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Smart Moves To Motivate Yourself to Exercise When You’d Rather Do Anything Else

Smart Moves To Motivate Yourself to Exercise When You’d Rather Do Anything Else

Even those committed to their gym routines must acknowledge the challenge of mustering motivation for winter workouts amid the dark and cold days. For those chasing aesthetic gains, the allure of summer beach weather seems distant. Runners and cyclists may find their exercise passion waning after the conclusion of the fall race season. As for those embarking on fitness goals for the New Year, the familiar struggle is a shared experience.

What's the key to maintaining motivation for exercise, particularly on those days when the allure of lounging on the couch seems infinitely more appealing and a million reasons not to work out come to mind? Well, we rounded up a couple of smart moves to motivate yourself to exercise when you'd rather do anything else to help you get off your seat and start moving.

RELATED: How To Start and Maintain a Healthy Exercise and Diet Routine

How To Stay Motivated to Exercise Regularly

Smart Moves To Motivate Yourself to Exercise When You’d Rather Do Anything Else

Motivation levels vary for everyone, and even those dedicated to exercise may encounter challenges in staying motivated. Before starting, acknowledge that there will be occasional setbacks or moments when the motivation to exercise is lacking. Instead of viewing these instances as failures, recognize them as a natural part of life.

Anticipate these temporary setbacks, and proactively consider strategies to overcome hurdles, ensuring you can resume your routine. Don't let these moments discourage you. Remember, they happen to everyone. The key is to be resilient and refocus when life temporarily disrupts your exercise routine.

Make a conscious effort not to give yourself excuses.

The looming question most of us encounter in the middle of our fitness journey is: what to do when you lose motivation to exercise?

Relying on motivation is unreliable. Instead, embrace discipline to stay committed to your fitness routine consistently. The rationale? Motivation is momentary, but discipline is steadfast.

Think of discipline as a muscle—it strengthens with each use. Consistently exercise it, and you'll find it overpowering laziness when it's time to hit the gym. To reach this point, make a hardcore commitment.

Even on days when motivation is lacking, switch off your mind and work out regardless. Avoid taking a day off just because you feel like skipping a session; doing so sets a detrimental precedent. Once you skip one workout, the likelihood of skipping another increases.

Here's what it means for you: Lay out your workout gear before bed, preset your coffee maker to start brewing when the alarm goes off, and pack your gym bag the night before. Head to the gym straight after work, even before mentally committing to the workout. Don't overthink it—just take action.

Commit with peers.

Prioritize scheduling workouts or participating in sports leagues alongside friends. In moments of waning motivation, redirect your focus to the commitment you made to your friends.

For example, you can commit to your friends for a year-round involvement to play tennis. Despite the reluctance to play in the dark and cold, which contradicts our natural instincts, your commitment to playing with others compels you to show up. The awareness that fellow players are depending on you adds an extra layer of motivation to uphold your commitment.

Create SMART goals.

A common mistake in goal-setting is crafting objectives that are overly broad or ambitious. By doing so, we set ourselves up for failure due to a lack of specific, measurable criteria for success. To address this, the SMART technique proves invaluable in ensuring clarity and attainability of desired results.

SMART, an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely, serves as a guide for defining objectives. Every goal must align with these five criteria, making the technique a useful tool for setting fitness goals.

For example, instead of a vague goal like "I want to run more", the SMART technique transforms it into a more achievable and realistic objective: "I want to increase my strength and stamina by running three miles twice a week." This specificity facilitates quantifiable success.

To track progress, incorporate elements like setting a date on the calendar to assess the results of your efforts, fulfilling the 'timely' aspect of SMART. This technique proves particularly beneficial for finding motivation on days when the inclination is to skip a workout.

Moreover, when determining the goal's difficulty, aim for the sweet spot: choose an objective with a 50% chance of achievement. This keeps you motivated and engaged, as it presents a challenging yet reachable target.

Don't be afraid to try something new.

Smart Moves To Motivate Yourself to Exercise When You’d Rather Do Anything Else

Establishing routines is often beneficial when cultivating habits, such as regular exercise. However, there are moments when the monotony of the same activities can lose its allure. Introducing variety, such as trying a new class or workout, can rejuvenate your motivation.

Exploring a different class or type of workout can be invigorating, breaking the monotony of your usual routine. If you find a new activity enjoyable, consider investing in a five- or 10-class pack. Putting down some money enhances your commitment, making you more inclined to return.

When incorporating a new activity into your routine, it's essential not to improvise. Display your workout schedule where you and everyone in your household can see it, ensuring accountability and adherence to the plan.

Turn workouts into a challenge.

If you're a parent, you're likely familiar with transforming chores into enjoyable challenges to make tasks more engaging. Now, it's time to bring that playful approach into your fitness routine. Consider adult versions of these challenges, turning mundane workouts into entertaining games.

Whether it's a squat challenge to test your endurance, a cardio challenge pushing your limits on the treadmill, or a weight challenge to see how much you can bench press, these activities can inject a sense of fun into your exercise routine.

If you typically work out with a group, turn these challenges into a collective effort. Alternatively, if you exercise solo, leverage fitness tracker apps or social media to document your progress. Invite others to join in, turning your individual challenges into a shared, motivating experience.

Give a workout a try for ten minutes.

Winter poses a significant motivation challenge for those who enjoy running or biking. Even the motivation to get up and exercise wanes. Venturing out in sub-freezing temperatures and darkness for a lengthy run or bike ride is hardly anyone's idea of enjoyment. So here's a trick: deceive yourself.

On cold and dark days, convince yourself to give it a shot for just 10 minutes and assess how you feel. If, after the initial 10 minutes, you don't feel particularly enthusiastic, turn around and head home. At least you've managed a 20-minute run, sufficient for maintaining your fitness. However, there are occasions when you find yourself feeling much better after the initial 10 minutes, prompting you to continue.

In times of low motivation, plan your route as an out-and-back. If your energy wanes after 20 or 25 minutes, tough luck—no matter where you are, you'll still have the second half of your workout to complete on the way back home.

RELATED: Why You Should Do Winter Walking

Always go back to your 'why'.

Smart Moves To Motivate Yourself to Exercise When You’d Rather Do Anything Else

When you're in the rhythm of your workouts, hitting the weights or cardio machines becomes part of your daily routine without much thought. However, when you reach a point when you have lost all motivation to workout, taking a moment to step back and reflect on the bigger picture can be beneficial.

Reconnect with and recall your "why"—the driving force behind starting your fitness journey. What initially prompted you to embark on this path? What goals are you striving for, and why are they significant to you? A gentle reminder of these motivations can be a powerful catalyst.

It may sound straightforward, and indeed it is, yet its impact is profound.

So, what's your "why"? Is it to enhance your energy levels during playtime, lower your blood pressure, sustain strength as you approach middle age, or perhaps be able to walk your daughter down the aisle in 20 years? Whatever it may be, let it serve as your guiding force. Remember that the effort you put in today will pave the way for positive changes tomorrow.

Baleaf Is Here To Cheer You on To Stay Motivated in Your Fitness Journey

Initiating the motivation to exercise in the morning or at any time of the day, begins by dedicating time in your schedule to prioritize fitness. So when you contemplate skipping your workout, consider applying any of the motivational hacks suggested. Overcoming a fitness slump is more manageable than you might imagine, especially when armed with the tools to get back on track.

Baleaf is here to ignite your fitness journey by offering activewear suitable for various transitions throughout your day. With exceptional fabrics and features in our All Women's and All Men's collections, you'll find the inspiration to conquer all your #healthgoals in life.

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