What is the best workout motivation ever? Everyone looking to make exercise a habit has asked this question. I may not be the fittest person or have the most knowledge about exercising, but I can say that I have worked out on a regular basis for about eight years now. I have known many friends who started workout routines and even had positive results, but then… we all know how it goes. You just lose motivation, you can’t keep it up forever. So what is the secret?
Wear Flattering Workout Clothes
Even if you are exercising alone, I believe it is important to feel attractive in your workout clothes! This doesn’t mean you have to go on a big shopping spree. If you are new to working out, then try buying just one outfit (you can probably get away with washing it just once a week). You can even go to discount and thrift stores; that’s where I find most of my workout clothes!
Set Your Workout Outfit in a Visible Place
If you set your workout clothes in a place where you will see them, such as next to your bed, this is what will happen:
1) You will see the clothes and get excited to put them on (because you look so sexy in them).
2) You will have no choice but to either put the clothes back in the closet, leave them in that visible spot, or WEAR THEM!
Exercise Before You Shower… Every Day, No Matter What!
The more you work out, the more you are motivated to work out.
Showering is something you do every day. What if you told yourself, “I don’t get to shower unless I work out.” How often would you work out? This may be my best tip so far, because YOU get to decide what counts as a workout. The reason this works to motivate you is because even if you only whip out 20 pushups in two minutes, you still get to check “work out” off of your to-do list.
Quality is better than quantity when it comes to exercising, anyway. When you know you only have ten minutes, you may be more likely to work your butt off in those ten minutes. Many people have the issue of not having time to exercise, and I have been in that boat too, which is why I give this next tip.
Have Backup Workouts That are Shorter For When You Are Too Sore or Have Less Time
I feel that a workout is most effective if it is at least 20 minutes long, but it is important not to have an “all or nothing” mentality. This mentality will only make you skip workouts, and skipping workouts drains your motivation. If you don’t have 20 minutes, even 5 minutes is better than nothing.
5 and 10 minute workouts are easy to create yourself by putting together sequences of pushups, squats, lunges, planks and other exercises. If you don’t feel like you have a good exercise knowledge base, there are TONS of free workouts on the internet.
Plan Your Workouts in a Planner, Notebook, App or Checklist
Without a daily plan for your workouts, you might end up being guilty of only doing a 5 minute workout every day. (This was totally me at one point.) For example, if you would like to have more visible abs, make sure you are incorporating enough ab exercises and workouts into your routine.
This is one tip I haven’t mastered until recently. Unless you are following a specific workout program or routine, it can be easy to lose track of when you did which workout and when you should do this or that one. Previously I tried writing down a schedule of workouts in a plain notebook, but I was not able to find consistency that way.
Anything could work, but I suggest a planner that has a spot for goals. Write down your fitness goals, then the workouts you plan to do to achieve your goals. Make sure there is a place to make a checkmark after you’ve done the scheduled workout. This has been great motivation for me because I can look back in my planner and see all the workouts I’ve accomplished and prepare future exercise schedules.
Track and Celebrate Your Improvements
Make sure you document things like:
- Finishing an exercise program
- Reaching a goal such as losing a body fat percentange
- Finally doing a certain workout without taking breaks
- Your first week not missing a day of working out
Recognizing these accomplishments will help push you forward to keep doing the same! Looking at a written form of your progress can also be helpful when you are feeling discouraged about reaching your goals. You will be able to look at all the written evidence of your hard work and know you are capable of hard things.
Did you finally get those visible abs? Well then… Treat yo’self!! Buy a new workout top, take yourself to dinner, convince your spouse to give you a massage, vegetate on the couch for a couple hours reading your favorite book. You deserve it.
Following these tips has helped me work out consistently even as a very busy person. I have been able to work out 3-5 times a week as:
- A full time CNA (nursing assistant) working swing shift
- A full time nursing student with part time work
- A full time nurse working both graves and days
- A mom (as of now!)
I have had every schedule under the sun, and it would have been very difficult if I had not found some way to stay motivated to exercise. This just shows you that it is never a “bad time” to start incorporating fitness into your life. The less time you have to work out, the more you need it in your life.
Notice that I did not include the tip, “Get a workout buddy.” Having an exercise partner can offer you plenty of motivation, and you can learn a lot from having a knowledgable partner. Get a workout buddy, just don’t depend on that workout buddy. Over time it’s not good for longterm motivation. You need to be able to work out on your own, because you never know when your schedule or other people’s schedules could change.