Nobody needs to tell you that sometimes it’s darned difficult to lace up your shoes, roll out your yoga mat or drag yourself to the gym. The motivation to work out just isn’t there, while the motivation to eat cheese puffs and Netflix your life away most definitely is. Like, hard.
So what’s a would-be devoted exercise aficionado to do? Believe it or not, it might be as simple as just making a few tweaks to your environment that help put your brain on autopilot and make exercising reliably much easier. Today let’s talk tricks to up your fitness motivation, just by making a few simple switches in your life and home.
Leave Your Gym Bag Somewhere Visible
Guilt is a powerful motivator, and you can put it to work for you just by switching up where you put your gym bag. While leaving it hanging on a hook in the mudroom or sitting in the trunk might seem like a good place for it, you’re much likelier to ignore it in those places. When you have to see it several times an evening and while getting ready in the morning, on the other hand, you’re so much more likely to take it with you and follow through. Make the switch today.
Put Home Workout Equipment Within Easy Reach
Look, we work out quite a bit here at Zipbuds, and if there’s anything we know from long experience, it’s that you’re much less likely to do those reps if your free weights and resistance band are hidden at the back of your closet. That’s just human nature. Have to hunt for it? Soon enough you’re hunting for 30 Rock reruns instead. Instead, make a place for them in the main part of your house. Consider putting an exercise basket on a prominent shelf, or setting it in front of the fireplace. Remove yoga mats from hidden corners and set them on shelves or pieces of furniture. If you can see it, you’re more likely to do it.
This can be anything: hang up a wedding dress where you can see it, frame a picture of you when you were more fit or put a motivational sticky on the bathroom mirror. The main point is to give yourself reasons to do what you don’t want to do, and the more you have, the more likely you are to “cave” to the pressure to work out. One example of where caving is good!
Give yourself something special you can only do while working out. This could mean watching a particular show only when you're on the stationary bike, listening to a favorite soundtrack only while running, or reserving a cozy shirt you love for your yoga routines.
Just like placing your workout gear somewhere visible, keeping your workout accessories on hand is a great trick. Download the 7 Minute Fitness app so you can access great sculpting exercises from anywhere, put resistance bands in your purse, keep extra shoes in the car, and always keep your sport earbuds with your audio player. The last item is especially crucial, because most people can’t effectively work out without some jams, and most of those can’t do it without well-fitting, durable workout earbuds.
There’s nothing like a little good ol’ fashioned public shaming to get you motivated. Okay, we kid. Shame is no one’s friend. But the fact of the matter is most people are more likely to do something good for them when someone else is watching. Use a progress chart, and keep it somewhere obvious where anyone can see – then mark of which days you follow through on your exercise goals. Then all you have to do is keep the streak going to avoid revealing to others your lack of follow-through. It’s proven to work.
We all need a couple slices of chocolate cake once in a while, and while you shouldn’t use food as a motivator too often, let’s be honest: It works pretty well. Keep treats on hand you're only allowed to have after you work out, or better yet, put someone else in charge of doling them out when you’ve earned it. Nothing like accountability to really improve your consistency.
Stop fighting your innate tendency to blow off exercise. We all feel like being lazy a lot of the time. The secret isn’t to have more willpower, but rather to give yourself reasons to get the job done. With these tricks, you’ll go a lot further.