It’s a familiar and regular scenario for millions of people all over the world. Your alarm goes off at 6am, the gym is calling your name but you’re hell-bent on finding any excuse you cannot go.
If it’s a weekday, you’ll be needing all your energy for that marketing meeting at 9am. If it’s a weekend…well, those walls aren’t going to paint themselves. Not that you’ll actually get around to doing it, but you convince yourself as such to avoid trekking out to the gym.
If so, don’t be too hard on yourself. Ask any personal trainers, physical therapists or experts in general and they’ll tell you the same – most people find it difficult to stay motivated to hit the gym long-term. Sooner or later, you find yourself hitting a rut and dealing with seemingly endless spat of gym apathy.
The question being – what to do about it?
Mercifully, if you genuinely have every intention of getting in shape and staying in shape, there are tried and tested ways of helping things along. The following five tips having a fair amount of science and psychology behind them:
- Break the rules
First and foremost, the more strict and regimented you are with your gym schedule and routine, the more quickly you’ll begin to find it boring and repetitive. Of course, it’s important to be disciplined and to ensure you put in the necessary hours. Nevertheless, it’s up to you as to when and how you put these hours in. If going to the gym on a Monday morning really does feel like torture, try going in the evening, or perhaps on an entirely different day instead.
- Strength in numbers
In all aspects of exercise, things become considerably more enjoyable and tolerable when you bring at least one other person along for the ride. Along with the whole strength in numbers thing, there’s a certain amount of healthy competition to partnering-up that can be surprisingly motivating. Particularly if the individual or individuals you team up with are of a very similar fitness level to you. The longer you attempt to go it alone, the more likely you are to become demotivated.
- Quit focusing on looks
It’s funny, but the moment you stop working out purely to benefit your physical appearance, you suddenly find yourself so much more motivated. This is because while ever you focus on personal appearance alone and on the sports apparel you are wearing, it’s difficult to take any real satisfaction out of any exercise session. What’s more, your appearance alters so slowly and gradually while exercising that it’s not as if you can realistically expect to see a radical transformation before your eyes. By contrast, focus on feeling good and every session immediately becomes so much more satisfying.
- Place a wager
If entering into some kind of partnership or group exercise thing, there’s much to be said for spicing things up with a little wager. For example, a certain amount of money goes in the kitty and is paid in full to the person who sticks with their regime the longest. Alternatively, for every session any member of the group misses, they pay £5 into a collective pot which is used for perhaps a night out or some kind of collective purchase, further down the line. Pride is one thing, but as soon as there’s a little cash on the table, people have a habit of taking things much more seriously!
- Hire a trainer
Last but not least, most people think they can get by just fine without the praise and reassurance of others. Technically true in many instances, but a little coaching and support at the right time really can go a long way. Hiring a personal trainer can be highly motivating for two reasons. First and foremost, they provide the kind of motivating support, reassurance and general assistance that’s worth its weight in gold. Secondly, the fact that you have to pay for a personal trainer means you probably won’t want to waste your money!
So if you find yourself reaching for the excuse book the next time your alarm goes off, try one of these five tips on for size – it might just make all the difference.