Keeping your motivation levels high isn’t easy, especially if you’re new to exercise. If you’re trying to lose weight and make exercise a habit, you may be surprised to learn that there’s not much difference between you and people who exercise regularly. There’s no magic pill that brings discipline and motivation to your workouts. So how do you stay committed to exercise? It’s all in the way you think.
Here’s the secret to motivation – there isn’t one! Crushing, isn’t it? But in a way it’s also quite freeing and it could be the missing link when it comes to understanding why so many people don’t exercise enough or even at all. The bottom line is we need to stop waiting around for some magic motivational bullet to propel us off our butts and into a Pilates class – not going to happen!
Let me make this perfectly clear – I do not adore exercise and when I’m doing it I don’t particularly look forward to it. Do you know what – it’s this myth, this myth that we should love exercise and be inspired to do it that so many of use as an excuse not to. Exercise has been a big part of my life from a very early age but I don’t wake up each morning at 5am, pump my fist in the air and say, “yes, I’m going swimming” – it’s just what I do!
If you wait for motivation to magically appear, you’ll still be sprawled on the couch watching “The Good Wife” in a decade. The clouds do not part – inspiration does not strike. You will probably never be overcome by the urge to exercise. You just do it!
I don’t negotiate with myself about exercise – ever! I’ve done the same thing for years, and years and years. Exercise is one of the most boring and predictable things in my life but also one of the most important.
The way I side-step the need for motivation is to remove as many variables as possible. I exercise indoors so weather doesn’t matter. I exercise alone so I’m not relying on anyone. I don’t have a trainer so it’s not budget dependant. And I always exercise first thing in the morning. The morning part is crucial! It means I don’t spend the day having those exhausting debates in my head about whether I will or won’t exercise after work. Exercising in the morning is as much a part of my routine as taking a shower, brushing my teeth and getting dressed.
You can sit around all day waiting for inspiration to strike. I know what I have to do to get the results I want – I just do it!
How do you motivate yourself to exercise (or do anything else for that matter)?