Let’s be honest, you know that you’re a lazy bum, kind of like a limp dick after a hard night’s drinking. Just take a look in the mirror — too much fat and not enough muscle. And you know exactly why that is. You’ve been skipping workouts and cheating on your diet. And even when you get your sorry ass down to the gym, you don’t work out as hard as you should.
It’s pathetic. So what the hell are you going to do about it?
We all know what we should do. A good fitness regime can transform your life, but finding the motivation to actually work out regularly is something else. Honestly, eating a tub of Häagen-Dazs in front of the TV is much more tempting than sweating your way through a few sets of heavy bench presses, let alone calf raises.
Have your feels been poked at yet? If the answer’s “yes,” then let’s party. You don’t have to resign yourself to a lifetime of love handles and pitiful, sorry-ass pecs. There are ways to motivate yourself and resist temptation. Here are ten simple strategies you can use to keep yourself on track to getting jacked, shredded, built, swole, and hyooge AF.
Set a Specific Goal
You need to set clear, definable goals in order to have the best chance of getting results. Simply deciding that you want to get fit isn’t good enough. You need to decide on a clear target and give yourself a timescale in which to achieve those results.
So, if you want to lose weight, be specific. A vague thought such as ‘I’m (going to lose weight fast) gonna get shredded, bro’ is meaningless, and practically guarantees failure. ‘I am going to lose 20 pounds in the next six months’ gives you a clear goal to hit and a time frame in which to achieve it. See the difference? Write your goal down and share it with your friends, family, lifting partner — heck, even sharing it with your cat will be fine as long as it helps you reach your goals. It’s much harder to back out of a commitment when everyone knows what you are supposed to achieve.
Book Workout Time into Your Schedule
We all lead busy lives, and it is difficult to fit everything into our busy days. When we are short on time, we look for things we can cut out of our daily schedule. Unfortunately, skipping a workout is an easy way to free up time. You can instantly gain an extra hour or two, without any immediate negative effects. You mad, bro?
But over time, those skipped workouts add up, and your gains will really suffer. So you have to consider your workouts as being an important part of your week — just as important as work, study and time with your family. Schedule workout time into your diary in the same way you would an appointment with that attractive physiotherapist you’ve been seeing for your ‘bad’ knee. After all, nothing can ever be more critical than taking care of your health.
Create a Routine and Stick to It
Once you have booked workout time into your schedule, guard that time jealously. The key to success is to stick with your schedule long enough for working out to become a habit. Experts say that forming a habit takes about 66 days on average. So if you are able to commit to working out regularly for a little over two months, you are well on your way to riding the gain train.
After that, lifting will become a natural part of your life, like sleeping, working and eating. You will find it much easier to stay with your workout routine for the long-term, and your health will benefit accordingly.
Hang Out With the Right People
If your best mates love to spend their evenings eating pizza and then heading down to a bar for a few beers, you are going to find it hard to stick to a healthy routine. Peer pressure is a powerful force, and it’s easy to find yourself agreeing to one ‘cheat night,’ and then another, and then another.
If your friends are tempting you into an unhealthy lifestyle, maybe you just need new friends. Dump your beer-guzzling fat bellies and make some new friends down at the gym. If you find friends who work out harder and faster than you, that will be a real incentive to start lifting iron metal yourself. That’s peer pressure of the positive kind.
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Get a Workout Buddy
Imagine this scenario. You are supposed to go for an early morning run, but when you look outside at 6.00am you see snow, ice, and fog. Your warm, cozy bed seems like a much better option, and you are just tucking yourself back under the covers when your doorbell rings. It’s your workout buddy, all geared up and ready to run. You don’t have much choice but to put your kit on and start running.
We all have human failings, and it is difficult to resist temptation alone. But if you get yourself a good workout buddy, you can motivate each other to keep going and achieve your goals.
Keep It Interesting
One of the main reasons people lose motivation is simply because they become bored with their workout routine. If you do the same exercises every day, in the same way, working out is sure to become dull and uninteresting.
So mix things up to keep yourself motivated. If you usually work out in the gym, try doing a workout outside for a change. If running is normally your thing, try cycling or weight lifting — or simply try out a new and more challenging route. The more you vary your workouts, the more likely you are to stick with regular training over time.
Track Your Progress
People often give up on their fitness plans because they feel like they are getting nowhere. Yet, if you work out regularly and follow a sensible diet plan, you are bound to get into better shape some time or another.
So it is important to track your progress over time. Weigh yourself and take measurements when you start your program, then re-check your stats once a month. Even if you can’t see any discernible difference in the mirror initially, you will probably find that you are making real progress month by month. Tracking your progress is the only way to know if you are on your way to reaching your goals.
Work Through the Plateaus
In the early stages of a fitness campaign, it is relatively easy to get results. But as time goes on, you will find yourself hitting plateaus. You may be working out as hard as ever, and sticking to a tough diet regime, but now you’ve hit a wall and can’t make progress.
Unfortunately, this is where many people lose motivation and give up. They wonder why the heck they should keep putting themselves through the grinder if they have stopped making progress. But don’t panic. Hitting plateaus is perfectly normal. If you keep on lifting, you will get through the plateau and your progress will resume.
Reward Yourself for Hitting Milestones
When trying to get fit, you are probably trying to hit long-term goals. But when your target result is many months into the future, it is easy to become discouraged and give up. So create a series of milestones along the way to your final goal.
As you reach each of these milestones, allow yourself a small treat, such as a weekend away or some new clothes. Then instead of aiming just for your end goal, focus on achieving your short-term milestones. It is much easier to get results when you break things down into small steps.
Don’t Give Up!
Let’s be honest, you are probably going to fall off the wagon at some point. Maybe you’ll go to a birthday party and won’t be able to resist an extra slice of cake. Perhaps you are away on vacation for a couple of weeks, and find it hard to get back into working out on your return.
If you do find yourself failing, don’t give up. Just because you have eaten one slice of pizza, it doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and finish off the whole pie.
Horse riders know they need to get back up onto a horse as soon as possible after a fall, otherwise, they may never ride again. The same is true for you. No matter how badly you failed today, you can start your fitness regime with a clean sheet again tomorrow.
You Can Do It!
So there you have it — ten simple strategies for motivating yourself to get fit.
If you want to get fit and create a better, healthier version of you, there is no one to stop that happening except you. So switch off the TV, dump the tub of Häagen-Dazs into the trash and get yourself down the gym. The future you will thank you for it.