If you’re still in the process of gaining momentum with a regular workout schedule, some days motivating that beautiful butt of yours to get to the gym can be a burly undertaking. BUT, it’s not impossible.
As with any goal, being prepared is a big piece of the puzzle. For example, if your bed tends to practically hold you hostage in the morning, you’re the perfect candidate for making sure all your bases are covered ahead of time. Some of the following tips as well as their beefed up versions are going to help you do exactly that. Others are just great motivators, no matter what time of day you do them. 😉
Go ahead and take a look through these classic tips, along with the suggestion for each one, on how you can make that sucker even more beneficial!
1) Lay Out Your Gym Clothes for the Next Day
This well known tip comes in especially handy when you are not the biggest fan of mornings. Laying your gym clothes out the night before is not only one less thing you have to think about when you’re dragging duds at 6 a.m., but seeing those clothes will maybe give you just a touch more motivation than you had before.
Kick It Up a Notch: Get EVERYTHING ready to rock the night before. I’m talking the teeniest tiniest detail. If it makes getting to the gym easier for you, do it to it!
Here are some suggestions (some of which may sound completely ridiculous now, but when you have a case of the mornings and anything requiring a hint of effort is already done, you’ll wonder why you never did this before):
- Set your toothbrush out with the toothpaste already on it.
- Take the caps off of all the toiletries you use such as your deodorant and moisturizer.
- Lay out your hair brush, hair tie, scrunchy (for all of you who wears a scrunchy, I love you), headband, etc.
- Place your socks on top of your sneakers.
- Fill your water bottle and stick it with your gym bag.
- Morning coffee? Prepare everything so all you have to do in the a.m. is turn the machine on and push brew.
- Fix your breakfast. For instance, if you enjoy a breakfast smoothie, prep the ingredients, stick them in a plastic baggie and throw it in the fridge. In the morning, all you have to do is dump the bag into the blender.
- Make your lunch.
- Pack your gym bag the night before. In addition to saving time in the morning, I don’t know about you, but when I’m less rushed, I’ll actually remember to grab the bath towel I always forget or the new deodorant still chilling in the Target bag.
- Put all your bags next to the door, so in the morning you can just scoop and go. Oh, and if you tend to be a lunch leaver, set something like your water bottle on top of your gym bag to remind you to grab your lunch from the fridge before peacing out.
2) Troubles Getting Outta Bed in the Morning? Put Your Alarm Clock in the Next Room
The key here is not to go crawling back into bed!
Kick It Up a Notch: Place either a vision board (for more information on a vision board, see #11) or motivating photos next to that alarm clock.
Once you stagger in to turn off the alarm, seeing those invigorating images will cause you to jump into action. Ok, when it’s that early, it’s more like a lurch than a full on jump.
For me, when I see pictures of physiques I’m inspired by and read quotes that give me a little kick in the pants, I pumped to get up and do something that will move me closer to where I want to be.
3) Switch to Auto Pilot Till You Get Your Gym Clothes On…Then Decide if You’re Gonna Go
Don’t make any decisions till you’ve rolled out of bed and put your gym clothes on. That includes shoes:-)
Kick It Up a Notch: Decide the day before by signing up for the class online.
If you attend, or you’re planning to attend, a class at a boutique type studio, many of those facilities use an online program (e.g., MINDBODY) where you can sign up for a spot in a class ahead of time. By signing up the day before, you’re less likely to bail out at the last minute.
Look at it this way, if you’re attending a morning class before work, I’m willing to bet, you’d be skipping because your bed is just so frickin’ comfortable. Now, most fitness studios I’m familiar with have a cancellation cutoff between 2 – 4 hours before the class. And if you wake up less than 2 hours prior to your class starting…
See where I’m going with this?
No showing or canceling your reserved spot after their acceptable cancellation time, more often than not, you’ll pay a late fee.
On the other hand, when clients at Barry’s Bootcamp do not inform Mr. Barry at least “12 hours in advance” they won’t be able to make it, clients forfeit the $22 class.
Twelve. Dumb. Hours.
Uh. That’s absurd.
As much as I could say about that, I’m just gonna shut my face and keep moving on!
4) Two Words: Workout Buddy
It’s no secret having a workout buddy is one of the best ways to reach your goal.
- They get you to show up even when you’d rather rip your eye lashes out. One. By. One.
- You’ll have more fun.
- You’re more apt to try new classes and activities.
- They’re your personal cheerleader.
