Want Workout Motivation? Try This One Trick
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Be honest. Do you struggle to make time for exercise? Does your workout motivation vanish as soon as it’s time to put on your sports bra and sneakers? Did something more important just come to mind? Or maybe you suddenly don’t have the cash to spend when it’s time to pony up for that gym membership you keep talking about? Think back to the last time you let an excuse prevent you from working out. What was it?
For me, I used to have every excuse in the book. Some of my typical fallbacks included:
I’m too tired.
My schedule is crazy.
My back hurts.
It’s gonna be too hard.
I don’t know where to start.
The dog ate my homework (haha – throwback to grade school, anyone?)
Even if we don’t want to admit it, we usually know what our excuses are. So why do we let them creep in and help us make decisions instead of squashing them in place? I mean, there will always be an excuse waiting for you around the corner, but what you do with it is up to you.
Do you find yourself placing more value on your excuses than on your goals at times? If so, keep reading!
Value Drives Motivation
We all have different values in our lives that we will ABSOLUTELY make time for each day – no matter what. Everyone has the same 168 hours in any given week and how we choose to spend it depends on what we value the most. These are the things that we’re willing to spend energy, time, and money on because we place a high value on them. Some examples may be things like relationships with family or friends, career, education, health, fitness, finances, travel, and spirituality or religion.
I want you to take a minute and think about your Top 2 or 3 values. What is it that you can easily find the motivation for and therefore put all your time and effort into? Write them down on a piece of paper.
Next, I want you to think about, and write down all the things that you still really want to do, but clearly, aren’t making top billing on your list. Usually, workout motivation will fall into this category, and if exercise isn’t on the top of your list, you’re not alone! But does it mean that you won’t be able to achieve your lower valued goals? Not at all!
The Trick for Finding Motivation
Do you want to know a trick for finding that same drive you have for your top priorities so you can apply it to the other things you want to accomplish? You need to find a way to make a connection between all the things you don’t have the motivation to do and your most important values. To do this, you need to ask yourself what benefits you’ll receive by achieving the goals you struggle following through with (in this case, finding workout motivation), and how they will help improve your top priorities.
Some questions you can ask yourself:
- Why do I want to accomplish this goal?
- How will I feel if I accomplish it?
- What will it mean to me?
- What other aspects of my life will improve by doing this?
- How will this strengthen my top priorities?
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How I Found My Workout Motivation
My top values used to be family, career, and travel. Every action I took was to strengthen my connection with one (or more) of these three things. One way I was doing this was when I working at a job that required me to travel out of state. During that time I found myself working 12-hour shifts, 6-days a week, with a half day off on Sundays.
Even though I was showing up big time in the eyes of my boss, I was away from my family for long periods of time. But believe me; I did this FOR my family. I worked hard, saved up money, and was able to provide things for them that they needed when I couldn’t find work near home. After a few years of working and living like this, I was then able to take a promotion at my company and a relocation package that brought me back home to my family.
Back then I had very little free time, at least that’s the story I told myself. I would try to exercise when I wasn’t exhausted, but my workout motivation was lacking. I probably ranked exercise as low as a #7 or #8 (behind things like laundry, grocery shopping, and napping) because I hadn’t tied it to my Top 3 yet.
Making the Mind Shift
But my priorities changed after watching some family members suffer from poor health. If I didn’t start taking better care of myself, I knew I wouldn’t be able to take care of anyone else. It was up to me to break the cycle of heart disease and diabetes. I still had my Top 3, but health and fitness became a higher priority by tying it to my family. Then I asked myself the hard questions: What do I get if my health becomes my priority?
Why do I want to accomplish this goal?
To live a long and healthy life.
To take back control of my own health.
What other aspects of my life will improve by doing this?
I’ll be able to keep up with my nieces and nephews.
I’ll be in less pain.
As I get older, I’ll be able to travel and not have issues getting around.
How will this strengthen my top priorities?
I will have more time to spend with my family.
I will get to help my family become healthier too.
Listing these benefits out showed me that tying my health to my top values made it something I wanted to make a high priority too. Then sticking to a workout plan became no problem at all! Now I consistently show up every day and actually look forward to my workout. Do I always want to do it? No way! But then I draw on my why – WHY I want to do this – and it helps motivate me more than I can tell you! If I’m still not feeling it, I draw on these 5 Fitness Motivation Tips to get me up and moving. You’ve got to find what works for you!
I urge you to work through this same process for yourself and see what you come up with as your top values, what else you want to accomplish, and how you can tie them together to make it happen and get your workout motivation activated!
If you need help setting some goals, check out my Goal Setting blog series. Within the 6-part series, you will find 4 FREE worksheets you are welcome to download. These will help you work through all the steps of Goal Planning and Goal Setting, including:
Does Goal Setting Work?
Creating Your Vision
What’s Holding You Back?
Putting the Pieces Together
Want to get started right away? Grab a copy of the SMARTER Goals Worksheet below!