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How to find motivation

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How do you find motivation to exercise when you just don’t feel like getting out of bed? I ask myself this question every now and then, and I have the feeling I’m not the only one.

That first step off of the couch and into the gym can be seemingly impossible. Over and over again, you resolve to get up and work out. Then, over and over again you lose motivation, procrastinate and ultimately tell yourself that you have failed, broken your resolution, that you just are not good at exercising. Yet, somehow, you have friends, acquaintances and neighbours for whom exercise seems to be effortless, compelling, even necessary.

Sometimes they can be inspirational, but more often than not, their seeming ease with the running, the spinning, the yoga, whatever, is intimidating. Okay, so no one has told you until now, so I’ll let you in on the secret: The hard part is easy; it’s the easy part that’s hard! That first step is the hardest step, the first week is the hardest week, and the first month is the hardest month. From there it becomes infinitely easier.

There are a million ways to motivate yourself to exercise, actually, but these are a few that have worked for me. And trust me; I’ve had days when I’ve struggled with exercise. Most recently, the things that have helped include finding a workout partner (one of the best motivators!), logging my exercise, reading magazines, books and websites, and rewarding myself. Finding a sport or activity that you love is a discovery for a lifetime that can greatly in motivate you to get in shape, make friends while at it, and have fun are only a few of the benefits that you can gain.

How you feel after a workout. I always feel great after a good workout. It’s a high. And I let that motivate me the next time: “You know how good you’re going to feel, Bunmi!”

Time for you. While many people make time to take care of others (kids, spouse, other family, co-workers, boss), they don’t often make time to take care of themselves. Instead, make your “you” time a priority, and don’t miss that exercise appointment.

Calories burned: If you count calories (and it’s really one of the most effective ways to lose weight), you know that the more you exercise, the more calories you burn — and the bigger your calorie deficit.How you’re going to look. Imagine a slimmer, fitter you. Now let that visualization drive you.

Cover models: Sure, they’re genetically freaky, and probably Photoshopped to look perfect. But for some reason, looking at how good a cover model looks helps motivate me to work harder.

Success stories: I find the success stories of others incredibly inspirational. If a fitness website has success stories, I’ll almost always read them.The scale: It’s not motivating to weigh yourself every day, as your weight fluctuates. But if you weigh yourself once a week, you’ll be motivated to have it keep going down, instead of up. Combine the scale with the measuring tape, and measure your waist.

Reaching a goal: Set a goal for weight, or your waist measurement, or a number of days to work out, or a number of miles to run this week. Setting and tracking a goal helps motivate you to complete that goal. Make it easily achievable.


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