Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. As of last week, I’m officially back to working out and getting in shape again. I am so excited to be starting this journey to a healthy lifestyle. This happened to be one of my New Year’s resolutions this year and it only took me 9 months to get working on it. Better late than never, I guess! I’m sure I’m not the only one who is a little late to their New Year’s goals.
The most challenging part about going back to the gym was finding my fitness motivation to do it. Going to the gym doesn’t always sound fun so it took a lot for me to get myself to actually go and then continue to go after that. It can sometimes be challenging to turn it into a habit so that you’re consistently going without it being a big deal. After just four trips to the gym, I’m now completely hooked on working out. I actually look forward to going now. Being that this year has been incredibly challenging for us, getting my mental and physical health under control is so important at this point. I’m already seeing improvements now that I’m back at my workouts. So today I thought I’d share some of the many ways I keep myself motivated to keep going back every day.
1. Pack your gym bag the night before.
Packing your gym bag can easily feel like a chore sometimes. You have to find your work out clothing, sneakers, your water bottle, a towel, shower supplies if you’re showering at the gym, etc. etc. etc. No one wants to wake up in the morning and have to pack a gym bag and most times, this extra step can easily convince you not to go at all. It’s just “too much work” at that point. So I always have my gym bag packed and ready to go. Everything I need is in there at all times so I can easily pick it up and walk out the door with it at any time without having to worry about stopping to pack it. It’s one less excuse for me to not work out!
2. Put on your work out clothes.
Sometimes I even go as far as wearing my work out clothes to bed at night. Which works well considering they’re super comfortable. This works great if I have to go to the gym first thing in the morning or am wanting to get up early to go (I’m also not a morning person either so that’s yet another excuse not to go in the mornings). Since I’m already dressed and ready to go, this leaves me with zero excuses when I wake up in the morning. And my gym bag is already packed and by the door. So all I have to do at that point is drive myself to the gym! Easy, right?
3. Create an awesome work out playlist.
I will never understand people at the gym who are working out in silence. I just couldn’t do it. I need my music. So I just created the best work out playlist ever on the Spotify app on my iPhone and update it on a weekly basis so that I’m not constantly listening to the same 10 songs over and over again (although I do have my favorites that I end up listening to on repeat…don’t judge me). I actually have two playlists: one for cardio and one for just general working out. For my cardio, I desperately need songs that are super upbeat. I just cannot stand running so this playlist is crucial to my cardio success. The second playlist is also full of upbeat, motivational music, but it’s not always as fast paced. It’s a good mix. So find a playlist that works for you!
4. Find a work out buddy.
Having work out buddies has helped me a lot in finding my fitness motivation. First, I have my friends Amanda and Kyle who go to the gym with me. They both work out a lot so I can always count on them to go consistently and challenge me to push myself. Amanda essentially prevents me from cheating at my work out. Then I have Zack who is also working out a lot right now in Japan as well. Knowing that he’s making the effort to work out more, motivates me to do the same. It’s like we’re working towards a common goal (healthy living) together even though we’re thousands of miles apart. We check in with each other each day and recap our workouts and I can always count on him to push me further and cheer me on at the same time. It works perfectly!
5. Set goals.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or tone your body or just trying to get into better shape, it’s important to set some goals for yourself. My current end goal is to tone my stomach, legs, and butt. So then I also have smaller goals which help me reach that end goal. For example, with cardio, I’d love to be able to jog 2 miles without stopping. So for now, I’m working toward jogging for one mile. Then I’ll increase it gradually until I’m able to jog nonstop for the full 2 miles. It’s like breaking down my end goal into smaller, more achievable steps. These types of goals help motivate you to obtain your desired results!
6. Find a class that works for you.
Most gyms offer various fitness classes throughout the month. The Planet Fitness location that I go to doesn’t offer Zumba or Pilates or anything like that, but they do offer zone type of classes. One for abs, shoulders, back, chest, legs, etc. So if there’s a certain area of your body you want to work out, then there’s a class dedicated to it. If your gym or community offers other types of classes then don’t be afraid to try them out! Your work out doesn’t have to include the gym. It can be in the form of hiking, yoga, pilates, Zumba, etc. Whatever works for you and keeps you interested in staying in shape.
7. Find a gym that works for you.
When I decided I wanted to start working out again, I immediately went out and got a Planet Fitness membership. I didn’t even have to think about it. Planet Fitness can be found anywhere which was my original logic with choosing it. I wont have to find a new gym when we move again next summer because chances are, there will be multiple locations nearby wherever it is that we’re living at that point in time. I’ve been a member for a little over a week now and love it so far. My home location is always clean and everyone is super friendly and helpful. It works great for me and it really helps motivate me to go back the following day!
8. Buy some work out gear.
My first week back at the gym, I went out and got a gym bag along with some new sports bras to help motivate myself to continue going (don’t tell Zack). And it worked. All I wanted to do was wear my new clothes and show off my new bag. That alone, gave me a reason to go to the gym. I know it sounds girly and a little cheesy, but hey, it works! So why not use it to my advantage? I’d say to just set a budget on it each month that way you’re not using shopping as a way to motivate you every day. Maybe once a month is good.
9. We Download a helpful app + track your success.
The first app that was suggested to me was My Fitness Pal. It allows me to track my work outs as well as what I’m eating. I also use Fitness Buddy to help me find new work outs to try or machines to use at the gym to get the results I’m looking for. Endomondo is another great one along with Nike Training and SWORKIT. There are tons of apps out there that can help motivate you and keep yourself on track. So don’t be afraid to try out a few for a few days or weeks to find the one that works best for you.
10. Reward yourself.
Whenever you accomplish one of your goals, find a small way to reward yourself. You can buy yourself a nice top to show off your new arms or buy some new work out gear or get a manicure or whatever it is that you desire! Since I’m also eating better as well as working out more, I rewarded myself with a small cookie the other night. My only sweet in a week and a half. Surprisingly, I felt guilty for eating it and then felt more motivated to work it off the following day. Everyone’s rewards will be different based on who you are and what you consider a reward. Just be sure to keep the rewards under control!
What do you do to find your fitness motivation?