30 Ways to motivate yourself

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30 Ways to motivate yourself

14th Jan 2014

30 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise
"80% of success is showing up" - Woody Allen
How do you find motivation to exercise when you just don’t feel like getting off your butt? I ask myself this question every now and then, and I have the feeling I’m not the only one.
There are a million ways to motivate yourself to exercise, actually, but these are a few that have worked for me. And trust me, I’ve had days when I’ve struggled with exercise. Most recently, the things that have helped include finding a workout partner (one of the best motivators!), logging my exercise, reading magazines, books and websites, and rewarding myself.
  1. How you feel after a workout. I always feel great after a good workout. It’s a high. And I let that motivate me the next time: “You know how good you’re going to feel, Helen!”
  2. Time for you. While many people make time to take care of others (kids, spouse, other family, co-workers, boss), they don’t often make time to take care of themselves. Instead, make your “you” time a priority, and don’t miss that exercise appointment.
  3. Calories burned. If you count calories, you know that the more you exercise, the more calories you burn — and the bigger your calorie deficit.
  4. Having fun. Exercise should be fun. If it isn’t, try a different kind of activity that you enjoy (sign up for a FREE Trial Week at Smash The Fat). As long as you’re moving, it’s good for you.
  5. How you’re going to look. Imagine a slimmer, fitter you. Now let that visualisation drive you.
  6. Magazines. It motivates me to read fitness magazines. Not sure why, but it works.
  7. Cover models. Sure, they’re genetically freaky, and probably Photoshopped to look perfect. But for some reason, looking at how good a cover model looks helps motivate me to work harder.
  8. Blogs. I enjoy reading blogs about people who are into running, or losing weight. It can show the ups and downs they go through, and you can learn from their experiences. Write your own blog and share it with your friends.
  9. Success stories. I find the success stories of others incredibly inspirational. If a fitness website has success stories, I’ll almost always read them. Share your own success story.
  10. Smash The Fat. Join Smash The Fat with other like-minded people and a supportive coach. Exercise with them 3 times a week. Discuss your progress with each other and don't be afraid to ask your nutritional/healthy lifestyle questions. Recommend your friends, family and co-workers to get additional benefits.  It really does help.
  11. Rewards. If you exercise for a few days, give yourself a reward! A week? Another reward. Do it often in the beginning.
  12. Fitting into new clothes. Do you want to look good in a smaller size? Work out!
  13. Being attractive. That’s always a good motivator, as I’m sure we all know.
  14. Adrenaline rush. I get a rush when I exercise. Ride that rush to complete the workout.
  15. Stress relief. Wound up after a long day at the office?  Get out and work off that stress. It makes a world of difference.
  16. Time for contemplation. I love, love the quiet time of exercise for thinking about things. Most of this post was written in my head as I exercised.
  17. Workout with others. Build your own exercise support network
  18. A coach or trainer. Worth the money, just for the motivation.
  19. An exercise log/graph. For some reason, writing it down is extremely important. Really. Do it for a week and you’ll see what I mean.
  20. Your before picture. You often don’t realise how far you’ve come. Take pictures.
  21. A 5K race or triathlon. Just sign up for one, and you’ll be motivated to train.
  22. The dread of feeling “yuck” from not exercising. I hate how I feel after not exercising. So I remind myself of that when I feel tired.
  23. Living long enough to see your grandchildren … and play with them.
  24. The scales. It’s not motivating to weigh yourself every day, as your weight fluctuates. But if you weigh yourself once a week, you’ll be motivated to have it keep going down, instead of up. Combine the scales with the measuring tape, and measure your waist and hips.
  25. Reaching a goal. Set a goal for weight, or your waist measurement, or a number of days to work out, or a number of miles to run this week. Setting and tracking a goal helps motivate you to complete that goal. Make it easily achievable.
  26. Posting it on your blog. Tell people you’re going to lose weight or exercise daily, and report to them. You’ll make it happen.
  27. Motivational quotes. I like to print them out or put them on my computer desktop.
  28. Books. I just bought a strength-training book as a reward. It makes me want to hit the weights!
  29. Others commenting on how good you look. When someone notices the changes in your body, it feels good. And it makes you want to work out more.
  30. An upcoming day at the beach, or a reunion. Enough said.