What compels us to repeatedly do something we don’t always want to do? Here are some of the best strategies to boost your workout motivation.
1. Give Yourself a Real Reward
Sure, some people might be motivated by vague goals such as better heath or weight control; But if that’s not doing it for you, I advise making the benefits of working out more tangible, such as by treating yourself to a smoothie or a favorite purchase after 30 days. “A reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile”. It increases the odds the routine becomes a habit. Once you’ve trained your brain to recognize that the workout itself is the reward, you won’t even want the treat.
2. Sign a Commitment Contract
We can make promises to ourselves all day long, but research shows we’re more likely to follow through with pledges when we make them in front of friends or commit on paper. People who make proclamations and sign longer gym contracts end up exercising more than those who agree to shorter durations.
3. Positive Thinking
Devotees of positive thinking have long promoted visualizing the benefits of a behavior as a motivational strategy. For example, when I’m deciding whether to get out of bed to go running in the morning, it helps to imagine how the sun will feel on my face as I run around the lake. Think about how delighted you’ll be when you see your new muscles developing! After identifying your wish and visualizing the outcome, you have to identify what’s holding you back. Come up with a plan to help stick to your goal.
4. Create a support Team
Let’s face it: No one can pay you to do more squats, rack up more miles or lift heavier. While it might sound like a sweet deal to get paid to sweat, what will ultimately inspire you to get up and start moving is strong support. Find a workout that makes you feel good and surround yourself with people that help build your confidence as much as your strength. The cost of putting yourself out there? Priceless.