLY helped me get back on track and has absolutely kept me going is putting my workouts FIRST. Numero Uno priority. Before committing to a schedule and plan, I would wake up in the morning and say "ok, today is the day, I am going to workout and get back on track" but then the day would come and go, I would do a bunch of other stuff, and before I knew it, it was time for bed and no working out had been done… how convenient, right? If you know you tend to fill up your day with other tasks, or if you end up skipping the gym after work because you're too tired then you’ve got to outsmart your old habits. Set yourself up for success and "do the hard things first": get the workout done first!
Tip #5: Treat Yourself
When you are in a rut, sometimes you just need a little some-something to jump start that fitness motivation and excite you a little :) A great way to look forward to getting back into the gym is buying some new clothes or workout accessories! If you can’t afford a whole new outfit, even something as simple as some new headphones (I treated myself to wireless headphones FINALLY! I actually got a great pair on Amazon for only $30!!) or even a cute water bottle can still do the trick! I also love the idea of rewarding yourself as you go- so maybe at your 4, 8, and 12 week mark you treat yourself to a new outfit! And since this is a lifetime commitment, that means a new outfit every month! Wooohooo ;)
I really do hope these tips help you as much as they helped me! And know that YOU CAN DO THIS!! We are in this together! Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions, or if you have any tips of your own that you would like to share! I love hearing from my readers!! You can also follow me on Instagram @shaylaquinn as I share even more of my tips and tricks on the daily! Ok, now go out there and get started!!