Staying motivated can be really difficult and it’s natural that dedication to exercise plans and schedules can slip a little as time passes. Here are 5 simple ways to keep you motivated, get you out the door and keep loving the feeling of exercise.
1/. SET YOURSELF ACHIEVABLE GOALS
Setting goals has been shown through a lot of studies to increase levels of performance, and the simple act of writing down those goals can make them even more successful.
It’s great to have an ultimate goal, it might be to run a 10 km race, cycle to the coast or to achieve your 150 mins of NHS recommended exercise every week.
Setting small and achievable goals will help you get there and make the bigger goals seem more doable.
Saying that you’ll reduce your 10 km run time by 1 minute this week will spur you on to achieve, whereas saying you’ll run it in less than an hour in 4 months time might seem a bit daunting. Write your big goal down then work out a strategy of how to get there using little achievable steps that’ll give you the confidence you need to reach the top.
2/. REWARD YOURSELF
Working out doesn’t need to be punishment, ultimately you won’t do it if it’s not enjoyable so you should make it enjoyable wherever you can. Everyone will have different rewards that they want to treat themselves to and it might also depend on what your goals are.
If you’re running or riding for fitness and the social side of the sport, a coffee and a piece of cake (low fat and low calorie of course) with friends might be the lure you need to get started. If you’re in training for a marathon or serious event chocolate protein shake might be your reward.
Just knowing that you’re achieving your goals might well be reward enough but remember to be good to yourself along the way.
‘It is often the process of getting to the end goal which offers the most rewards’
3/.DRESS FOR THE WEATHER
There is nothing harder than getting out of the door when the weather isn’t on your side. We know that we should leave cold so that when you warm up we don’t end up carrying all our layers in our hands while trying to keep up the momentum. But it’s hard to to leave the house cold, hard to motivate ourselves when our clothing is a bit scantier than we’d like until the blood gets pumping.
This is when merino layers come in, soft merino fabric feels warm and inviting when you put it on, keeping you snug as you step out of the comfort of your home. When you start to warm up, instead of keeping the heat trapped in against your skin, the merino lets the heat transfer away keeping you at the right temperature. It also allows the sweat to be absorbed so you don’t end up with wet patches for the wind to cool down leaving you shivering. Wearing a merino hat or headband will also help you regulate your temperature as you get active, keeping your ears and head warm is really important but it’s also a great way to vent the heat that is building up, a hat or headband is easily removed and is super lightweight to carry or wrap around a water bottle as you run.
4/. GET ORGANISED
One of the greatest battles of exercise is getting ready, the greatest will and intention can be reduced to nothing after 10 minutes spent searching for the right shoes. Are they in the airing cupboard after getting wet last time, did the dog take one out into the garden with him?
Getting everything together in the morning for an after work session or the night before for a weekend workout will really help keep your motivation high. That might also mean having a snack waiting for yourself when you get back in the door or a cold drink waiting in the fridge. It’s so easy to let good intentions melt away so fight the urge by outwitting yourself and getting prepared.
5/. KEEP IT INTERESTING
Running or riding the same route every day can get a little dull eventually, finding the motivation to get out and do the same loop for the third time this week can have you discovering all kinds of household chores you’d rather be doing.
If you can, find a different circuit you can explore, feast your eyes on different landmarks and explore new trails and roads. The mental stimulation of discovering a new area will keep you engaged and enjoying your work out more. If you can’t find a new route, try running the old on in reverse, you’ll see different things you didn’t even know were there.
If none of that is possible, if you’re in the gym or you need to workout in a specific place, listen to some different music or invite a friend along to have someone to share the experience with.