Let’s get real for a second. Yeah, we know you’re probably into fitness like us, but we’d be lying if we said there weren’t days where we just didn’t feel like working out. Thinking about skipping your daily run or opting out of HIIT class? We don’t blame you. Long day at work? Or maybe, you’re just in the mood for an extra rest day on the weekend. Whatever your life looks like, it can be tough to find the motivation to stick to your fitness routine. The good news is that you’re not alone. That’s why we rounded up these tips to hack your brain and find the motivation to work out.
Smash the Roadblocks
If you find yourself struggling to get motivated, look at what’s holding you back. Feel like your routine takes too much time? Don’t focus on trying to dedicate hours of your day to working out. Instead, focus on a 15 to 30-minute period so that you are less likely to skip your workout.
Do you prefer working out in the morning? Try setting out your favorite workout outfit the night before. That way, it’ll be just one less thing that you’ll have to worry about when you wake up. More of a night owl? Schedule out an appointment in your calendar so that your workout feels as essential as that dentist appointment next week.
Some days the roadblocks will seem much larger than others. When your motivation to work out is dwindling, remove as many obstacles as you can to make the task easier to accomplish.
Create a Rewards System
Fortunately, we humans are built with system hacks. And when it comes down to it, we’re all wired for rewards. And rewards are a great way to help motivate yourself.
Habits and routines aren’t formed overnight. If you’re just getting into fitness (or if you’re just trying to get back on the bandwagon), the key to finding motivation is to build strong habits. Scientifically speaking, rewards help us establish psychological motivation to perform routines. As our brains start to associate rewards with the sometimes-challenging habits (like working out), it will be easier to find the motivation to do the things we don’t necessarily want to do.
Try breaking down your larger goals into smaller chunks. When you hit those milestones, reward yourself! Get creative with your rewards. Some people reward themselves with an extra episode of their favorite show. Or maybe you indulge in your favorite post-workout smoothie. You could also reward yourself with fancy, new gear when you hit those big milestones. Whatever your reward looks like, it can certainly help you find the motivation to work out.
All About Accountability
Since this is a judgment-free zone, we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that some days it takes an outside force to get your butt moving. If you’re having a hard time motivating yourself, looping in a workout buddy can provide an extra degree of accountability.
We’ve all got that one friend. You know? The flaky one who can’t seem to hold to plans even if you gave them a bucket to get the job done. Well, it’s probably safe to say that you don’t want to be that Flaky McFlakester. It might be easy to justify canceling workout plans to yourself. But explaining it to your reliable workout partner? Not so much.
If you haven’t found your fitness tribe yet, try signing an accountability contract. If you fail to meet your commitments, establish a penalty to help motivate you. Maybe that means you don’t get any Netflix time, or maybe that means you have to put extra money into your rainy day fund. And tell your friends about it – even if they aren’t part of your fitness circle. That way, they can celebrate with your successes and hold you accountable for when you come up short.
Look, at the end of the day, there will be times when you’re probably not going to want to work out. Finding the motivation to exercise can be a daunting task – especially because it can be easy to find excuses to justify not doing it. By creating a rewards system and clearing any roadblocks, you’ll be able to find the motivation to work out even on your ”off” days. And when all else fails, having a workout partner or an accountability contract are free and easy ways to hold yourself accountable.