We all know that exercise provides countless benefits to our minds and bodies. It is a great way to get fit, stay healthy, and improve your mood. If that’s the case, then why does it always seem so difficult to get started? Recognizing the benefits of exercise doesn’t necessarily motivate you to do anything. After all, it’s much easier to sit down, watch TV, and eat some chips than it is to exercise. So, how do we motivate ourselves to get off the couch and start achieving our fitness goals?
- Start Small
Fitness is not something that you are going to master right out of the gate. If you never exercise or rarely exercise, then you cannot set goals for yourself that are well out of reach. If you want to do 50 push-ups without any prior training, then you’re likely going to fail. But, setting small goals for yourself can be motivational. Take a walk around the block and see how you feel. Walking is the simplest and most effective form of basic exercise you can commit to. Maybe then that will lead into you doing 3 push-ups a day. Baby steps are all you really need to get started.
- Keep to a Schedule
Exercise should be a part of your daily life. It shouldn’t be something you engage in spontaneously because then you won’t think of it as a routine. If you schedule time each day to do your work out, then you will be more likely to actually stick to the routine. Many people enjoy morning exercise as a way to start the day healthfully. But, whenever you schedule it, make sure you keep to the schedule.
- Reward Yourself
In the same way that dogs are more willing to do tricks if they get treats, you will be more willing to exercise if you reward yourself. Give yourself real, tangible rewards, but don’t do anything that might be unhealthy. For instance, don’t finish an exercise routine and then reward yourself with a greasy hamburger, fries, and soda. You’ll negate all the progress you made with the workout. Instead, opt for something like a smoothie or even just quiet time to yourself. Your brain will start associating your workout with the rewards you give yourself afterward. Over time, the rush of endorphins you get from your exercise routine will be reward enough.
- Get Money
Is it possible to earn money just by working out and sticking to your schedule? The answer is yes. Money also happens to be one of the greatest motivators available. But, how can you get paid to work out? If you happen to have a friend who’s concerned for your wellbeing and also willing to shell out cash to improve your health, then you can certainly find a little motivation. For those of us without friendly benefactors, there’s a little app called Pact. This app connects you with other users who will literally give you money to stay true to your fitness schedule. If you skip a day, though, you authorize the app to charge your own credit card. Earning and losing money is a great way to stay motivated.