- A workout buddy challenges you. Especially if your partner is a little fitter than you. It motivates you to push harder than if you were by yourself because you don’t want to look like the weaker one. This is a prime example of the Köhler effect.
The US National Library of Medicine says the Köhler effect “occurs when an inferior team member performs a difficult task better in a team or coaction situation than one would expect from knowledge of his or her individual performance.”
Kick It Up a Notch: Pair yourself up with a person you don’t know.
The site Exercise Friends does exactly this. All you do is go to their site, type in your zip code, and from their long list of activities, mark the activity you’re most interested in. Finding a workout buddy that’s never been your buddy before has some great benefits.
- You can no longer use the excuse, “But I can’t find a workout buddy.”
- You’re branching out and meeting new people.
- Your new workout buddy might possibly introduce you to an activity you’ve never tried before.
- Until you get to know your new exercise buddy, meeting up with them for the first couple sessions could take you a little out of your comfort zone.
But that’s good. Actually, that’s awesome. All of us should be doing more things that stretch us beyond our level of comfort.
I know. Easier said than done, right?
5) Listen to That Killer Workout Playlist You Created for Yourself
For me, listening to powerful, in your face music is crucial when exercising, particularly when it comes to cardio.
With their driving beat and optimistic rhythms, it’s pretty impressive how much further motivating songs can push a body to go. Many times, I get so wound up in a song, I won’t even realize how fast I’m going till the song’s over, and I come back from the zone.
Kick It Up a Notch: In addition to listening to your kick butt playlist, make a list (e.g., articles you’ve been wanting to read, items to look up, etc.) and work your way through it while doing cardio. Having a list of things you look forward to checking out makes exercise more of a thing you look forward to as well.
Ok ok, before you start getting on me about how this is an exercise “no-no,” listen for a sec. I am aware some experts believe a person shouldn’t read, watch tv, look at their smartphone, etc. while they’re doing cardio.
According to health coach, Yuri Elkaim, “If you’re going to read a magazine, sit on your couch, or go to a coffee shop or library.”
So this is the way I look at it.
If it’s between a person showing up at the gym, reading while on the elliptical, and burning at least a couple hundred extra calories, or sitting at home watching Law and Order reruns, while burning zero extra calories…Um, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which choice is the better option.
I am light years away from hardly knowing anything, but I believe something trumps nothing in this case.
Going back to my original point though, if you’re doing something enjoyable while exercising, wouldn’t that also mean you are in fact enjoying your workout? Of course! Exercise does not have to be some dreaded, horrible activity for you. Working out can actually be a positive experience!
6) Branching Out to Prevent Burning Out
Trying a new fitness class or activity is a fantastic way to keep your relationship with exercise from growing stale.
Kick It Up a Notch: Call on a friend to crush intimidation! Everyone encounters intimidation at one point or another. And when a person is trying out a new class where they have no clue what to expect on top of not knowing anybody, even the most confident can walk in a bit unsure of themselves.
So, if you don’t have a regular workout buddy, but have a friend who regularly attends a class you’ve thought about trying, find a day where you can both go.
In the event you have no desire to sample your friends sumo wrestling class, convince a friend to come along to the hip hop cardio class you’ve had your eye on.
Having a familiar face really will take a load off and if you end up feeling silly or ridiculous, at least you’ll have someone to laugh with.
7) Making a Bet That You’ll Lose the Weight
There are a few sites out there where you can place wagers on your weight loss. One of which is Healthy Wage.
The “wellness challenge” site is where an individual can make a personal weight loss bet, a company can participate in a corporate challenge, or people can get a group together for a team challenge. With the team challenge, you have the chance to win $10,000!
Kick It Up a Notch: At StickK.com, if you don’t reach the goal you originally committed to, you can choose to have the money you put toward either a cause you don’t like, or a person you’d like to drop kick.
8) Walking On Your Lunch Break
Taking your lunch break for a brisk walk outside is a fantastic way to fit in some exercise for the day.
Although studies show 20 minutes of exercise a day is recommended to keep you from croaking earlier, aiming for 30 minutes or more lowers your risk of such issues as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, AND obesity.
Kick It Up a Notch: Workout on your way to work.
Unless your job is a hop, skip and a jump away from your house, get yourself a bike. If you can’t afford a bike, walk! And if your work is too far for you to walk, find a bus stop, trolley stop, horse and buggy stop, etc., where a nice, brisk walk can get you there in a reasonable amount of time.
In other words, try to choose a stop that’s not right around the corner from your humble abode.
