Undoubtedly the hardest part of reaching your goals whether they are losing weight, getting fit, increasing your strength or putting on some muscle is staying motivated for long enough to keep on training or eating the right foods.
If your motivation is faltering then these fitness and gym motivation tips will help you get back on track and stay there!
There is nothing wrong with admitting your motivation isn’t currently as strong as it once was and realizing that you have a weakness is the first step in the process of eliminating that chink in your armor. So let’s get started with the top motivation tips that will ensure you get to where you want to be.
Name and Shame
If your goal is to lose weight or put on some quality muscle mass then take a photo of yourself now or find one of you looking less than flattering and pin that image up around the house. I am currently using a photo of me from a holiday a while ago on the beach with my top off looking larger than I thought I was! I’ve set this image as my computers desktop background and also printed a copy out and stuck it on the fridge. This means when I am on the computer and look at the desktop or press the alt and tabs keys to scroll through the open windows I get to see myself at my worst.
Also when I sneak off to the kitchen to grab a snack this terrible sight greets me as I am just about to open the fridge door for an illicit treat. As I am doing intermittent fasting to lose weight and put on some muscle, if I am tempted to eat outside of the allotted eating period this motivational tip usually stops me in my tracks.
Top Tip: If you’ve made good progress from when the photo was taken change it to a more recent one as you might get a false sense of confidence if you’ve come along way but still have not met your goals.
You can do the Name and Shame approach with other targets such as the weights you are lifting or the times of your runs but in my experience this one works best when you need motivation to lose weight.
If you want to take this gym motivation tip to the next level you can post the photo on Facebook or twitter for a public shaming but I don’t recommend this!
Google Image Search
Most people have some idea of how they want to look when they have reached their goals and if you need motivation to lose weight or gain some muscle then this fitness motivational tip works wonders. When you are scheduled to go to the gym but just don’t have the drive or motivation to set off simply fire up Google Image search and type in something like workout motivation for men or before and after weight loss women to bring up a whole host of great motivational photos. Don’t spend too much time trawling through them though. The idea is to act on the sudden burst of motivation and get going rather than trying to find the best ones.
Top Tip: You can download some of the best ones and compile a ‘mood board’ that is made up of your favourite motivational images. Just copy and paste the images into Word and save it or print it out for future reference.
Share Your Goals
Once you speak your goals out loud and tell other people about them they become real and take on a life of their own. At worst no one will be that interested but at least the goal has now been spoken and it will motivate you on to reach it now that other people know about it. By sharing your goals you might just get someone interested enough to keep checking on your progress to see how you are doing. Having someone on your back and keeping an eye on you can really help you stay motivated when you don’t feel like training or skipping that extra slice of cake.
Top Tip: Try and find someone to share your goal with who will ridicule you or at least tell you that you won’t make it; there is nothing like the ability to prove someone wrong to keep you going until the finish line.
Focus on the Positive Not the Negative
This might sound a bit airy fairy but it is still worth a try and keeps you in a positive state of mind which is very important. If your goal is to lose weight and no longer be fat don’t focus on how you hate being fat but focus on how great it will be when you are thinner. If you want to lift heavier weights don’t focus on how much you can lift now but focus on how much weight you want to lift. This goes for other things too. If you want more money then don’t say to yourself “I don’t want to be poor” but say “I want to be rich”. Just thinking about negative words like fat, weak or poor will put you into a negative state of mind which will zap you of your motivation. Make sure you goals are positive such as:
- Have a six pack
- Eat more healthier foods
- Get a bikini body
Rather than negative ones such as:
- Lose the belly fat
- Eat less junk food
- Stop being too fat for a bikini
They are still essentially the same goals but you have reworded them to become more positive and therefore more motivating.
Top Tip: Write these goals down and keep them to hand in your wallet or purse or as a screen saver on your computer.
There is nothing like a bit of instant gratification to keep you on the straight and narrow and when it comes to workout motivational tips there is no exception. Set mini goals and targets such as hitting a certain weight on the scales, reaching a specific dress size or doing a set number of workouts in a week whether that means hitting the gym or working out at home. Make sure your goals are specific and that you know when they are reached and not vague targets like ‘eat healthy food this week’ ‘go to the gym as much as possible’ or ‘look good naked’. Those are all subjective and you can talk yourself into thinking you have met them when perhaps you haven’t. Keep the goals specific!
Make sure you also set realistic rewards and write them down first. Also make sure they aren’t opposed to your goals. Don’t reward ‘lose 10 pounds’ with ‘eat a family KFC bucket’. Try a reward that is more in tune with your goals like buying a new item of clothing or spending time with a friend.
Top Tip: Don’t overdo this one as you will get addicted to the treats and run out of things to reward yourself with!
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Having some money on the line is a great motivator for all sorts of goals, targets and objectives. If I told you to go to the gym every day for a year you’d probably tell me that that was impossible for you as you are far too busy and couldn’t possibly spare the time. If I told you I’d give you a million dollars if you went to the gym every day for a year you’d magically find the time. Well I’m sorry to break it to you but I’m not going to offer you any money and I don’t think anyone else will. But having a friendly bet with a friend that you can reach a certain goal should keep you motivated to lose weight or get faster, bigger or stronger. You can challenge each other to both meet a goal or you can be the only one with a goal and make it a simple bet: I bet you I can do 100 press-ups by Christmas. Again, make sure the goal is specific so there is no room for your partner to weasel their way out of it.
Top Tip: You don’t have to bet with money. Good old fashioned challenges work just as well such as eating a tin of dog food, not brushing your teeth for a week or watching Titanic.
Sign up for an Event
Find a local event that matches you goals and sign up for it. If you goal is to run faster then sign up for a running race. If you want to get toned and in shape then sign up for a wet t-shirt contest. Make sure the event or competition is related to your goal so you are working not only towards your goal but to avoiding public humiliation at the event you have registered for.
Top Tip: Get people to sponsor you so it is even harder for you to pull out as you will have to do the walk of shame around the office refunding all the money you collected because you chickened out!
Pay Someone to Motivate You
If you just can’t get yourself down the gym and these motivational tips did nothing for you and you still need motivation to lose weight or get in shape then hand over some of your hard earned cash for a personal trainer. Knowing there is someone waiting for you to arrive and will call you up when you don’t make an appearance at the gym should keep even the most unmotivated people focused on the task in hand. Plus the amount of money you will lose by not showing up will be an extra motivating factor.
Top Tip: Make sure the personal trainer doesn’t let you cancel sessions without a long notice period and that you have to do all cancellations over the phone and not by texting or emailing to make it harder to back out at the last minute.
Forget the Bad Days
Nobody is perfect and we all have off days when we just aren’t motivated enough to exercise or stick to our diets. When these days occur don’t beat yourself up about them. If you can’t get motivated just suck it up and move on. Tomorrow is another day and another chance to get closer to reaching your goals.
Don’t use this as an excuse not to workout though as you can only have so many bad days before you have a bad month, then a bad year and then…well you get the picture!
Oh and here is a final motivating word for you: while you were reading this article trying to get motivated you could’ve done your workout already so get on with it. Now!
For more motivating photos check out our Pinterest board.