How to Stay Motivated When You REALLY Don't Feel Like Working Out
In case you hadn't realized, we're about at the mid point between new year's and the start of spring. Which means, if you're anything like us, your motivation is nil. All the momentum of those well-intentioned resolutions has plateaued; while bikini season still feels far away enough to ignore the gym. In other words? The fire under your seat isn't lit.
But coasting through the rest of winter would be a mistake (one we've made before). To help you harness that missing little thing called 'motivation,' we spoke to fitness guru and founder of her eponymous active living brand, Lorna Jane Clarkson, for her top five tips for staying on track. Keep reading to get empowered!
If you're struggling to stay motivated, the onward progression of time is your enemy. The later it gets, the more reasons you'll have to skip exercising. "You’re less likely to make excuses if you exercise first thing in the morning because later on, your day gets in the way," says Clarkson. "Something might happen with the kids or you’ll be busy at work, or tired. If you get exercise over and done with first thing in the morning you’re going to feel great for the rest of the day. And you’ve got less hours in the day to talk yourself out of it."
Before going to bed at night, lay out your activewear for the next day’s workout. Not only will it make you more excited about your impending wakeup call and prevent any "I-couldn't-find-my-tennis-shoes" type of excuses, it will also put the pressure on yourself to fulfill a workout. "If you don’t workout the next morning, you still have to walk past this activewear and you feel bad about it," says Clarkson. "If you’ve gone to that effort to lay everything out, you’re more likely to get up in the morning and just do it. Treat it like a special occasion in that sense, think about what you're going to be doing in your workout. If you're going to go for a run, lay out a really cute singlet and a pair of running shorts and even go to the point of putting your headphones out. It looks almost like an Instagram shot," she says. You can hashtag it #fitspiration.
If you can't self-motivate, your best trick will be locking yourself into things you pretty much can't get out of. "If you go on a fitness journey with someone else, you’re less likely to let them down," says Clarkson. "When it’s friend, you feel guilty for letting them down. And your friend will hold you accountable! If it’s a trainer, often if you cancel you still have to pay. So you’re not going to do that too many times. And it’s a trainer’s job to keep you motivated. If you’re perpetually canceling, there will be repercussions. When you actually do turn up, you’re in for it."
When you're feeling like you'd rather do anything than exercise, just change your mindset and do something—anything. "Exercise no matter what. You might go to bed planning to do a weight session or a run, but when the alarm goes off and you think ‘I’m so sore, I’m tired’, just make sure to do something anyway. We’ve all been there! If you’re feeling sore, instead go for a hike or do some yoga. With a lot of people it’s all or nothing, whereas everything counts," says Clarkson. "Call a friend and take a walk, take a walk on your lunch break, or park a little further from the grocery store and carry your bags instead of using a cart," she says.
Last but not least, wear activewear. It's made to wick sweat and let you move, breathe, and look and feel confident. Furthermore, it has a psychological effect. "If you wear activewear you are more active. It’s that simple," says Clarkson. "Many people who wear activewear in their day-to-day life don’t work out in it. But they are more active. They’re actually moving their bodies more. They might not be going to the gym or going for a run, but they might be walking to the shops or taking the stairs instead of the escalator. Because when you put sneakers on and activewear on, you will move your body. It’s a state of mind."
What are your favorite tips for staying motivated? Share them in the comments below!