Happy official first day of summer! For those of us in Arizona, it’s felt like summer since February, but I guess now we can officially claim to be in the new season! For me I feel that summertime is like a mini mid-year reset. It’s a time of year where I usually end up setting new goals and promising to practice all the hobbies I always say I want to try. I think it’s because there’s an illusion of endless extra free time in the summer that makes it seem possible to accomplish any of the goals you’ve been previously putting off.
And with summer being all about short shorts, crop tops, and bikinis, there’s always one goal that everyone seems to have in mind: Get. In. Shape. (ugh.)
Now what this goal actually looks like differs from person to person, but for me, it means getting my body toned, healthy, strong, (aka, not running out of breath every time I take the stairs). And while I’ve had this goal in mind probably every year since high school, it wasn’t until this spring that I actually found the motivation I needed to get it done! Believe me, it was not easy and despite even wanting to do get in shape, I was still reluctant to actually get it done. But after a whole lot of trial and error I finally got into a groove that I feel happy with!
I know I’m not the only one who probably had trouble getting going and sticking with it, so I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks that kept me going when it got hard! So here are my top 10 tips to motivate you to workout!
- Start small. The idea of beginning an exercise routine from scratch is already daunting, so don’t try to go from 0 to 100 right away. If you try to jump into an exhausting, intense regime at the start I found that you’ll be burnt out quick and unlikely to want to go back. Instead, try going to the gym just to walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes once a day. The workout will be super manageable and it will get you in the habit of going- which is the important part!. Once you’re in the habit of exercising, then try to up the difficulty to challenge yourself more.
- Set a goal. One of the quickest ways to lose motivation to go to the gym is when you can’t see any progress. So try to set yourself a specific goal so you can track how you’re doing. Instead of making your goal “lose weight” say “fit into my size 8 jeans”. Or instead of “get in shape” try “run a 7 minute mile”. This will help you guide your workout, monitor your progress, and track how close you are to reaching your goal. If you can see all the progress you’re making you’ll be motivated to keep going at it!
- If, then. To help yourself get into a routine of working out, try making an “if, then” statement about when you plan to exercise. For example, “If it is 9 am, then I will workout.” It seems random, but our brain actually remembers things better when they’re set in this format, so you’ll be more likely to remember to exercise if you practice this method.
- Find a workout buddy. It’s always nice to have someone by your side when tackling a difficult goal! But the key to making this tip work, is choosing a workout partner who already has a strong exercise routine. This way, they’ll be sure to keep you accountable for showing up.
- Buy cute gear. This seems silly, but one of the things that motivates me to workout is when I have cute clothes to wear. I love when I get to put on my brand new Nikes and my favorite pair of yoga pants! And when I look good, I feel good too, making me more likely to have an upbeat attitude about working out.
- Find the right activity. This is probably the most important tip I could offer. When people think of working out, they usually picture going to a gym. But whenever I have the opportunity, I prefer to do anything BUT go to the gym! There are so many ways you can workout that are not boring, so experiment around until you find something you like! My favorite ways to workout currently consist of running with my dogs, aerial yoga, and ballet fitness. When you find a workout routine you actually love doing, it will feel less like a chore and instead become a part of your day that you look forward to!
- Watch Netflix. Yep, you heard me. If all else fails, then just load up Netflix on your phone and watch tv while you workout! Even now I always have Netflix on my phone while I run on the treadmill. Watching Netflix helps distract me from the workout itself, making it easier to push myself more while I’m there. Plus let’s be honest, I was going to be watching Netflix anyway so now when I open my computer I think “Well, I may as well exercise while I watch” helping to motivate me to workout and reinforce the habit of going to the gym.
- Reward the baby steps. Working out is hard! So reward all your little milestones to keep yourself motivated to keep going! Buy yourself a few little non-food treats then give them to a friend to hang on to. Then once you reach a small goal, like making it to the gym every day this week, have your friend give you your well-earned reward! This will not only motivate you to keep going, but it’ll also help keep you accountable by sharing your goals with another person.
- Find a role model. One of the biggest sources of inspiration, and thus motivation, for me to workout comes from seeing someone I admire being strong and fit and healthy. I always love following model Karlie Kloss because she’s down to earth with a killer workout body. And more recently, after watching Wonder Woman I’ve become obesessed with Gal Gadot as a role model! She’s smart, confident, beautiful, and in spectacularly great shape! Seeing how strong and powerful her body is both in Wonder Woman and in real life makes me want to try harder to reach my own fitness goals!
- Stay positive. Last but not least, the best way to stay motivated to work out is to just stay positive! Getting your body healthy and staying in shape is not easy, so just remember to stay positive throughout the journey! A few ideas that worked for me include following motivational accounts on twitter, following fitness and health accounts on Instagram, and leaving positive notes for myself in my planner. Surrounding yourself with positivity everywhere you look will help you stay motivated that you CAN do this!
I know that staying motivated to work out can be a challenge, but I used all these tips to keep myself motivated, so hopefully at least one or two of them can help you too! And if you have any more tips to keep the motivation, be sure to share them in the comments! Happy exercising everyone!