You and millions of people struggle every day trying to figure out how to motivate yourself to work out.
You may be having trouble motivating yourself to workout alone, in the morning, when you are tired, and at times when you don’t want to.
I have a friend who tells me every day that he’s going to get up tomorrow before work and get his workout in. He sets his alarm for 5:00 a.m. and goes to sleep. The next morning the alarm sounds.
What does my friend do?
He hits the snooze button over and over. This happens day after day, morning after morning.
He did tell me that he’s been able to actually stand up a couple times, but ended up laying right back down. He’s close, but can’t quite get over the edge.
So why can’t my friend find the motivation to get up and workout, even after setting his alarm?
It’s because motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it.
My friend did not initiate the action to go workout. He merely woke up and turned his alarm off. He almost got there when he stood up, but couldn’t get himself over the hump.
So how can YOU or my friend find the motivation to work out in the morning instead of incessantly hitting the snooze button?
These 7 workout motivation tips may teach you:
How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out:
Workout Motivation Tip #1: Get Started
Motivation to exercise primarily comes after a small action starts the ball rolling toward a goal. It can be as simple as standing up and walking towards to the living room where you plan to do your workout.
Once you make that very first movement, it gets easier and easier to “get motivated” and complete the task. It follows the principal of Issac Newton’s theory, “an object in motion stays in motion.”
The fact is, motivation is much more easily achieved once the “action step” has been taken. Debating in your head the reasons you need to get motivated and work out can be so mentally exhausting that by the time you’re ready to take the “action step,” you give up and hit the proverbial snooze button.
Workout Motivation Tip #2: Stick to a Schedule/Build a Ritual
If you wake up with the mindset to “work out sometime today,” you will more often than not skip the work out or make an excuse that you can’t fit it in. You’ve given yourself an opportunity to bounce, allowing countless other options to get in the way of your workout.
You need to be proactive, schedule your workouts and stick to that schedule. One study shows that a person with choices has less self-control, less physical stamina, reduced persistence in the face of failure, and more procrastination than a person without. In other words, having options makes consistent behavior harder to maintain.
Creating a schedule eliminates opportunities for options. Scheduling creates an easily replicable habit. When the time comes to work out during the day, a little bell in your head goes off and tells you “this is the time of day you’re getting your workout in.”
It’s just like being required to be at work at 8:00 a.m. every day. You force yourself to be there because it’s scheduled and you’ve designated that time period for a certain job or task.
Workout Motivation Tip #3: Set the alarm (across the room)
If you have trouble motivating yourself to workout in the morning when you are tire, set the alarm across the room. Don’t just set the alarm and expect to roll out of bed ready for a workout. Your body is going to need a little extra motivation to get started.
Set your alarm across the room or even in the room where you want to work out. If you have to actually take 10-20 steps to turn off your alarm, hitting the snooze won’t even cross your mind, especially if your workout environment is already set up for you. Not only that, put a glass of water next to the alarm so you can get your body hydrated before your morning sweat session. Drinking the water may just be the indicator that tells your brain how to motivate yourself to work out .
Workout Motivation Tip #4: To Change Your Behavior, Change Your Environment
If it’s really that hard to get your workout in, set your surroundings up for success. Get rid of all the things that lead you to making poor decisions and replace them with things that force you to make good decisions.
Do you keep snacks in the cupboard or ice cream in the freezer? Get rid of them. Do you eat with a large spoon and large plate? Use a small spoon and small plate.
Do you head immediately to the lazy boy in your living room when you get home? Remove the recliner, invest in a spin bike and put it in front of the television. Tell yourself every time you watch a show, you’re going to get a 30 minute spin class in.
Your environment also includes the people around you. Surround yourself with like-minded people who can motivate you to achieve the best version of yourself. If you surround yourself with negative, demoralizing people, you may never get anywhere.
You can only get motivated to exercise if your environment is conducive to such.
Workout Motivation Tip #5 Get a Partner
When its become extremely hard to motivate yourself to exercise alone, get your best friend, your spouse, or even your mom to work out with you. What’s more motivating than when someone else is holding you accountable for your actions? Once you let your accountability partner know your goals, make your public commitment to your goal as well.
One study shows you are much more likely to achieve your goal if you state it publically. Put it on Facebook, Instagram, a support group, or anywhere where you can be held accountable by a group of people.
Can’t find anyone to work out with? Hire a personal trainer. If they can’t get you moving, then it’s time to re-evaluate what really matters to you.
Workout Motivation Tip #6 Record Your Goals
Goal setting is one of the most important things you can do to keep you motivated over time. Set a specific goal you can achieve in a certain time period.
What’s even better than setting a single goal, is setting a series of goals. Video games expertly lead you down a certain path by stringing goals together, eventually giving you the opportunity to defeat the fire breathing dragon. Write down your goals and use them as stepping stones to achieve your ultimate goal.
But don’t just stop there. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if you reach your ultimate goal, re-evaluate what you want to achieve and write down a new set of goals. The best realizations are found within the journey.
Workout Motivation Tip #7 Celebrate Your Achievements
You may think I’m going to tell you to celebrate your achievements and completed goals with some sort of treat. Instead, you need to think differently about how you should reward yourself.
Instead of indulging in a big piece of chocolate cake and setting yourself back 2 days, try rewarding yourself with a chance to compete. You’ve built your muscles and endurance, so why not compete and express your newfound confidence and pride in a tough mudder, 5k or color run. One study shows that when you feel pride and reward yourself, you can further improve your motivation.
If competing is not your cup of tea, take a trip somewhere outdoors. Try some hiking, kayaking or scuba diving. Pick a mountain peak and find a trail that leads to the top.
What actually creates massive motivation, in this case, is allowing yourself to succeed. This reward will make you realize what you’ve been working for far more than a piece of cheesecake.
Summary: How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out? (Use these 7 Tips)
Motivation doesn’t come easily. It takes planning, a goal, and an action step. Things become much easier after they are started. Set your expectations high and reach for the stars. Most people think you need to be motivated in order to be successful. But in fact, you need to take “action steps” in order to be motivated.
Create a way to get where you want to be and let your newfound motivation carry you through. Once you set these 7 tips in motion, you will know how to motivate yourself to work out in the morning, when you are tired, and at times when you don’t want to.
Is it hard for you to get motivated? Do you have a lack of motivation to exercise? What’s holding you back? Let me know below!