I want to talk to you today about how you can develop a healthy mindset when it comes to exercise, and how to start loving your workouts! Rather than seeing them as another annoying task that you have to check off of your to-do list.
If you’re currently in a fitness rut, struggling to get back in the gym, or desperately waiting for motivation to strike you to get up and exercise, this one is for you!
It can be hard enough to find time to exercise, and trying to find workout motivation in the process can make it even more difficult and stressful! This causes you to feel down on yourself, guilty, exhausted, and simply annoyed with it all! Sound familiar? I understand the feeling!
I find that the number one problem that many people have with exercise is the feeling that they “have to” do it. And that feeling like you “have” to do something just makes you not want to do it even more. So I am here to fix that! Here is how to start loving your workouts and the 7 unique ways to motivate yourself to exercise!
How To Start Loving Your Workouts
1. Say Goodbye To “Rules”
Get rid of any “rules” that you have centered around working out! These are rules that you have come up within your head such as, “you can only workout in the morning,” “you have to do fasted cardio to burn fat,” or “you have to work out for X amount of time to make it effective,” and “a 10 minute workout is not good enough,” etc.
We make up these rules for ourselves that are simply not true!
Whatever you feel you “have to do”, get rid of it! Get rid of the “have to” mindset completely because that is what’s hindering you from getting a good workout and feeling excited about doing so.
Anything you do is going to be beneficial!
Exercise is about so much more than appearance and looking a certain way! This suffocating mindset could be what created your inner rules in the first place. If we can get rid of that need for chasing a desired physical appearance when working out, and let the physical changes happen as you progress, then you are going to be a lot less stressed and annoyed, my friend!
You’re going to feel free and you’re going to look at exercise in a completely better way!
You will no longer have this heavy burden weighing you down when it comes to exercise! For me, I no longer look at exercise as a form of punishment or as a way to look better and burn a certain amount of calories. I also no longer feel guilty if I don’t exercise one day or as long as I did the day before!
You have the power to take those “rules” that are suffocating you and creating your negative mindset around working out, and completely get rid of them for good! Your mindset around exercise should be focused “getting to workout” rather than “having to workout.”
2. Set “Growth” Goals
The goals that I am talking about today are not about weight loss or muscle gain goals. Instead, I want you to focus on YOUR overall fitness growth. Focus on breaking down obstacles, setting new personal records, and getting further in your fitness goals.
Set goals to beat past records in your timed mile run, set a goal to get more pushups or pull-ups each week, challenge yourself to lift more weight or become more flexible in your stretches. This allows you to look at the gym or exercise as a whole in a fun and game-like way! Where each time, you challenge yourself to push a little harder, run a little faster, or try something you’ve never done before!
Related Post: “10 Ways To Finally See Results From Your Workouts”
3. Move Until You Sweat
On the days that I am feeling less motivated to workout, I tell myself “just move until you sweat.”
It’s as simple as that!
Seriously! I just tell myself, “okay, just move until you start sweating.” This creates a sense of excitement and positive urgency in my workouts. I’m not trying to rush my workouts or jeopardize proper form in any way, I’m just moving my body in the ways that I want to until I start to sweat!
I am more intentional with my workout and I begin to push myself harder! I add in some fat-blasting cardio intervals, I do one more rep at a heavier weight, I hold a plank for 10 more seconds, or simply whatever it takes to break a sweat.
And believe it or not, my motivation actually increases as I’m exercising, and sometimes gets me to workout longer than I initially wanted to!
It may sound silly I know, but this tip is very practical and it’s something that just works great for me!
Give it a try! It may just work for you too!!
4. Dig Into Your Creative Side
Make it fun! Exercise doesn’t have to be something that’s boring, long, and grueling! Change it up and do something new! Take a boxing class, try yoga, or try taking your workout outside and go hiking!
Bring your kids or your partner along with you and make it a fun bonding activity instead of a common workout.
Sticking with the same type of exercises can get boring, so try mixing it up by introducing a workout a challenge! By yourself or with a friend!
Something I LOVE to do for myself and for my clients is create themed workouts! They are so fun and I create themed workouts to movies, holidays, songs, celebrities, etc. At the gym I work at, I make every Friday morning a themed workout day! I call them “Fit Theme Friday’s” and they have really made a difference in my client’s overall mood going into the workout. Definitely give it a try!
If you want me to go into further detail on my themes, I would be more than happy to!! Just leave a comment or a “✋” in the comments!
5. Make A Upbeat, Motivating Playlist
This one is common, but trust me it works! Music is a great way to enhance your workouts!
Have you ever gone into a gym and forgotten your headphones? Or the gym’s playlist is not your preferred style? And you start to notice that your motivation and intensity decreases.
Create a brand new playlist of songs that motivate you and get you inspired to workout! For me, a playlist that consists of anything Beyoncé will work just fine!
If you don’t have time to create one or if you need some ideas, Spotify and Apple Music have great workout playlists!
6. Make Your Workout Your “You” Time
Exercise can be such a powerful way to relieve stress and anxiety! Instead of looking at exercise in a negative light, look at it as your “you” time, or as a form of self-care!
This is YOUR time to be alone and take care of yourself! Use this time to improve your health, lower anxiety, and make you feel good! You don’t have to worry about anyone or anything else during this fraction of your day.
Think of your workout as your escape!
Exercising can be very cathartic, and a great way to release negative thoughts and feelings. If you develop that mindset and train yourself to think that way! Then, instead of avoiding any exercise because of a stressful day, exercise will now be your outlet to relieve that stress!
7. “Cardio Fantasies”
This one sounds a little odd lol! But I promise you are going to end up using it! I bet you now!
Sometimes we need a way to distract ourselves from the exercises that we are doing. When you have too many other thoughts racing in your mind and when you don’t feel like working out that day, try daydreaming through it!
The hilarious and talented Mindy Kaling came up with the phrase “cardio fantasies” and how it’s her go-to tool for getting through an exercise. She invents stories in her mind as a way to entertain herself while she is exercising. Do this as you are walking on the treadmill, climbing up the stair stepper, or trying to survive a spin class.
Take your mind somewhere else!
Daydream to the song that’s playing or the podcast that you might be listening to!
Envision yourself on a yacht with Channing Tatum (or whoever), picture yourself performing in your favorite production on Broadway, surfing in Australia, or winning that trophy in a competition. As you’re working out, envision your dreams and your goals that you are working towards. Or pretend you have already accomplished your dreams and your goals and visualize the life that you want to live so bad!
Mindy Kaling uses it as her exercise motivation, and I would be lying if I said I haven’t used this method either! So now, I challenge you to give it try and see if it works for you!
Remember friend, fitness can absolutely be fun! If you keep practicing this mindset!
What are some ways that you motivate yourself to workout?
Let me know in the comments!