Happens to everyone
We’ve all been there. You’re sound asleep when the 6:30 am alarm you set the night before starts blazing. You had decided to start working out. Today was going to be the day. You had your clothing set out, your meal plan written down and prepped, shoes near the door, and even went to bed a bit earlier so you would be well rested when you set of on your journey to build yourself.
All the plans you had to get up and put in a good workout before work suddenly vanish as you realize how warm and comfortable your bed is. Just a few more minutes, you think, so you hit the snooze button. Next thing you know, the alarm is blaring again and you have to walk out the door in 20 minutes. There goes the opportunity. You have to bring your kids to practice or hit up a night class after work before heading out with friends for a night on the town. “I’ll start next week.”
Goals don’t materialize
You want to live a healthier life, get in shape, trim down/bulk up, or just feel all around better. Maybe you are already in shape, but you want to get better, change things up, switch up your goals. You want to build your body the way you want it to be built, but you keep failing to actually make any progress.
It’s not that you don’t want to get fit. Its that no matter what you do you just can’t seem to find the motivation or time to stick with it. Life doesn’t always have to be that way. You can build yourself into exactly what you want, and it isn’t as hard as you think (albeit, the journey might not exactly be a cakewalk for some).
Social media doesn’t always help
If you are fond of social media, you will be flooded with post after post of insanely fit people while scrolling through sites like Instagram these days; usually showing off their daily workouts and meal preps. You wonder where they get all of the motivation, time, and energy in today’s world. Honestly, some of them are sponsored. It’s their livelihood and they are paid to post things that catch your eye, but that’s not necessarily true across the board.
In my opinion, social media plays a huge role in negatively shaping our expectations of reality these days. While ‘they’ seemingly wake up with perfectly done hair and a flat stomach, most of us have to yank ourselves out of bed and work out when we can.
Our diets are often lacking, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can build ‘you’ just as they can build themselves. You just need to build a plan, create actionable and obtainable goals, and then motivate yourself to see them through.
Truth is, everybody has low motivation days where they would rather lay in bed than go to the gym. Where motivation fails, habit becomes key. People don’t get themselves to the gym every day because they’ve discovered some secret motivational key they’re hiding all for themselves. People get to the gym because the gym is so ingrained in their daily routine that it doesn’t take a huge motivational burst to go there. It’s just another Tuesday.
Maybe your motivation is that you remember how much less sick you got when you are younger and know that your fitness level plays a part.
Perhaps, you want to be more active so you have more energy to play with your children and stick around in their lives longer in a way that allows you to do things with them you can’t from your couch.
No matter what the reason is, if it motivates you, use it for your advantage. Find a good reason to get yourself to the gym and think about it every time you want to give up.
Ok, but how do *I* do that?
If you want to be successful at anything in life, you have to start with a goal. Figure out what you want to do, create a plan to accomplish that goal, and set out to crush that goal. Repeat. The same can be said about your own fitness journey.
So how do you make working out part of your daily routine? Start by scheduling the same time every day of the week. Good times to go
to the gym might be when you wake up or just after work before you get home, but beware. Early mornings and just after work might be a bit busier at the gym. If you don’t like crowds, maybe do a good circuit full of body weight exercises in your living room or go for a run outside if it is nice out. Once you get home and change into comfortable clothes, you will be much less likely to have the motivation or desire to head back out, especially if it is *just* to the gym.
Getting in some exercise at the same time every day will make it much easier to get into a rhythm. Studies have shown that it takes about 21 days for the average person to begin to form a habit. Three weeks really isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things, especially for something like fitness. That three weeks can be hard, though. Consider how many people start working out January 1st and quit by the 15th. If you can make it three weeks, chances are you will get pretty far on your journey. Don’t quit, even when the temptation is there.
Start laying out your gym clothes the night before. Pick gym clothes that you love and feel most confident in. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a guy, the old rule “look good, feel good, do good” is especially true in the gym.
Try buying some new workout clothes when you’re first starting on your journey. You’re going to be excited to wear those new clothes. Knowing that you have everything set up and laid out waiting for when you wake up might be that extra push needed to get you out of bed.
Write out what you plan on accomplishing the next morning
Another tip for keeping yourself accountable on your fitness journey is to write out your workout the day before. Plan workouts that you genuinely like, at least at first. Part of what makes going to the gym so difficult for some people is that they genuinely don’t enjoy their workout or don’t know what to do. Some even dread going to the gym because they hate going through the motions. Build out a plan full of things you think you will like. When you get there, you can just jump into them. Standing around trying to figure out what you want to do will kill your motivation. Not to mention, someone will steal the bench out from under you!
If you can’t stand running on the treadmill for thirty minutes, don’t run on the treadmill for thirty minutes! Play around with weights, plan for a few HIIT workouts a week, or even sample some of the fitness classes your gym offers. Find what you genuinely enjoy, and start there. Get into a rhythm. It will help.
If your workout is something you look forward to, you’re going to be more likely to show up, work harder, and fuel those post-workout endorphins.
Lots of people feel there are few things in life more satisfying than checking off a to-do list. Seeing the progress you are making on paper in front of you might be that magical gem you needed.
Planning your workout the day before, plotting your goals, and knowing what you need to do in order to check boxes on your to-do list can be extremely helpful towards working fitness into your daily routine. Keep a page at the front of your journal to track your physical goals.
- Have a goal weight? Write it down
- Want a specific body fat percentage? Write it down
- See someones bench record and want to break it? Write it down
- Do you want to run sub-7 minute miles? Write it down
Write down goals down whether they are related to weight loss, how many pull-ups you can do, or how much weight you can lift. Every few weeks check your progress. Seeing your end goals get closer is a fantastic way to keep yourself motivated while you work on yourself.
Build a plan. Create a program.
Once you know what you like doing and what you absolutely cannot stand, compare them to your goals. I am confident that you can align exercises you like with where you want to go. Make it a well rounded program, incorporating a bit of cardio, maybe some HIIT, and a bit of strength training. Perhaps hit up some yoga or isometrics once in a while. Throw in some supplements if you need them. Bring it all together in a master plan with small milestones on your way there. After all, you wouldn’t drive across country without stopping.
Instead, first you plan a route, plot out how far you are going to go each day, decide where you are going to stop each night, and after a few days you reach your destination. Same idea for fitness.
Don’t forget to incorporate proper hydration, diet, and stretching into whatever program you build out. All of these individual portions of your plan work in tandem to help you get (relatively) quick results. They will reinforce each other as you build habits towards a healthier you.
Good habits are key
At the end of the day, motivation is always going to fall second to habit. Remember why you set your goals in the first place. Your future you is going to thank you for making the change. All those morning of waking up when it was hard will pay off. A couple small decisions, a couple of small changes can change your life and help you build you the want you want to be.
Get started on your own training program, today.