If you are in the early stages of your plan to get fit and enjoy a healthier lifestyle, finding the motivation to exercise can sometimes be a barrier to making the progress you’d like to. When you get out of breath within the first few minutes of starting your workout, or you have to choose between a run in the pouring rain and curling up on the couch with a coffee and a good book, it can feel like making an effort is more trouble than its worth. These are the times when you need to be able to tap into what has made you want to improve your health and find the mental strength to keep working for a long-term goal instead of giving in to instant pleasures.
Don’t go it alone
One of the best ways of motivating yourself is to involve other people in your exercise program. There are several ways of doing this, and you can pick one or a combination that will act as a support mechanism when your resolve is weakening.
- Joining a keep-fit class: Having people around you, all trying to achieve the same results and experiencing their own struggles and successes can be an effective way of keeping yourself motivated. You can share your problems and progress, and being part of a group means you will be able to help each other out and encourage each other during the difficult times. You can also join sites that specialize in sharing stories and media related to ordinary people undertaking fitness and health programs, providing help and support to each other on the internet instead of in person at an exercise class.
- Using social media: Posting pictures of yourself on your Facebook page and making a declaration of what you are aiming to achieve acts as a statement of intent, and you won’t want to let yourself down by failing to live up to your intentions. Take pictures of yourself before you begin, so you can track your progress and show people how well you’re doing. You could also make recordings of yourself using an online video editor to share clips of your progress over time and talk about your own journey. You can also use your videos to assess how well you perform exercises or yoga poses compared to the instructor on a training DVD.
- Using professional assistance: Gyms will normally offer free help and advice to keep you on a sensible schedule and build up your general fitness levels. You could also employ a professional fitness trainer to work with you one-to-one, tailoring your routine to your own individual needs and providing you with ongoing advice and support whenever you need it. Or if motivation is presenting you with a particular challenge, life and motivational coaches can work with you on your mindset and help you reach your goals.
Once you’ve got into the swing of exercising regularly and begun to appreciate the benefits, you’ll find it far easier to motivate yourself to keep it up. The hardest part is getting going and sticking with it in the early stages, so getting a little help can make all the difference in achieving your goals.