The days are getting shorter, but unfortunately your 9 to 5 is not. Motivating yourself to get out of bed and into work out on a chilly morning is next to impossible and just thinking about going to the gym after work is laughable. Here are some tips to help you power through your day and actually look forward to your sweat session.
- Leave a gym bag in the car
Whether or not you were ever a boy/girl scout, you do know that you should always be prepared. Leave a packed gym bag in the car filled with the essentials so you’ll have zero excuses next time you drive by your gym. Always keep a change of gym clothes, shoes, deodorant, and headphones and hand. Ladies, don’t forget to carry some extra hair ties and makeup remover wipes.
- Tell your coworkers about your fitness routine
Did you know that telling people your goals makes you much more likely to hold yourself accountable for your workouts? Also try changing into your gym clothes before you leave the office. That way you’re all ready to go and when your coworker asks how your workout was the next day, you get to avoid the embarrassing “I didn’t end up going.”
- Workout with your coworkers
Better yet, ask your coworkers to join you on your next workout. Having a workout partner encourages you to stick to a routine, try new workouts, and increases your intensity. Nothing is more rewarding that knowing that you could do a few more reps, run a little faster, or lift slightly heavier than your coworker. Make a little game of it. Challenge each other to see whoever can do the most reps and whoever wins gets treated on the next coffee run.
- Don’t have an all-or-nothing attitude
When you first wake up, an hour-long gym session sounds like a fantastic idea but as the day wears on, you find your motivation waning. Instead of dreading your workout so much you end up skipping it, ditch your all-or-nothing attitude. Don’t think “I have to work out for X amount of time or it’s not worth it.” Change your mindset to “I have to work out for 15 minutes and then I can go home”. This makes achieving your goal easier and once you’re working out, 15 minutes may snowball to even longer.
- Pack a snack
Lunch time was hours ago and dinner is a while away. Keep your energy up by having a light snack before your workout. Try having a snack with carbohydrates and protein. Carbs give you instant energy and protein gives you longer, more sustainable energy.
- Schedule your workouts
Schedule your workouts like you would a meeting – it’s set in stone. Are you just hopping back onto the fitness wagon? Don’t overdo it. Promising yourself to work out 5 times a week will cause you to burn out and give up. Aim for 3 or 4 times a week.
- Make a killer playlist
People who work out to music work out longer and harder than those who don’t listen to anything. Make a killer playlist the night before that you’ll be excited to listen to. Music not really your thing? Try listening to a podcast or an audiobook but only listen to it while working out. You’ll be dying to know what happens next but you have to wait until your next workout to find out.
- Set goals and reward yourself
Set SMART goals for yourself. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. Telling yourself that you want to “be healthier” is a fantastic goal, but make it more specific so you know that you’re staying on track. Set smaller goals at first to keep yourself motivated. Once you accomplish a goal, treat yourself! We’re not talking about a giant ice cream sundae (although that is always a great option). How about something that will help you continue your goals such as new workout clothes or fancy noise-blocking headphones?
- Try a group workout class
Group fitness classes are a great option because they let you try out something new and the atmosphere is friendly and encouraging.
- Make working out fun
Take the “work” out of “working out” by doing something you actually enjoy! If you hate running, try signing up for a Zumba class. You’ll still be doing cardio, but you won’t even realize you’re working out because you’re having so much fun.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was anyone’s love for working out. Be patient. Be persistent, and always remember why you started.