Updated: Sep 29
We’ve all heard the usual motivators for getting more exercise. You’ve probably tried getting a work out buddy who keeps you accountable or promising yourself a reward after you finish. You’ve bought a smaller pair of pants to work your way into or purchased a gym membership hoping that the membership card alone would motivate you to exercise. But sometimes those tried and true motivators just don’t cut it and then you need to bring out the big guns.
What can you do that could possibly motivate you get your butt moving after a grueling day at work, in classes, with the kids...etc?
This is your year, a fresh opportunity to set your fitness goals and smash them. Don’t let fatigue, stress, or negative self talk keep you from achieving your fitness goals.
Here are seven surprising ways to get motivated to exercise when all you want to do is veg.
1) Make Your Workout Part of Your Favorite Thing.
What do you love doing? Skiing? Rock climbing? Hiking? Kayaking? Tennis? Get out there and DO IT! Even when you can’t make that thing your workout, every one of those activities relies on certain muscle groups and skills. You know that an upper body work out will help you kayak further and faster. Squats will make hiking that mountain a breeze. Leg curls and standing calf raises will up your tennis game. Ab work will make you better at pretty much everything! Tie your workout to your passion. You will think about your work out differently. It’s a brain changer!
2) Only Wash Your Hair on Days You Exercise.
I kid you not. If you make work out days your best hair days, I guarantee you will absolutely work out more often. Clean, beautiful, good smelling hair can be yours...if you earn it. And think about what your hair will look like after three days on the couch. Yikes! Workout Day = Clean Hair Day. Vanity is a powerful motivator, friends.
3) Get Motivated to Exercise by Listening to an Audio Book.
Most of us wish we had more time to read. Who doesn’t love a great story? Choose an audio book you’ve been dying to read but just couldn’t find the time for. ONLY listen to it while you are working out. Getting to the good part just might be what you need to keep you running further or in the gym longer. If you’re not a reader you can try this same trick using a television series. No binge watching unless you are clocking a workout. “I’ve got to know what happens!” can be an excellent motivator.
4) Compete with EVERYONE.
Contrary to my normal healthy living advice of don’t compete with others along your journey, I’m going to give you pass here. If you are of competitive nature, make everyone a workout buddy. When you climb on the cardio machine, check out your neighbor’s settings. If the guy next to you is on the rowing machine for twenty minutes, you go thirty. See that dog a block ahead of you? You can beat him. Use other people to get motivated to exercise, whether they know they’re competing or not!
And also do the opposite ... hang out with like-minded people in a place where you can give and get support.
Because let's face it, exercise is so much easier when you have people supporting you and keeping you accountable. I see it everyday in my Small Group Fitness Classes and inside my Online Healthy Living Communities!
5) Use Post-it Notes to Get Motivated to Exercise.
Buy yourself a big stack of multi colored post its and get cracking. Write down your goal weight, motivational quotes, exercise goals, deadlines, how you are going to feel when you start seeing results—whatever will fuel your drive to move—and stick them everywhere. Put those notes on your bathroom mirror, in your closet, on the hangers of clothes that are a little too tight, on the visor in your car, on the fridge, on your remote, on your desktop, next to your cell phone charger. Every time you work out, grab one note and destroy it. You’ll see all those colorful bits of clutter disappearing along with your extra pounds.
Don’t think a few silly post-it notes will get you motivated to exercise? I have used them for years for all sorts of motivating and inspiring reminders. From keeping on deadlines, to reminding me of my WHY, to celebrating strengths and rising to new challenges.
Every time I see one they make me smile and remind me to keep moving forward (my mantra). It's so motivating to see words of wisdom and inspiration sprinkled around my house... especially on days I want to beat myself up or talk myself out of doing something that I know will be incredibly rewarding for mind, body and spirit!
6) Choose a Scenic Route and Selfie All the Way.
This is the age of Social Media. A lot of us operate on a policy of, “If I don’t post it, did it really happen?” We’re all on a quest for awesome pics these days so make your workout a beautiful trek and take great shots of the scenery or a slammin’ post workout selfie. When you finish you’ll not only have the satisfaction of having crushed your workout, you’ll have a great post for your social media. Be sure to tag @coachmindy in your social media so I can enjoy your scenic route.
7) Think About Your Haters to Get Motivated to Exercise.
We all have someone who makes us feel a little “less than” whether it’s an ex, a co-worker, a family member, or a “friend.” I’m talking about those people who seem to say or do little things designed to whittle away at our confidence. Haters exist. There’s no way to avoid them. So use your workout to blast those naysayers right out of your head. Get even by getting stronger, faster, and better than the people who want to knock you down. Let someone else’s negativity motivate you to the biggest possible win, great health!
Everyone has days when they REALLY don’t want to work out. Don’t feel guilty.
Start simply. Set a goal for yourself. Commit to it publicly. That can be as easy as telling a friend or your partner what you’re going for. Try a group fitness class. Review what motivated you to begin a workout routine in the first place. Put on your workout gear even if you don’t feel like it. Sometimes just getting dressed can help get you out the door. There are dozens of solid ways you’ve gotten yourself to work out in the past and most days, they will be enough.
But if all your usual motivation methods fail, try something outrageous. The techniques I’ve just shared are fun. And for me, fun is the best motivator of all.
Whether it’s downloading Zombies Run and turning your workout into a mad dash from flesh eating monsters or committing to only clean your hair on the days you’ve moved your butt, there is SOMETHING that will help you get motivated to exercise. Don’t stop searching until you find your winning workout mojo.
Are you are a busy man or woman who's ready to feel strong, live healthy, and get fit? Discover how to take small steps to get healthy & fit without cutting out the foods you love or spending countless hours on cardio. Come join me inside my online Facebook Community - The Healthy Habits Club. It's where busy folks go for tips, tools and support they need to eat healthy, move daily, and feel good for life!