Exercise can be a great way to boost motivation in other areas of your life. Daily exercise often creates a happy or excited mood. It makes you more productive and energized throughout the day. These benefits are great. But what if you lack motivation to work out? It’s hard to apply the benefits of exercise if you aren’t motivated to exercise in the first place! While these tips are specific to working out, they can also be applied to other areas of your life with a little creativity.
My goal is to exercise seven days a week at a moderate intensity to get my heart rate elevated. This is ideal for me, and there are some weeks I only get five days of exercise, but striving for seven days means that worst case I get five days and I still get all the good benefits. In order to get my seven workouts in I have to set an alarm. I use my phone and always make sure I put it far enough away on my nightstand that I not only have to sit up in bed but also have to reach way over to shut it off. This way once I’ve turned it off, I’m practically up anyway. Most people find that once they’re up, they’re up, and this works for me too.
The alarm helps me start my day at the right time and gives me a boost out of bed. You can also apply this alarm setting to any daily task, like cleaning, cooking, or even meetings and deadlines. I know some writers who set an alarm for time they set aside with the blank page. By setting an alarm, you’re blocking off that time in your schedule to devote energy to that specific task.
A pump-up playlist
Sometimes my schedule only allows for an afternoon workout. I enjoy these. They’re a great way to de-stress from all my meetings and office tasks. But sometimes the weight of the day drags me down and I find myself not looking forward to that afternoon workout. This is where my pump-up playlist comes in. It’s a specific playlist I only use to get me excited and motivated to exercise. This playlist differs from my workout playlist, and is filled with songs that I tap my feet to, or actually need to dance to. After a couple of songs, I feel more invigorated about the workout. And the ‘blahs’ I had before melt away.
You can also try this by creating a pump-up playlist for any afternoon activity you don’t always look forward to. Maybe there’s an afternoon class you find boring, or a weekly meeting you aren’t psyched about. Playing some new tunes helps you reset and get excited for that afternoon task. It’s a great way to switch gears and find focus, especially if it’s something you weren’t looking forward to before.
A five-minute timer
There are times that despite my organized schedule and pump-up playlist, that I still don’t want to hit the gym. In times like these I set my phone’s timer for five minutes. I then devote just those five minutes to working out. I might start a video at home, or just walk around the block, but after five minutes I give myself permission to stop. The trick here is that the hardest part is often getting your shoes on and getting out the door. Once you’re at the gym or playing a video, you’ll probably complete the workout. By promising yourself only five minutes, you get through the toughest part. You may have an even more successful workout than usual.
This five-minute timer can be applied to any task you really don’t want to do. It may be reading for a class, or writing a paper or proposal for work. Whatever it is, set a timer and give yourself five minutes. More often than not, once those five minutes are up, you’ll continue with your task because you’ve already made progress and gathered some momentum on it. Remember, the hardest part is starting. But once you start, continuing on becomes easier.
Want more great tips and resources on improving balance, energy, organization, health fitness, relationships, focus, faith and happiness? Each episode of my podcast, The Chalene Show is designed to give you strategies and simple steps you can implement today to become a better, more balanced, happier version of yourself.
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