3 motivational techniques for exercise to stick to your fitness workouts
Motivational techniques for exercise / Lilian Dikmans

As the first month of the year comes to an end, all the well-intentioned new year fitness resolutions may be starting to fade. Instead of throwing in the towel and falling back into old habits, it might be time to employ some motivational techniques to keep you on track. Below are three motivational techniques for exercise that you can use to stick to your new year fitness plan.

3 motivational techniques for exercise

  1. Identify an emotionally charged goal
  2. Start small and be consistent
  3. Find an activity that you like

Identify an emotionally charged goal

Saying that you will prioritise fitness for the sake of “getting fit” or “losing weight” are not typically very strong motivators. Try to dig a bit deeper and look for a more emotionally relevant goal.

For example, maybe your workouts allow you to lose yourself in a physical activity, giving you a break from the constant mind-chatter the often follows us throughout the day. Perhaps your motivation is to learn a new skill, like boxing, Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu, to boost your self confidence and ability to defend yourself. Others might find that they need to lose weight and get fit so that they can keep up with their children and set a good example.

Connecting with an emotionally charged goal is a more powerful way to remind yourself why you are prioritising your fitness and sticking to your fitness plan.

Start small and be consistent

We often subscribe to an “all or nothing” mindset when it comes to fitness. Tag lines like “go hard, or go home” can make us think that every workout has to be the toughest yet or else it’s a waste of time. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed, which can lead to giving up before we even start. A more useful mindset is to focus on consistency.

Consistently showing up for a workout, even if it’s just a 20 minute effort, will help to build good habits. Over time, people who consistently show up can more easily extend the length and intensity of their workouts.

Find an activity that you like

There are so many ways to get fit. Some people love to lift weights in the gym. Others enjoy group classes, running outside or playing a team sport. Forcing yourself to stick to an activity that you don’t like just sets you up for failure. Instead, try different forms of exercise until you find something that you enjoy. You don’t have to love it; physical activity isn’t a natural preference for everyone. You just need to not hate it.

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