Either you want to get in shape or have been going to the gym regularly for years, but at times you may have difficulties in getting yourself motivated. You’re definitely not alone, every once in a while, things can get boring, and many people find it hard to keep exercising.
Sometimes you may feel that you’re tired, too sick to move, or you’re just not in the mood. You’re maybe exercising to lose weight, fend off diseases, or have a better-shaped body, and somewhere along the way, these reasons may not be enough to make you get out of bed and head to the gym. However, you can attack any obstacles that prevent you from enjoying a good work out by learning how to get yourself mentally motivated for some great exercising.
Remove the word “should” from your vocabulary.
By forcing yourself to exercise and telling yourself that you “should” exercise, you may lose sight on why you wanted to exercise in the first place. You may end up asking yourself, “Why should I exercise?” on your dull days.
Change your “should” to “want.” This may motivate you to exercise since you want to do it, not because you’re forced to do it.
Simple vocabulary changes may help:
- “I should lose weight” can become “I want to lose weight.”
- “I should become healthier” may be replaced with “I want to become healthier.”
- “I should complete my goals” can turn into “I want to complete my goals.”
Keeping your desires in your mind will keep you motivated.
Plan all things in advance.
This may sound as a no-brainer to you, but planning everything ahead of time will motivate you to do things.
You can do these things in advance:
- Prepare the clothes that you’ll want to wear when you exercise a day early
- Leave your shoes beside the front door
- Hang your gym bag at your bedroom door with all your necessities inside (such as your deodorant, extra socks, bottle of shampoo, and soap)
Doing these things will make your workout unignorable since you’ll always be reminded.
- Avoid distractions before working out.
If you plan to work out right after work, you should immediately go to the gym. You’ll be tired after work, so you’ll be most likely tempted to take a nap. Or you may feel too hungry and decide instead to grab a snack. However, these can be counterintuitive, because once you start napping or eating, you may become too lazy to exercise.
Avoid the following before your workout:
- Sitting on soft couches
- Lying on your bed
- Going somewhere relaxing
- Eating anything
- Remind yourself of that good feeling.
You may not know it, but exercising can induce euphoria, a state where you feel excitement, intense feelings of happiness and pleasure. This happens because your brain releases endorphins and other stress relieving hormones when you exercise.
This is why it’s helpful that you remember this feeling and remind yourself that exercising can make you feel good. Attaching that good sense with exercise will motivate you to dress up, put on your running shoes, and go.
Write down goals that are achievable.
When you’re exploring goals that you want to achieve, you need to release your ambition and creation. However, when doing this, you should make sure that your goals are achievable. After writing down goals that are unattainable, you may end up frustrated and unmotivated.
Your goals can include:
- An ideal weight that you can achieve
- A better, but achievable, body shape
- Prevention of diseases that you know that exercising can fend off
- Learn to make a trade with yourself.
There are days where you won’t feel like exercising, and no matter how much you push yourself, you just can’t. When this happens, you can make arrangements or a bargain.
Your deal with yourself can include:
- If you’re too tired to do a full workout, do less today, and do the rest tomorrow
- If you have something else more important at the time that you should be exercising, you can do the physical activity later when you’re available
It’s all about compromise, which will make you feel that exercise is a fun activity, not a responsibility.
Appreciate what you’ve achieved.
Sometimes, you may concentrate too much on the things that you still need to do and you’ll end up forgetting the things that you’ve already accomplished.
You can appreciate your achievements by:
- Comparing pictures of before you decided to start exercising and after a few weeks
- Constantly weighing yourself (but not to the point that it becomes obsessive)
- Counting the total kilometers you’ve run since your first day of exercise
The Bottom Line
If you’re feeling down and too tired to work out, don’t beat yourself up. It happens even to the best of us. Everyone has their own down times, and you just need to find a way to get up off of that couch and start doing something. Exercising is not about finding that inner voice that shouts at you to keep going, it’s about finding ways to motivate yourself naturally. The methods we have given above are some of the ways to get your butt off the couch so that you can feel great after exercising.
If you’ve done all of these tips but none still work, you may reach Endeavour Wellness to help you achieve your goals.
Joel Curtis is a registered Psychologists with Endeavour Wellness and has over 17 years of experience. Joel holds a Masters’ Degree in Psychology from Western Sydney University. Joel owns a number of private practices in Sydney and provides expert content for several national TV and Radio programmes.