5 tips to motivate yourself when you don’t feel like working out

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Another week has passed and I didn't exercise. Not once. After being trapped inside with bad weather and doing Christmas craft all day, I certainly felt stir crazy and was itching to exercise. But I didn't. The excuses I used this week, in hindsight, were so weak. I can't even blame this beautiful blue eyed baby. But as I reflect on the weekend, I realise my cup is so empty (well, my wine glass is full) and you can't pour from an empty cup. So. It's Sunday night and I am and will make time for myself this week.

Getting motivated for a workout is easier said than done though. It’s one thing to set yourself a fitness goal, but it’s another thing entirely to engage in a new fitness ritual and stick with it.

We’re told repeatedly that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and once we reach that magic number the task we once had to push ourselves to complete will become second nature- but how do we reach that happy habit point?

Motivation is the key to successful workout habits, and although it’s important to listen to our body and give it a rest when needed, procrastination is the enemy of any workout goal.

We want you to feel like the healthiest, happiest, strongest version of yourself, so we’ve collated these 5 tips to get you motivated, even when a workout is the last thing you feel like doing.

1. Incentify exercise

It might sound superficial, but giving yourself something tactile to reward your efforts can really help to get you motivated. It could be a new yoga mat, some workout gear like a new sports bra, leggings or runners, or even something as simple as a drink bottle- a tangible reward for kicking a goal can really motivate you on a psychological level. In the same way that children are excited to complete a task if they can tick a box or receive a sticker, an incentive system is a sure fire way to keep you working towards your goals- whether those goals lie in workouts, business or even around the house!

2. Find your tribe

There are so many reasons why finding your workout tribe will keep you motivated- which is why this tip is at the top of our list!

Firstly, working out with a group will make your workouts fun. If you’re working out with friends, you’ll look forward to catching up for your run, walk, swim or group fitness class. Chatting the whole way through your workout will (unfortunately) slow you down, but why not schedule in a coffee date before or after your session? That way, you won’t just look forward to your workouts- you’ll feel like you’re missing out on a good time when you skip one! We know that the rewards of our new workout routine will be strength, fitness and health- but sometimes these incentives just don’t feel tangible enough to motivate us.

The other great thing about setting fitness goals with your friends and working out as a group is that it keeps you accountable. Even if you aren’t physically working out together and are just checking in via a group message, you won’t want to be the one who says “I skipped today’s workout” while the rest of your friends are kicking some serious fitness goals.

3. Set yourself new challenges

Much like incentifying your workouts with tangible rewards, setting yourself challenges each week (or even with each workout) can create something of a mental reward.

Rather than working with a big, lofty goal like “get fitter,” make your goals something tangible and, ideally, numerical to keep you pushing yourself. Can you run 1km without stopping? Great- let’s see if we can make that 2km by the end of the week! About 30cm off a full split in your reformer pilates class? Let’s see if we can get that measurement down to 15cm!

Setting yourself smaller, tangible goals on the road to something larger can make your overall goal feel more achievable- plus you’ll get an extra dopamine hit (the happy hormone) when you achieve something new!

4. Write it down and remember why you started

As the saying goes, “you will never regret a workout.” As we’ve touched on, though, this is easier said than done.

Putting together a short, snappy fitness diary is the solution. Write down in your journal how you feel after each workout- chances are, you’ll be on top of the world after that endorphin boost! When you next feel unmotivated to workout, flip through your diary to remind yourself of how great you’ll feel after the workout and how much you crave those endorphins!

A workout journal is also a great way to document how far you’ve come and each milestone you’ve been able to achieve since you embarked on these new fitness goals.

5. Make it fun!

The best workout isn’t the hardest or the one that makes you the most sore the following morning. The best workout is the one you look forward to!

Rather than choosing a specific exercise, sport or group fitness class based on results you’ve seen or how much of a social media trend it may be, pick the one that YOU most want to do. Not a runner? Try a dance class! Hate HIIT? Yoga may be for you!

I hope these have helped in some small way. Please let me know how you go this week. x

Lindy Sorensen