How To Stay Motivated To Workout Daily
Di Westaway | Chief Adventure Chick at Wild Women On Top
Briiiiiiing. The alarm wakes me. Eugh. Already? It feels like only seconds ago my head hit the pillow.
I press snooze then remember what motivated my early alarm. Oh… a sunrise walk. But it’s dark, freezing and rainy outside. Damn… Just a few more minutes in heaven.
The phone barks again. I decide to commit to sleep therapy instead as I turn it off, slide deeper under my doona and escape back to my dreams.
An hour later I wake in a panic, late. I fly into the shower, grab a coffee and rush to the office, feeling grumpy and sluggish.
And then I beat myself up for not doing the one thing that will make me feel happy, healthy and energised for the whole day.
If this sounds like you too, here are my top five tips to keep you motivated to work out daily.
1. Get a buddy.
Research shows that when you commit to a friend or a trainer it’s easier override the temptation to stay in bed or cancel your workout. You kill two birds with one stone when you make exercise social. So, book in a time with your partner, friend, fit-bit or dog. If you have arranged to meet a friend, you are much less likely to cancel. And you can plan the next workout together.
2. Get a routine.
Pick a workout routine, put it in your diary and do it for 21 days. This will get you into a habit. Choose a time and location each day that works around your usual schedule. Treat this as an unbreakable commitment and work other commitments around it.
3. Love what you do.
There is no point trying to drag yourself out for a run, to the gym or a swim if you dread it all week and hate doing it. Find an activity that you love doing. Think outside the box. If you don’t like the gym, try walking, hiking, bike riding, yoga, meditation, Pilates, kayaking, dancing, Zumba, skating, skate boarding, barre body, hiking, swimming or netball. The gym is great when you’re injured or if you need specific strength and conditioning exercises for a specific weakness, but there’s lots of other activities that might be more fun for you. Better to walk every day than pay for a gym membership you only use once.
4. Get a goal.
This is crucial. When you have a goal, you are much more likely to ditch the excuses and get to training, every single day. A written goal, particularly one which involves a financial commitment, will provide you with extra motivation to get out there and do it. But you have to be excited by the goal. It has to be something you want to share with your friends and feel enthusiastic about, like a fun run, an adventure race, or a team hiking challenge. A mini daily goal like 10,000 steps a day is good, but having a big goal like Everest Base Camp with your buddy is better. Then you can break it down into mini goals and micro goals of daily chunks.
5. Get a purpose.
If your goal involves a higher purpose which you share with the community it goes to another level of stickiness. If you’re supporting a charity or if you’re part of a team with a community commitment, you’re more likely to commit when the going gets tough. For example, if you’re training for a charity challenge like running to cure cancer or trekking to restore sight, you’ll feel another level of accountability to both your team and the charity. This higher purpose motivates you to keep focused on the goal, which makes you do the training when your mates invite you to the pub.