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You know you need to keep working out.
It’s a key part of making yourself and your health a priority.
You need this!
Yada-yada-yada … it’s just white noise.
You got off to a great start but now it’s just plain hard. Your comfy sofa and favorite show sound so much better than a treadmill in a crowded gym.
Your motivation has disappeared and you just want to stop.
So how can you find the inspiration to keep working out?
Remember Your Why
Why did you begin this fitness journey? Was there something in your life that triggered your desire to get healthier? Was it a really strong and compelling reason that drove you to take that first step, then the second?
That’s your Why.
Whatever that is, it’s at the center of getting off that couch every day to keep working out.
If you’re starting to lose your focus, you need to put your Why up front and center again.
If it’s something tangible (like an active vacation you want to take when you’re healthier), put a picture of it where you’ll see it every day. If it’s something like having a lower blood pressure or beating diabetes, write down your specific goal and place it where you’ll see it often.
Your Why is everything.
Enlist Some Cheerleaders
Accomplishments need to be acknowledged.
Even though you’re doing it for yourself, when others praise your efforts you may find that you suddenly have a little more resolve and getting out there is a little easier.
Cheerleaders can be anyone. They can be a trainer at the gym, a yoga teacher you hit it off with, your best friend who shows up at your door in the morning to get you out walking, or even your daughter who texts you “Go get’em, Mom!” when you tell her how many miles you just did.
If you have no one physically near, consider an online fitness group. Besides cheering you on, groups like these have fun challenges and great opportunities to chat with other people who may be struggling to keep working out.
Get A Workout Partner (or two)
Having a friend to share your fitness activities raises them from another chore on your to-do list to a social activity.
Being side by side in spin class and sharing laughs about it will make you want to come back to do it again. Hiking with a friend while chatting about everything under the sun leaves you feeling great about your day and proud that you found an enjoyable way to keep working out.
It’s not necessary to have a workout partner, but it sure makes the experience more fun and therefore something you’ll be more likely to repeat.
Reward Your Achievements
Don’t get in your car after the gym and pig out at McDonald’s, obviously. Food should not be a reward if your plan is to get healthy.
But yes, reward yourself. It can be the tiniest thing but you’ll be amazed at how good it feels to acknowledge every step in the right direction.
Did you complete your goal of working out 5 days this week? Great, treat yourself to a pedicure or a long bubble bath.
Are you seeing a drop in dress size? Buy yourself something in the new size. Or if you don’t want to buy things you won’t fit in long, invest in an accessory like a scarf or earring.
Rewarding results reinforces behavior.
Find Inspiration From Others
Women, just like you, have overcome many disadvantages to achieve great successes. Reading or listening to them will inspire you to keep working out, to keep going for your goal.
Find some podcasts to listen to while you’re exercising.
Here are a couple I love:
Losing It Over 40 – Annie & Karen, who are over 40 and working on losing over 40 lbs each. These ladies are hilarious, real and you’ll love their journey.
The Daily Boost – Billed as “the world’s most popular daily motivation program,” it addresses stress, lifestyle changes, balance in life, communication and career advancement.
Pick up some inspirational books and read a chapter before going to sleep at night.
I have 3 wonderful choices for you, but browse away. Motivation is individual and the right books (or podcasts) will speak to what you need:
Daily Fitness Motivation: 365 Days Of The Best Motivational Quotes For Exercise, Weightloss, Self-discipline, Training, Bodybuilding, Dieting And Living A Healthy Lifestyle
No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness
Just Move!: A New Approach to Fitness After 50 (this is a personal favorite of mine)
Surround yourself with inspiration and success and let them help you get to the finish line.
Try new things.
Sometimes the reason you don’t want to keep working out is that you’re bored.
The same old exercise is just not doing it for you.
So get out of the gym and look for other opportunities to get your workout in.
Check yoga studios near your office and see if they have express lunchtime classes. Get your ohm on and come back to work reenergized and de-stressed.
See how many times during the day you can take the stairs. Challenge yourself to double it.
Pull up Leslie Sansome on YouTube and do one of her heart-kicking walking programs. Free and available on your own time. Do it with a friend!
Don’t have the budget for expensive classes and bootcamps?
Check out Groupon’s offerings in your area. There are always lots of deeply discounted introductory months at yoga and pilates studios, local bootcamps, weight loss plans, Crossfit, TRX and other types of classes.
You could literally do one after the other and have vastly different experiences every month at a great price.
And you’d never be bored.
Use A Tracker
There are a lot of reasons why trackers are useful when you need help to keep working out.
Trackers obviously track.
But a great tracker will not only tell you how many steps you’ve taken or how many calories you’ve burned.
It can also tell you when your heart rate is in the right zone for fat-burning, GPS track your outdoor activities, have a music playlist for your workout, see incoming notifications, and even have a built-in NFC chip so that you can use your credit card anywhere that accepts contactless payment.
A tracker will inspire you to keep working out by giving you a minute-by-minute record of your accomplishment.
And those fun emailed badges for hitting milestones sent out by Fitbit?
They will make your day.
Keep A “Before” Article Of Clothing
Even after a few weeks of fitness training, you will notice differences in your body.
As your muscles tighten up (and you lose weight if that’s also part of your goal), clothes begin to fit loosely, then not at all.
It’s tempting to throw them all away and you should definitely invest in a transition wardrobe of pieces that fit you better. But hold on to at least one pair of pants or dress.
Bring it out when you’re feeling like you’re to making any progress and you may as well give up.
Try it on.
Let it remind you that you’ve come a long way and that you have what it takes to go the distance.
Find the inspiration that you need every day to keep working out.
You’re worth it.