People say that starting is the hardest part — but that isn’t always the case. When it comes to exercise, it can be even more challenging to get to the end of the workout routine than it is to complete that first exercise. If you find yourself bailing on your workouts halfway through, there are strategies you can try to boost your motivation. These small, simple techniques will make a world of difference, helping you to achieve both your short-term and long-term fitness goals.
1. Keep It Fun
This might seem obvious, but many of us forget how important it is to keep our workouts fun. We can get so focused on improving our fitness, we spend all our energy creating workout plans that are physically challenging, rather than fun or appealing. If you are struggling to complete your workouts, consider incorporating some more exciting activities into your routine. Curate a playlist that you can look forward to listening to as you workout. Find a new area in which to jog. Dedicate part of your workout to a more relaxing activity, like walking on a treadmill, and allow yourself to watch TV or read a book as you do it.
2. Set Small, Achievable Goals
When we make exercise goals for ourselves, they often involve long-term physical improvements. But it can also be helpful to set small, short-term goals. If you tell yourself you want to complete a specific number of reps for each individual exercise, you will be more likely to stick to that plan than if you improvise. You can also create slightly larger goals, like completing that exercise routine every day for a week straight. Write these goals down and look at them often. If you feel yourself losing motivation during a workout, try to remember those goals, and think about how good it’ll feel to achieve them.
3. Try New Exercises
When you’re doing the exact same exercises everyday, it becomes very easy to get bored with working out. To avoid this fate, create a long list of exercises you’ve never tried before. You could get ideas from your friends, from YouTube videos or from one of the thousands of online communities that are dedicated to sharing exercise ideas. Once you have your list, you can select one or even a few new things to try every time you workout. Doing this will help you stay interested and it could also lead to the discovery of your new favourite exercise!
4. Count Reps or Use Timers
Counting reps and timing certain exercises will help you to track what you’re doing. You can then use this information to create a record of your progress and form new goals. Striving for a personal best is a great way to stay motivated during a workout.
5. Take A Break
Skipping breaks is a common mistake that people make when they first start exercising. To speed up the process of improving your fitness, you may be tempted to jump straight into long, hard, break-free workouts. This is a great way to burn out and will probably lead to you quitting the workout part of the way through. If you incorporate timed breaks into each workout, you’ll be less likely to give up altogether when you start to feel tired.
6. Change Pace
Changing the pace of your workout is enormously useful for staying motivated. It’s much more difficult to do a large chunk of intense cardio than it is to do 10-minute increments of many different types of exercise. Plan your workouts beforehand and keep them varied, particularly if you want to complete a lengthy session.
7. Reward Yourself
Before you start your workout, prepare a reward for yourself. This could be a relaxing activity or a delicious snack. If you feel yourself wanting to give up on the workout part of the way through, remind yourself that you can only have the reward if you finish the workout in its entirety.
8. Find a Workout Buddy
Working out with a friend is a super effective way of staying motivated until the end of the routine. You can encourage and support one another as you tackle new challenges, and keep each other accountable when you’re tempted to bail on your goals. Having a friend to exercise with can also make the activity more fun, and you can reward yourselves afterwards with a coffee and a catch-up. If you can’t find a friend to workout with, you could always join an online community or sign up for a Zoom exercise class.
Meet Your Fitness Goals!
Using these techniques for motivation will mean giving yourself the best chance of sticking to your fitness goals. What begins with successful workouts a few times a week will lead to long-term habits and a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. They might feel far away now, but trust us, your fitness goals are within reach!