Preparation is the key to success in most endeavors, including personal fitness. In other words, by preparing for bad days when your motivation might be low you will have all the tools in place to jump start your fitness enthusiasm and stay on track.
Naturally, this is by no means a one-size-fits all approach since everyone has different motivational triggers. The most important thing is to know your strengths as well as your weaknesses in order to effectively counter-act any mood swings.
You should also have a clear goal, whether that is losing weight or toning up for a cruise. Training for an event like a marathon can also help motivate you since other people will be relying on your participation.
Here are a few tips to motivate yourself when apathy strikes:
1. Buy yourself a set of workout clothes that make you feel sexy and comfortable. Put them on 30 minutes before your workout to get into a fitness mindset.
2. Hang up motivational fitness pictures or posters in areas where you will see them often. It should be something that really gets you excited like an action picture of your favorite sport or an attractive person at the gym.
3. If you work out at home with fitness programs like P90X or Insanity pop in the DVD immediately when you get home or when you get up in the morning. Watching other people do something often has the ‘monkey see, monkey do” effect, so before you know it you will feel like being part of the action.
4. Make a list of reasons for working out and put it on your fridge or bathroom mirror. The stronger your reasons are the easier it will be to snap out of your lazy mood by reading them. This could be anything from improving your health to wooing a sexy co-worker.
5. Schedule your workouts when your energy level is highest. Some people love to exercise in the morning while others function better at night after work. Know thyself!
6. Set automatic reminders for your workouts on your computer or cell phone. Reward yourself with a pre-scheduled “congrats” message to be sent at the completion of your workout.
7. If you are motivated by money you can sign up for a weight loss challenge like the Beachbody Challenge or healthy wage. Successful participants can win between $10,000-$100,000.
8. Make a pact with a workout buddy that you will not let each other get out of the scheduled training, no matter what.