9) Reading Positive Affirmations
Anyone not familiar with positive affirmations, Remez Sasson, founder of Success Consciousness, defines them as “statements that describe a desired situation or goal, and are often repeated, until they get impressed on the subconscious mind.”
Basically, the theory is by repeating these encouraging statements again and again, over an extended period of time, you begin to believe them. And at that point, the affirmations sooner or later become your reality.
Did you know you can have a positive affirmation sent to your inbox daily? Just visit Goodfinding.com to sign up!
Kick It Up a Notch: Download and listen to a motivational hypnosis app on your smartphone.
Now, before you roll your eyes and close this window, hear me out.
A couple years ago, I had this terrible itching all over my upper body that lasted for months. Many times I scratched till I bled. Trying pretty much all the over the counter creams out there and 2 different prescriptions, nothing helped.
Always wanting to know if hypnotherapy really worked, I figured this was as good a time as any to give hypnotherapy a shot.
As soon as I walked into the hypnotherapists office, I instantly felt comfortable. It kinda reminded of a massage therapy room.
After we discussed my itching, she performed my customized hypnotherapy session, and recorded it, so I could listen to it whenever and wherever I wanted.
I listened to the session here and there for a couple weeks, and then that second weekend, I made an effort to listen to it over and over again. Come Monday, I went back to my normal listening routine of whenever I got around to it. And on that Friday, it dawned on me that I had stopped itching.
Really. I guess the itching just tapered off over the course of the week. My scabs healed and I’ve never had any issues since.
If you’re thinking, “Oh for the love of all that is holy, Katie! It’s all in your head.” Well. You would be totally right, m’friend!
Hypnosis is a pretty awesome method when you’re aiming for change. Once the person is in a deeply relaxed state, our logical conscious mind kinda takes a backseat, while our subconscious mind perks up and takes note of the hypnotherapists suggestions.
The subconscious mind is the area of the brain responsible for habits, emotions, functions of the body such as breathing, heart rate, swallowing, among many other things.
Through repetition of positive statements, thoughts of well-being, visualizing the main objective, etc., the hypnotherapist retrains the subconscious mind. “This is the part which has to change for the patient’s behaviour and physical state to alter,” Dr. Hilary Jones stated in her book, “Doctor, What’s the Alternative?”
Countless amounts of people have successfully used hypnotherapy to treat conditions including weight loss, addictions, and chronic pain, to name a few.
According to London Hypnotherapy, research shows hypnotherapy is “over 30 times as effective for weight loss.” And Wikipedia states studies “revealed ‘a 70% greater improvement’ for patients undergoing an integrated treatment to those using CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) only.”
Motivational speaker, success coach and hypnotherapist, Amy Applebaum, has a terrific line of hypnosis apps ranging from gaining confidence to ending self-sabotage to inspiring the poo out of you. I especially love Amy’s “Always Follow Through” app. Ooh, and the “Vision into Action” is a great one too…so is “No More Excuses.”
You can check them all out here.
10) Looking at Inspiring Photos and Quotes on Pinterest
This one I’d say is pretty self-explanatory. Pin anything that revs you up, and refer back to them whenever you’re in need of a little extra dose of determination.
Kick It Up a Notch: Create a vision board.
When I made a vision board a few years back, I grabbed some old magazines, and cut out loads of images and words related to my big goal. I then glued them onto a piece of poster board and hung it up in my kitchen, a place I was. all. the. time.
Voilà. I had myself a vision board.
BTW, that thing was so ugly. I cringe just thinking about it.
Nevertheless, it got the job done.
Don’t know what a vision board is? Well, Christine Kane, the creator of a life-changing coaching website, explains that it is believed “when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, what you want to have…your life changes to match those images.”
“But Katie, I don’t believe in the whole Law of Attraction mumbo jumbo.”
Well, don’t you worry your purdy lil face about it. You’ll still benefit from a vision board, because if nothing else, they’ll still help keep you on track.
Vision boards are a continuous reminder as to why you’re busting that patoot of yours. For more information on how to make a vision board, check out Christine’s post here!
Okey dokey, daddy-o! As I mentioned earlier, the original tips are classics, and I’m sure you’ve heard a few of those goodies at least a 1/2 dozen times. But put that little spin on them, and it might be just the thing you need to give those popular tips a breath of fresh air.
Which tips on or off the list have helped you make it to the gym in the past? Tell me! I’d love to hear from all you lovely people.
Soooo…Wanna connect? 😉
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