Henry Croft is a UK based fitness blogger who reached out to me last week and was kind enough to write a guest blog post for me. I was quite excited about the idea of him writing a post for my readers as I know how greatly we all could benefit from it. When he asked me what is it that my readers would love to know more about, or will be interested in, the first topic that came to mind was “Motivation”.
Please welcome, Henry Croft!
Keeping motivated can be tough.
Don’t get me wrong, I love exercise, but sometimes the allure of a cosy duvet on a Saturday morning or a Domino’s Pizza/Game of Thrones marathon can sometimes prove to be just that little bit too tempting.
And before you know it the devil on your shoulder has had his wicked way and all of those fitness aspirations that you wanted to achieve have been put on hold.
“Next month, I will definitely get in shape,” you tell yourself, as you tuck into your fifth slice of Mighty Meaty pizza.
Does all of this sound familiar?
If so, here are some effective, tried-and-tested tactics which you can employ to quickly get your fitness regime back on track again.
1) Set a goal and keep to a strict schedule
In my experience, setting a goal and working towards it with a clearly defined schedule can make all the difference when it comes to staying motivated.
Especially when you write it down (for some reason)!
So scrawl down your new goal anywhere you want (on a calendar/napkin/photo of an ex) in addition to the steps required to achieve it, and revisit it every day.
This goal doesn’t have to be something formal such as a running a 5k race – it can literally be anything, such as fitting into that dress which you haven’t been able to wear in 2 years.
However, make sure your goal it is realistic and achievable.
Although it might sound like a great idea, giving yourself a month to train for your first marathon is far too ambitious and in addition to breeding frustration and demotivation it might even lead to serious injury.
2) Mix up your workout
Hitting the same treadmill for the same workout day in, day out can get tiresome very quickly and spell serious trouble for your motivation.
So keep it varied!
Every now and again try a new class, a new running route, a new weight training regime – you will eventually find some activities which you prefer to the others.
And not only will this variety keep you interested, focused and having fun, but the different exercises will keep your body continually guessing, hitting muscle fibres that you never knew existed!
3) Give yourself an incentive
This one’s my favourite: reward yourself if you do well! When you reach your first goal, treat yourself to those shiny new trainers you’ve been craving or that awesome Strong Is The New Skinny tank top that you saw online.
You deserve it!
Realistically, the intrinsic motivation for feeling fit and healthy is not always strong enough, and a little external motivation can supply the extra boost needed to reach your goals. Just be sensible and only reward yourself when you deserve it – not every time you complete a sit-up!
4). Penalise yourself!
The flip-side of incentivising your fitness regime is to introduce penalties if you start skipping workouts and falling behind. Various psychological studies have proven that this approach can be even more effective than rewarding yourself for hitting your goals.
One technique, which was recently suggested by Women’s Health Magazine, is to sign up for a charity which you are really not keen on and force yourself to donate a nominal amount every time you skip a workout!
5). Work out with a friend
Sharing your fitness regime with a friend or family member is a tried-and-tested way of keeping your goals on track.
It’s easy to stay in bed and skip a workout when your own your own, but if you’re meeting a friend at the gym, you have much more reason not to back out.
And like anything else in life it’s also much more fun and sociable to share a journey with someone else. And if none of your friends and family are into keeping fit, you can also meet like-minded people on social media or various meet-up groups online.
Wrapping it up
So, there we have it, my top 5 tips for keeping motivated in the gym.
I hope this post has been useful and has provided you with some inspiration for getting your fitness goals back on track this year.
Let me know how you get on!
If you have any more motivation suggestions or any thoughts on this article I’d love to hear from you – just leave your comments below!
About the author
Henry is a fitness fanatic with a passion for weightlifting and distance running. You can find him blogging over at GymTalk.
Hope you guys had fun reading this post, and hopefully have more ideas on staying motivated about your workouts!
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