“I don’t have enough time.”
“I don’t have the energy.”
“I’m so tired from the night before or from the day’s work.”
“The kids are waiting for me, and I need to attend to them.”
Seriously, the list of excuses can be incredibly long because when we aren’t motivated, getting up and exercising is the last thing we want to do. I know what it’s like to dread the gym or fear the idea of running outside. I know it all too well because that used to be me.
It took having children for me to wake up and want better for myself. Odd isn’t it? You would think I have less time, less patience, and less desire to think of my health and well being after children. People often ask me…
“How do you find time to work out with three children and a full-time job?”
“How do you stay motivated?”
“When do you sleep... actually do you ever sleep?”
"Yes, I sleep and yes I am a very busy mother, but I make time work for me. I stay motivated by remembering where I was before my journey, appreciating where I am today, and looking forward to where I will be in the future if I continue with my plans."
It takes will power and determination to get through the hundreds of excuses and just get active.
I read somewhere once that it only takes 21 days for something to become a habit when done consecutively. Here are some ways you can motivate yourself to work out and stay consistent with your routine:
Have a vision for what you want out of your workouts: losing weight, staying healthy, toning your body, getting ready for a vacation or an event, running a marathon, etc. Write this vision down along with your goals and keep your list with you at all times! Knowing your “why” will help you stay accountable which in return will help keep you motivated. Make sure your goals are specific, for example, stating I’ll work out Tuesdays &Thursdays will provide you a clear plan and it will be easy to achieve them. Start with small goals and work your way up, this will help keep your goals realistic, achievable and keep you motivated.
Workout in the mornings, before your brain realizes what your body is doing. It helps you feel more accomplished and gives you the energy to start the day. I’m an early bird by nature and love working out before my kids and Bini wake up. It sets me up for the day, and it’s off my to-do list so I can spend my time after work with the children at home. If you are not a morning person, do little things to prepare yourself the night before, so there is nothing to stop you from heading to the gym in the morning. Pack your gym bag, your lunch for work, and the kids’ lunch for school, set your coffee machine to brew your coffee in the morning. The faster it takes you to get out the house, the less time you have to remember all the other things you have to do or jump back in bed. Remember after the workout is complete, it’s out the way and you have the entire day to do as you please.
Knowing that someone else is waiting on me is enough motivation in my book. We are more likely to get things done when we are aware we have someone working with us and it holds us more accountable which will provide the motivation we need to continue working out. It’s also perfect because you have a friend to talk to at the gym, someone to decompress with and push you on the days you are feeling out of sync.
Doing the same thing over and over again can get very boring. If you belong to a gym, try their workout classes, do trial classes at interval training centers like Orange Theory Fitness (OTF) -my favorite intense workout at the moment. What I love about OTF is that they are smaller and everyone knows each other, plus the workouts are different every day. I also like the fact that they provide wristbands for their members and use them to track your heart rate, burnt calories, and other stats. I’m telling you guys, it’s 60 minutes of the best full body workout I’ve ever had, and I always walk out feeling strong and proud of myself.
I don’t know about you all, but shopping is one of my favorite things to do. Having workout gear that suits my body makes me feel sexy and confident. Being comfortable in your gear is motivation itself to work out.
This goes hand in hand with goal setting…after each goal is met, you should reward yourself with a treat. Something small that you want to buy or eat, this definitely keeps me motivated. I work hard to reach my goals so I can get that scoop of ice cream or a plain ol’ American burger from Mike’s. Now-a-days, I tend to buy new workout gear as a reward for myself. It’s a treat when my old clothes don’t fit, and I need new ones.
Lastly, just love the person you are looking at in the mirror. This individual has big dreams, has a vision of what she wants and you need to be proud of her. No matter what stage in life you are at or where you are in your healthy living journey, stick to your plan, work hard, and enjoy the rewards.
I’m by no means a fitness guru, in fact, I’m still studying to get my health and wellness certification. Everything I’ve shared is what I’ve learned about myself through my healthy living journey and everything I am still practicing today. I hope this helps you the same way it’s helped me.
As always, I’d love to hear what keeps you motivated to workout.