There are many things we do in life that we just cannot negotiate. Whether it’s going to work every day, picking up the kids from school, or a simple family tradition that is a must for you, there will always be things we prioritize. For many, unfortunately, exercise is not one of those things. Exercise is sometimes not seen as a necessity and if one can get away without doing it for the day, they will.
In Kathleen Trotter‘s book, Finding Your Fit, she discusses how she made exercise a non-negotiable. So, how exactly can you turn exercise from, “I don’t think I need to do this today” to, “I have to do this and I want to do this today”?
Motivation plays a huge role in making your fitness regime consistent. That is exactly what Kathleen used to help her. In her book, she shared some motivational tricks that helped her love fitness and incorporate it into her every day life.
Motivational Trick 1
Keeping everything in a journal helps you stay consistent and organized, there is no doubt. Keeping track of what you do and what you eat is imperative, but you should also account for your mood. Write down how you feel on a scale of 1 to 10 before and after exercising- 1 meaning you did not enjoy a single aspect of your workout and 10 meaning you have an intense positive feeling towards exercise. Another way of framing this idea is the “law of initial value”. This dictates that the worse you feel before you exercise, the more opportunity there is do improve. Following this, the closer you are to a 1 on the scale, the more important your workout is!
Motivational Trick 2
Use the “ten-minute rule.” What does this rule mean? If you really do not feel like doing something, make yourself do it, even if it’s just for ten minutes. Tell yourself you have to workout for a minimum of ten minutes, with the option to continue or stop after those ten minutes. Ten minutes of exercise is better than no exercise at all, so do not get discouraged if you stop. I’ve noticed that once you’ve started, it’s quite hard to stop. Starting this is a great way to ensure you get work done without feeling overwhelmed.
Motivational Trick 3
Make daily life your gym. A big thing that prevents people from going to the gym is, well, the gym! Often times it can either be too time-consuming, too much of a drive or too pricey. Making your daily life your gym will allow you to get exercise without the excuses! Whether it’s walking to the store instead of driving, doing some squats while the kettle boils, or taking stairs instead of the escalator or elevator, there are all things you can incorporate into your every day life. Just like the ten-minute rule, these will allow you to get exercise without feeling overwhelmed!
Motivational Trick 4
Walk yourself through how you will feel depending on the choices you make. For example, if you want to watch TV instead of going for that jog you’ve been talking about, think about how both options would make you feel. Yes, there is a lot less work in watching TV, but think about the feeling you get after you accomplish your goal or workout. This is a very simple technique but it certainly is helpful. So next time you ant to skip your workout, think about how will feel if you did so versus how you will feel after your workout!
Motivational Trick 5
When all else fails, negotiate with yourself. Reward yourself after you workout and give yourself ultimatums. Allow yourself to take an extra-long bath if you lift weights or listen to your favourite podcast only if you run. Be your biggest motivator and competition.
When it comes to exercise, it’s always important to remember that everyone has moments of low motivation. You are not the only one who struggles to exercise and ti is certainly something you can overcome. Find activities that excite you or inspire you and go from there. Find passion in working out and the rest will come easy to you!
Kathleen Trotter’s, Finding Your Fit, is certainly a must read for all fitness enthusiasts and those looking to make a beneficial change in their lives.