Exercise Motivation Hacks
They say motivation comes and goes but that self-discipline sticks with you. None of us feel motivated 24/7, and it can often come in sporadic waves. Here are some tips and tricks you can use on those days when you’re not feeling quite so motivated to work out.
Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business advises to give yourself tangible rewards. He outlines the neurological habit loop involving, the cue to trigger the behaviour, for example leaving your gym gear on the chair next to your bed. The routine, waking up and going to the gym, and the reward. Having an extrinsic reward after performing the habit, such as treating yourself to an episode of your favourite TV show, is powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behaviour is worthwhile.
Make It Easy For Yourself
Make working out as easy for yourself as possible. Pack your gym bag the night before, lay out your gym clothes and make sure your phone or iPod is charged up. That way you’ll be a lot less tempted to stay at home.
Get An Accountability Buddy
It’s a lot harder to flake on a commitment you’ve made to a friend than one you’ve made to yourself. Sharing your goals with a partner can help keep you on track. Plus, they’ll be able to motivate you on the days you’re not feeling so driven to work towards those goals, and vice versa. Researchers at Kansas State University found that people who exercised with someone whom they perceived to be better increased their workout time and intensity by as much as 200%.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Acquiring an accountability buddy is one way to commit yourself, but another effective way is by making a monetary commitment. Whether that be paying upfront for a six-month gym membership or a block of personal training sessions. Jeremy Goldhaber-Fibert is an assistant professor at Stanford University studying health decision science and refers to this as the penalty for not completing the commitment you’ve made (to exercise). So, if you don’t show up to your training session there would be a monetary penalty.
Next up, read about the benefits of yoga here.