We can all officially feel it; Summer is here, the pressure is on. How did it creep up so fast?
January 1st you gave yourself the classic new year’s resolution to ‘get back into the gym’, which lasted about a week, then you blinked and now it’s July 1st. Why is it so hard to stay motivated to go to the gym?
They say it takes 66 days to form a habit. Well, that may be part of it. Sticking to the gym consistently for 66 days after not having gone for a while is a feat in itself.
I’m a Personal Trainer, and have been going to the gym more or less consistently for around 7 years now. Even at the beginning when I didn’t know what I was actually doing in the gym, always allocating time to work out meant that it became a habit for me.
Yes, at the beginning it was hard – even now I have days where I just can. Not. Be. Bothered. So, I’ve come up with a list of tips to help you stay motivated to go to (and workout hard in) the gym:
Find a workout buddy
Having someone to hold you accountable means you’re a lot more likely to get up and go. It’s a lot easier to just sit at home if no one is relying on you to show up. It can also be a lot less intimidating to workout when you have a buddy with you. And a little healthy competition can push you to workout harder than you would if you were on your own.
Just put your gym clothes on
This is a big one for me. When I can’t be bothered, but I know I should go, I switch my brain into autopilot and just get changed. I don’t think about all of my excuses and barriers, I just put my gym clothes on and leave the house. Before you know it, you’ll have finished your workout and be thanking yourself that you got out and did it.
Listen to music that motivates you
I do not understand how people go to the gym and just workout silently. I don’t know if it is just me, but the sound of my own breathing when I’m exercising drives me mad. Music is key for motivation. For me, it’s hip hop. Find what motivates you to go harder, make a playlist of your favourite songs and get in the zone.
Remember WHY you want to go
It is easy to lose sight of your goals and just want to give up. Remember that you’re there to make a positive change to your life, and every session counts!
Make it a positive experience, not something you dread
So many people see the gym as a chore, and I strongly believe this has a huge role to play in why those people find it so hard to maintain. Perhaps at the time it hurts, you’re tired and sweaty and you want to lie on the floor in starfish position, but make sure you congratulate yourself after your workout. It isn’t easy to work hard and find motivation, you should always leave the gym feeling proud of your little victory!
Do workouts that you enjoy
Some people love running, some love weights, for others its pilates. Whatever it is, make sure you incorporate workouts you enjoy into your routine! It’s no good running for an hour straight if you loathe it. Or doing pilates if you find it boring. Now I’m now saying to sit and meditate for an hour each day if your goal is to lose weight, but find ways to include the workouts you enjoy into your schedule too.
Set tangible goals
Do you ever stop and think ‘Why am I doing this?’ You know you want to ‘lose weight’, but what is enough weight? What body fat % do you want to get to? Or dress size? Setting tangible goals helps a lot with motivation. When you have a measured end goal that you are working towards, it means you aren’t floating through time with a very vague goal of ‘losing weight’ with no real resolutions to work towards.
Don’t set unattainable goals
Which leads on to my next point, when setting goals, don’t make them absolutely ridiculous! If you are a size 16 right now, and want to drop 4 dress sizes in a month, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment! Set realistic goals, and once you’ve reached them, set new ones. Taking slower steady steps makes for longer lasting results.
Change up your exercises
Do you have one set routine that you do every time you go to the gym? There are 2 reasons why this is a recipe for failure: One, you’ll get bored. Two, your body will plateau and you’ll stop seeing results. You need to change things up for your mind and body. In order to see continuous results, you need progressive overload! (this means making exercises progressively harder as time goes on, in order to keep challenging yourself)
Do NOT make it all about how you look
I saved the most important one until last. 99% of people go to the gym for aesthetic purposes only. You need to remember that working out is good for your mind, body and soul. Exercise can help massively with mental health, prevent long term injuries, prevent fatal diseases – think of it as the best natural medicine there is! Sure, Instagram has everyone longing for rock hard abs and a perfectly round bum, but if you are only working out to aspire to look like your idea of perfect, you’ll never be happy! Do it for your overall health, that perky bum you get out of it is just a plus.