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Be honest with yourself: When you finally get off work, wouldn’t you much rather watch some TV or surf the Web than go to a busy gymnasium and attempt to work out?
If you’re not a huge fan of fitness in general and the thought of exercising just sounds *awful* to you sometimes, how in the world can you find the motivation to exercise? Here are some ways you can do exactly that.
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1. Downsize Your Workout
And no, we don’t mean “downsize” as in “get rid of.”
We’ve all had those days, the ones when we had planned some ambitious workout, only to discover when the day came that we just didn’t have the energy or drive to go through with it.
Here’s what to do in that situation: Instead of just putting off your workout for another day, just reduce its size and scope. Do a shorter, less strenuous version of the workout you had planned. For example, if the plan was to run 10 kilometers and you’re just not feeling up to it, run 5 kilometers instead. Whatever you do, though, don’t put off working out.
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2. Find A Workout Buddy, Or Join A Fitness Class
Many people find that accountability is a powerful motivating factor for anything, including exercises. When another person is expecting you to show up and exercise, you’re much, much less likely to blow it off. Also, exercising with another person, or a group of people, can really encourage you to put in that extra effort.
If you’re a member of a gym, check out the classes they offer there, like boxing, full-body strength training, cardio, or spin, and see if any of them are for you.
Alternatively, ask your significant other, a friend, or a coworker to be your workout buddy. Having the support of someone who knows you is a powerful thing.
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3. Take Workout Gear With You To Work
The night before you plan to work out, make sure your gym bag is already packed with everything you’ll need, and put it in your car when you leave for work (or, if you can, pack everything into your briefcase). Taking workout clothes with you to work has a strong influence on your subconscious: it affirms and reinforces your intention to go straight to the gym after work. This makes you much more likely to do so. As soon as you sit down on that couch at home, it’s too late!
If you have a home gym or you use the gym at your office building, don’t sit down when you get there – go straight to the gym and get going. Ideally, you should change clothes and go for it the minute you get home, and do this consistently enough that it becomes a habit. Don’t pause or lose your focus even for a minute – you might find yourself lost in an internal debate about whether or not to work out.
4. Keep Track Of Your Progress
Consider this question. Who is more aware of the growth of a child: a relative who only sees them two or three times a year, or their parents?
Similarly, small increments of progress can be hard to see, but they are there, every day. This is one of several factors that make it important to keep an ongoing record of your fitness progress, covering weeks, months, or even years.
Record how much weight you could lift, how long it took you to run those 5 kilometers, or any other statistics about your workouts. When you look back and see all the progress you’ve made, you’ll be motivated to keep going.
5. Give Yourself Rewards
Whether it’s a night at the movies, a massage, or even some new workout gear, you’re likely to stay on track and stay motivated if you’re working toward a reward.
Of course, you can give yourself treats like these without exercising at all, but if you use them as rewards for the effort you put in, you’ll enjoy them much more because you’ll feel like you’ve earned them.
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