Pssst! Need some motivation? I have a secret.

by Rebecca A. Watson on January 27, 2012

in change, habits, life

It’s the end of January, which means many of us out there are struggling to keep up with a New Year’s Resolution. If you’ve caved, take heart! The Chinese New Year was only a few days ago. You can start again! Plus it’s the year of the dragon, and that means lucky lucky goodness.

moon dragon lunar new year

I heart dragons.

Choosing to work out or be more active is one of the top New Year’s Resolutions every year. And if you’re having trouble getting motivated, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Exercise is NOT fun at first, no matter what your work-out addicted friends might tell you. It’s painful and may seem to drain you of whatever little energy you have left.

Even the most seasoned vets in the game have to resort to tricks to get themselves active some days, but trust me when I say it will become something you love, if only because of how you feel if you don’t do it … kind of like any addiction. But this is (for the most part) one of the most healthy addictions you can develop.

So if you want a few tips to keep up your exercise resolution, I’m happy to provide them, only because I’ve been on the other side: tired, sick of not seeing instant results, and the couch beckons.

  1. Find your motivation, even if it isn’t the “right” one. I’ll admit it. When I first started working out,  it wasn’t because I wanted to lower my cholesterol and help ease my depression. It was to look good naked. And when I told a friend that, she cracked up but said “Hey, whatever gets you in the gym.”
  2. Make it part of your routine.  Bike or walk to work. If your transportation involves your body, you’re always being active so you’ll never have a reason to skip it. Unless of course you want to sleep at work.
  3. Try to make it something you’re already doing. My friend Nicole went ice skating for her workout this weekend. Awhile ago I spent a few hours rollerskating. It’s natural cross-training!
  4. Show up. Sometimes I just throw my workout gear on even if I have no ambition to workout. And wouldn’t you know it? I find the desire. My hubby does this with his bike rides too.
  5. Do it in the morning. Even if you’re not a morning person. You’ll still be half asleep so you can hate it less and then it’s done. You can’t flake on it. I did this for about four months before I allowed myself to sleep in again and workout at night. It worked.
  6. Find a workout buddy. Craiglist has platonic personals and I’ve seen several ads for workout buddies. I went on a walk with someone I met on Craigslist. It’s better than nothing if none of your friends are into working out. And about that …
  7. Ignore the friends who harrass you about working out. It’s a good thing. It’s not vain or selfish or anything negative (unless you’ve got an exercise disorder). It’s healthy and good for you. Just remember, haters gotta hate.

Just remember that change in the world starts with change in yourself, so keep it up! What are your tricks for getting yourself to the gym or to your workout?

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