As a new gym goer, I’m going to be the first to admit it’s hard to bring in motivations for something my body really isn’t used to. By the end of a gym session it feels wrecked and exhausted, and doesn’t particularly want to do anything again. Plus, surely there are better ways to spend an hour? So many people join the gym in January, and leave by the middle of February, but I’m determined to be in the minority and stay. The only way I’m going to do this is to stay motivated, and keep going.
But how do I do this? Here’s my top tips to staying motivated.
DO SHORT CHUNKS
Don’t spend hours and hours at the gym in one session, ease yourself and do it in bite sized pieces. It’ll be much more manageable, and much more enjoyable. I do hour long classes 2-3 times a week, or an hour’s gym session. No more. If I do more, it takes longer for my body to recover, which ultimately gives me an excuse not to go next time. It then also doesn’t take up your entire morning, afternoon or evening (depending on when you go). Which can be demotivating in itself. A quick hour’s session, then back home for a meal. If I go in the evening I try to go as soon after work as I can so I have the rest of my evening, or if I go on the weekend I’ll go as soon as I get up so the rest of my day is free. Short bursts is much better.
SET UP A ROUTINE
Something that works for me every time is having a routine and a plan. I then know that next week I’ll be doing it at that time on that day, and it’s already set in my mind. I work so much better to a routine than any way else. Generally I try to do an exercise class every Tuesday and Thursday, and then I also go on a Sunday. As I go to classes you have to book these in as soon as they become available, so I’ll go on when I know they become available, book myself in and then I’m done. I’m going, and there’s nada I can do about it.
GO WITH A BUDDY
It’s so much easier to go, if you do with someone. I go with my bestie, and usually her mum, to classes each week. If you go with someone, it makes it so much harder to back out or find an excuse as you feel like you’re letting them down, but also they motivate you when you’re there. You’re in the same boat, both working your arse off in the same class or on the same machine. You can work together to keep each other going. It’s always much more fun going with someone as well. In circuits we work together, and try to make it fun as we go onto each exercise. In LBT I usually get my bestie going “come on, do the harder version, keep going!” She is my self-appointed personal trainer… Still haven’t decided if this is a good thing or not. But she does help.
The most motivating thing for me? Seeing the results. The first week I measured myself I lost 5lbs, and immediately wanted to run back to the gym and do some more work. If you can see the results, and you like them, this is the best motivation. I would highly recommend having a goal, whether its weight, measurements, or fitting in a particular dress size, and keeping track of how far you need to do. Measure this weekly, the same time and day every week, and watch how you go.
This is so incredibly important. Don’t set unrealistic goals that will never be achieved, as you won’t see the results you want and you’ll quickly become unmotivated. If you think you’re going to go every evening after work, scale it back – don’t make it your entire life. You still need to have fun outside of the gym. The minute you start to feel it’s not working, or it’s not worth it, is the minute you quit.
Hopefully these tips are going to help. I’m still new at all of this healthy eating, keeping fit malarkey. However, as someone who has the lowest willpower in the world, these tips have really helped me stay focused and motivated, and hopefully they’ll do the same for you. Let me know if you have any tips for me as well, I’d love to get some more in the bank!