Monday, August 1, 2011

How can we get motivated to move?

You might be saying, "Debi, you've posted about how finding time for you has changed your life.  You gave us some tips on how to fit exercise into our busy lives.  But, what about finding the motivation to get started?"

Believe me, I was once the queen of excuses.  "I'm tired, it's been a long day."  "The kids wore me out today." "It's early, I want to stay in bed, it's comfy here."  Let's not forget one that many of us may have used this past week, "It's way too hot outside, and I am already sweating as it is, why make it worse?"  I will confess, sometimes I still don my tiara and I let excuses keep me from working out.  Do you notice how you feel when you don't exercise regularly or when you take a few extra rest days?  I know that when I take a few days off, I feel sluggish, more tired, and a bit irritable.  I talked myself out of my excuses the other day and thought since it was so hot and I was already sweating, I might as well add to the sweatfest by getting in my workout.  At least I'd be sweating due to being productive.

What else can we do to break through those motivational barriers when the excuses squash the desire to get moving?  Have you found that sometimes simply telling the justifications to take a hike just isn't enough?  Here are a few tips to boost motivation and put those excuses to rest:
  • Think about your goals and make sure they're realistic  Write out your fitness intentions and read them each morning & night.  Keeping these affirmations in mind every day will encourage you to take the steps needed to succeed.
  • Picture yourself ten years from now.  Do you want to be strong, resilient and healthy?  Keep that mental picture in mind when you don't feel like exercising. 
  • Does the number on the scale frustrate you and cause you to throw in the towel?  Perhaps staying away from the scale for a few weeks would prove beneficial.
  • Surround yourself with inspiring people, blogs, Facebook pages or magazine articles.  Post a note on your mirror so that you see it every day (I have one on my bedroom mirror and my bathroom mirror).  I have a magnet on my fridge that says "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
  • When the alarm goes off, get up and put on your workout clothes right away.  Wearing those duds can encourage you to get moving.  Heck, I have slept in my workout clothes on occasion.  No excuses there!
  • Create an accountability group, or find a partner.  Encourage a friend or loved one to be your support.  Email, text or call each other every day and cheer each other on.  Workout together or do the same workouts if you are not in close proximity.  Talk about how many reps you did and what your goals are for your next workout.
  • Blog about it!  When you put yourself out there and tell people that you have specific goal in mind in terms of your workouts (or anything else), you might feel obligated to follow through because you know people will be looking forward to your next blog post.
  • Put on some upbeat music or whatever you like to listen to.  It'll get your heart pumping before you even start your workout.
  • Set your goals and reward yourself when you reach each one.  If you work out for X number of days in one month, treat yourself to a new (insert item here).  You don't need to break the bank, but you should reward yourself with something that's worth working for.

Now get to it!!  I'm happy to answer any questions:  Have a great (and productive) week!


    1. Thank you for posting! My motivation needs kicked up.

    2. Mine too sometimes, my friend!!! I may print these out and tack them to the bulletin board in my office! :o)


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