No matter what type of exercise you do… running, lifting, spinning, yoga…. there are just some days you struggle to muster up the motivation to lace up those sneakers, squeeze into your spandex, or even find your iPod.

 

When you skip a workout you often go through the five stages of loss of motivation.

  1. Bargaining: “If I skip today I’ll do an extra set/mile/lap/etc. tomorrow.”
  2. Depression: “I could have worked it out today. I’m full of sad excuses.”
  3. Guilt: “I can’t believe I messed up my training schedule. Everyone is counting on me to train for this marathon/keep the weight off/lead the class/etc.”
  4. Overreacting: “I will never skip a workout again! I don’t care if I have a pneumonia!” And then you end up getting pneumonia and you have no choice but to derail your workouts indefinitely.
  5. Acceptance: “I missed one day. I am human.”

So to keep myself from making excuses I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get me out on the pavement.

  • Listen to some energizing music throughout the day that gets me jazzed for a workout.
  • On that same note, make a new playlist or wait to listen to a newly purchase album until your workout.
  • Change into your workout gear as soon as you can. If you’re a morning athlete, have your clothes set out and staring you in the face when you awaken. If you’re hitting the gym after work, bring your change of clothes with you to work and make the transition from office manager to gym rat before you even get in the car. I’m a stay at home mom who likes to workout in the evening so when I’m feeling like I’m on the verge of making an excuse I change into my running tights ASAP. I feel like I’m tricking my brain into being prepared.
  • Buy new gear and save it for a day where you need a mental pick-me-up. It’s like giving yourself a reward for persevering.
  • Have a range of goals. I’m a total planner who loves to make lists. I like to make daily, monthly/short term, and yearly/long term goals. It gives me a confidence boost when I’ve done more miles than I thought I could, PRed on a hard, hilly run, or my love handles have magically disappeared. Those days are the best!
  • There’s an app for that: Download a fitness app on your phone or just go to their website to log in everything from what you eat to exercises. These programs can often be linked to social media accounts so your friends can cheer you on or secretly despise you for following through on your new year resolution when they quit on day 5.
  • Blog it up: Start a fitness blog or follow other fitness related blogs to get new ideas or encouragement. Encouragement from strangers is often more satisfying than getting a compliment from a friend or family member. But acknowledgment that you’re working hard is good even if it comes from your dog. Talk about your goals and how far you’ve come. It might light a fire under someone else to get moving!

So let’s hear it. How do you keep motivated?

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