Exercise can be a great way to keep yourself motivated in other areas of your life. Daily exercise can create a happy or excited mood, and make you more productive, and energized throughout the day. These benefits are great, but what if you are lacking 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 exercise, they can also be applied to other areas of your life with a little creativity.
Set an alarm
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 or cooking, or even meetings or meeting deadlines. I know some writers that set an alarm for time specifically for sitting down with the blank page. By setting an alarm you’re blocking off that time in your schedule and your day to devote energy to that specific task.
A pump-up playlist
Sometimes my schedule only allows for an afternoon workout. I enjoy these as 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 motivated and excited for my workout. This playlist is totally separate from my workout playlist, and is filled with songs that I can’t help but tap my toes to, clap, or even get out of my chair and dance to. After a couple of songs I’m feeling more motivated and excited about the workout and the blahs I had before are gone.
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 will help 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, and 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. See the trick here is the hardest part is often getting your shoes on and getting out the door. Once you’re at the gym or the video is playing, you’ll probably complete the workout. By promising yourself only five minutes you get through the toughest part and 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, and once you start it will be easier to continue forward to completion.
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