Goals, Motivation, self care, Wellness

4 Practical and Effective Ways to Motivate Yourself for the Gym

Working out is good for you so shouldn’t it FEEL good too?

After all, its extremely difficult to stick to something you don’t like.

Working out is hard to do, so don’t beat yourself up for not feeling like doing it. There are gonna be times when you cant wait to show up and there are gonna be times where you drag your feet all the way (maybe even shouting a few choice words). The point here is to make those times where its hard to show up, easier.

Dopamine is the brains happy chemical. Our brains THRIVE when dopamine is released. We literally love how it feels. So associating anything with a dopamine release triggers our brain into associating that task with pleasure.

I used to beat myself up when I didn’t feel like working out. I thought that by being hard on myself that I was holding myself accountable and pushing myself to do better. Well, you can guess how many goals I reached that way, if you guessed none you are correct. Did I see progress? Sure. But it was always short lived because negative self talk only fuels the negativity inside you. Working out is something good and because of the negative self talk my brain ended up associating working out with terms like ‘hard’, ‘chore’, “not good enough”, and “less than”. I knew that had to change.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I got to a place where I genuinely wanted to take CARE of myself, which meant listening to my body more. So when I didn’t feel like going I didn’t go and that was no good either. See moving my body and building strength are good for me. They are practices that bring me joy and peace; they serve me. I quickly noticed that I was using “listening to my body” as an excuse to not show up for myself. A crutch to stay where I was. Are there times where you need to listen to your body? ABSOLUTELY! I even encourage it, but be real with yourself.

4 things That Motivate Me To Workout

Affirmations

I affirm “I am worth it” every time I set foot in the gym. Reminding myself that this is something I deserve, something that’s worthy of my time and effort. Not a laborious chore. Other affirmations that help me are:

  • I love my body
  • I deserve this practice
  • I am powerful
  • I am amazing

Any uplifting affirmation will do. The purpose here is to speak life into yourself

Gym Clothes

This is something I recently started doing. I can typically work out in anything but after the birth of my second child I didn’t find “just anything” flattering. In fact, it made me self conscious, even at home alone. I just didn’t feel comfortable so I started looking on Amazon and found some really cute and inexpensive work out pieces. GAME CHANGER! I love to shop so making the purchase released endorphins and I had that “new item” feeling as well WIN WIN. I couldn’t wait to work out when I got my sets and that wasn’t the case before. Now I don’t need to do this every time I work out but it helps!

Modify your Exercise/ Practice

This one is simple. If you don’t already feel like working out, why make the work out hard? It doesn’t benefit you at all to motivate yourself to get there, just to do a workout that you hate. Remember the point here is to release dopamine to the brain. Start out slow, do what you like, just do SOMETHING. You may even find motivation in that. Like “okay that wasn’t too bad, maybe I can do (insert workout/training)”.

REWARD yourself

You showed up for yourself even though it was tough & you didn’t feel like it, and that deserves a reward. Have something set in place that you enjoy a little treat for when you’re done. It gives you something to look forward too when your done. I have 2 rules for this reward system 1) It MUST be something I genuinely like 2) It cant deterrer me from my goal. So for example I might want to get a sweet treat after a work out, but if I’m trying to loose weight I should opt for something like frozen yogurt with toppings over an entire chocolate cake.

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