The hardest part is starting. Once you get started, you build up momentum and things get easier from there. How do you motivate yourself to start and to stick to your workout? We’ve outlines 7 simple ways anyone can use to make their workout routine stick. Let us know what helped you!
Ready. Set. Go
If you haven’t exercised in a while then the best thing you can do is to start out. That’s it. Just start. Aim for 1 day of exercising for your first (and maybe even your second) week. 10 minutes is plenty for your first try and if that seems too hard, just do a TABATA run which takes 4 minutes. If 4 minutes sounds a bit too much, then just start with 1-2 minutes and do some pushups. Just do something. It’s way better than doing nothing. Always remember the simple equation: SOMETHING > Nothing.
Start out small, really small and make it seem so easy that you WILL do it. Make it impossible to fail and not only will you do it, but you’ll also want to do it next week.
The secret to wanting to work out (besides making it seem easy and simple) is to feel like you are making progress. In the beginning, you won’t see any six packs appearing out of the blue so you can look at the next best thing which is that sense of feeling progress is made because you’re doing more. You’re working out twice this week instead of once last time and so on.
If you’ve done 1 exercise of 4 minutes on your first week, then aim for 5-6 minutes next week. Here is a simple plan for someone who is just starting out:
Day 1: TABATA (4 minutes) – Jumping Jacks and Pushups
Day 1: TABATA (4 minutes) – Plank and Squats
Day 2: 10 pushups
Day 1: TABATA (4 minutes) – Wood choppers (for your abs) and Mountain Climbers
Day 2: 15 pushups
Day 1: TABATA (4 minutes) – Squats and pushups
Day 2: TABATA (4 minutes) – Russian twists and Step Jacks (Jumping jacks variation)
We’ve gradually went from 4 minutes to at least 8 minutes within 4 weeks, thus doubling your workout time. It might not seem like much but your brain starts getting used to the idea of workouts and that’s all that matters.
Workout with a friend
Having a partner is one of the best ways to keep yourself accountable. He/she will pull you up when you’re down and then you can do the same when needed. The more you help him the more you help yourself. There’s much to be said about the power of two when it comes to anything not just working out and you should take advantage of this. Find a friend that wants to start working out and go to the gym together.
Be social about it
Tell your friends, family and the world that you are starting a workout plan. Tell them exactly what you’ll be doing and ask them to hold you accountable and to help motivate you. Always ask for help when you need it and people will jump in because they get it. They understand you need the pep talk to get things moving, who doesn’t?
Keep a regular journal or blog about it
Keeping a journal of your progress is essential. You need to see what great progress you are making and you also need to write down your state of mind and how it changes over time. Write down what exercises seem to work better for you and what doesn’t suit you at all. What kinds of food do you like eating after a workout and what seems to give you plenty of energy before a workout?
If you don’t like the idea of a journal maybe you might want to start a blog and write about your adventures there. Maybe you could even motivate a few more people to start working out? Wouldn’t that be something?
Visualize your end goal
Depending on what your goals are for working out, you need to start visualizing yourself being that person. If you want to become stronger, take 2-5 minutes daily or every other day and close your eyes and see yourself being the man you want to become. Imagine lifting big weights, walking on the beach and women and men admiring your body. See yourself smile and feel confident and then open your eyes, realize you can be that person and get to work ;)!
After every successful workout, give yourself a pat on the back. Sometimes just saying to yourself: “Great going, man!” will be enough and other times, you’ll want to buy a small item to reward yourself. Set milestones and when you reach them have a reward in mind. Buy new fitness clothes, go out and celebrate with friends, etc.