We all know how easy it is to put off exercise, especially if you have a busy life, but here are six key ways to keep yourself motivated:
1. Track your progress.
Find a method to track how many miles you’ve walked, how many calories you’ve burned or how many steps you’ve taken. Consider making a wall chart with milestones written out along a line. Make a check mark each day when you make progress toward your next milestone. You can even create a little character of yourself to move along the line. Each day, you can see how far you have to go until your next milestone, and how far you’ve come.
You can also track your progress on a simple calendar. Mark off the days that you complete your exercise routine. You’ll be motivated as you get to the end of the month and you see how well you have done with your plan. Several of the best online diet programs have an online component where you can track your progress, alongside your intake of food and water.
2. Reward yourself.
Once you’ve reached a milestone on your chart, or checked off a certain number of days on your calendar, be sure to reward yourself with a non-food reward. Buy yourself some new music on iTunes to exercise to. Treat yourself to new workout clothes. Take in a movie with your spouse. If you reward yourself for a good behavior in a way that matters to you, you’ll make the effort to work out more.
3. Give yourself a break.
If you miss a day due to illness or a busy schedule, don’t beat yourself up about it. You won’t get anywhere by putting yourself through a guilt trip. If you tend to get down on yourself when you make a mistake in your workout, you will be more likely to stop doing your workouts altogether. Just plan to make up for a missing session on another day.
4. Mix up your exercise routine.
One of the main reasons that people stop exercising is out of boredom. While your exercise program may be exciting and fresh when you first start, even the most fast-paced workout DVD can get boring after a while. Mixing up your routine will keep you interested enough to want to keep working out. In addition, changing your workout from time to time will help you lose more weight and get more fit. Over time, your body gets used to the same repetitive motions and figures out ways to make the exercise easier. By introducing different types of movement, you’ll keep your body guessing and get more from your exercise.
5. Work out with friends or family.
Exercise is a lot more enjoyable when you do it as a group. The best way to stick with a program is commit to another person to work out together. You can motivate each other to keep going. You won’t be as likely to skip your workout if someone else is waiting there for you to join them.
6. Consider using beahvior modification techniques
A subliminal or non subliminal audiotape or CD (such as Think Right Now programs from Mike Brescia) may be able to help your mind and spirit work alongside you to help keep your body moving each day. If this is something you think might work for you, check out the current offerings from Hay House, as well. This publisher specializes in self help and personal empowerment titles, seminars, and programs.