10 Ways to Become Self-Motivated to Start Exercising

These days, with so many demands on our time and all our responsibilities, the last thing we want to do is use up that last little bit of energy we have to start a workout routine. If it’s not because of time, it’s money, it’s intimidation, you’re too tired, too old, too fat, your back hurts – I’ve heard it all. When are the excuses going to stop? I mean, you keep saying, “I really need to start taking this weight off and fitting back in to my sexy clothes again.” So what’s it going to take to get you going? What do you have to do to finally get your butt in gear and start feeling confident and happy when you look in the mirror? Maybe all you need is a little motivation and the right tools to make day one fun! Let’s look into some reasons why you should start working out.

Christina’s Top 10 Motivational Tips to Get You Started!

  •  Plan ahead

This might be the most important step because if you don’t plan or schedule something in, it’ll just keep getting put on the back burner. Try to figure out where you can fit in a quick 30 – 60 minute workout into your day and commit to it. Even if it’s during your favorite TV show, just do it. If you have to split your routine up to 30 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night, so be it. That will be a start and I bet you’ll feel better knowing you did a little something, rather than nothing at all.

  • Find a Buddy Who Will Hold You Accountable

We all can think of at least one person who we know who has been talking about getting in better shape. Grab that person and start your journey together. Go over specific times and days that work for the both of you, and once again – commit to it. The first person who backs out gets to do an extra 15 minutes of cardio at the gym next time you go. Set up fun weekly challenges and goals and encourage each other to meet them.

  • Get New Workout Gear

When I first started working out, it was a loose fitting shirt, gym pants and my old sneakers. I saw no reason to put on anything nice if I’m just going to get sweaty and stink. As the weeks went by, I really started looking forward to the gym. I started to see small changes in my appearance and I decided to give my (outdated) wardrobe a makeover – and what a confidence booster! I found that looking the part and wearing clothes meant for working out made all the difference. As women, we want to look cute and I don’t know about you, but a new pair of clothes always does the trick for me.

  • Hang Up Pictures

Do you have photos of the time you were looking and feeling your best? What about your heaviest? Is there someone who you look up to or inspires you? Hang them up! Visual motivation always works. Take a picture of yourself now and start making a collage every two weeks of your progress. A lot of times we get too hung up with the number on the scale. What we forget (or don’t want to believe) is that muscle weighs more than fat. We also put on water weight as the day goes on, anywhere from  2 – 5 pounds. Actually seeing your progress in front of you is more motivating than seeing a number on a scale.

  • Add Some Up Beat Music to Your Workouts

Some gyms have the wrong idea of what it takes to get someone pumped in the gym when it comes to music. One gym I went to played classic rock, and that’s fine if you’re into that, but it wasn’t for me when working out. I bought myself an iPod and downloaded my favorite artists and tracks. My lifting increased and my runs became faster – there was no stopping me now! One thing I cannot live without when I workout is my music. It makes the gym go by so much faster and it always lifts my mood.

  • Sign Up With a Personal Trainer

This is something that I recommend to all beginners, especially if you have an injury that holds you back. Who to hold you more accountable and keep you from slacking off than a personal trainer? You’re less likely to skip out on the gym if you know that there’s someone waiting for you – aren’t you? Personal trainers not only will give you a better workout, but they will encourage you to keep going, ensure good form, take measurements, track your progress for you and help you with any diet or exercise concerns you might have. Even if it’s only once a week for an hour, it may help you get started in the right direction.

  • Log Your Progress

Writing down what you do daily, how many sets/reps and with what weight, is good to refer back to the next time you workout. Every two to three weeks increase your weight, try a new exercise, run for 5 extra minutes or a 1/4 mile longer. I did this in the very beginning and it worked out good for me. I would look and see what I did last week and what I wanted to challenge myself with this time. Just get one of those tiny little notepads and carry it with you around the gym. I see a lot of first timers and body builders carrying one around almost every time I’m there. It doesn’t have to be super detailed with fancy exercise names, as long as you can understand it.

  • Find Inspiration

For me, inspiration comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. Jillian Michaels, Jaimie Eason and Tosca Reno are women who inspire me. One has the career I’d love, one has the body I’d love and one is an author, which is something I’d love to become in my future. I’m always watching what their next project is, how they achieved success and what I could do to achieve my own successes. I love reading books and blogs related to fitness, nutrition, success stories, new supplements and the latest diet trends. Do what inspires you and apply it to your life. My hope is that ChristinasFitness.com provides this and more!

  • Build Anticipation

This might sound odd, and many people might skip this tip, but it really works. Many people get excited after reading something and want to start right now. If there’s a (good) reason why you cannot (or should not) start now, then pick a day on the calendar and make it your “Start Date.” Write it on your calender, tell your friends and post it on Facebook. Get excited about the date and make it out to be the most important date of your life. Think about it everyday. In the meantime, come up with an action plan, stock your fridge with healthy food and set goals for yourself. By delaying your “Start Date”, you can build up anticipation increase your focus and energy towards your goals, but only if you find ways to keep the motivation (and anticipation) high.

  • Think About the Benefits, Not the Difficulties

How many of you talked yourself out of something before you even tried it? A common problem is that we think something’s going to be harder than it really is. That’s why most of us fail before we even begin. Instead of thinking about how hard it might be, think of all the benefits it will bring. A slimmer figure, better sleep, more energy, a healthier body – the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Squash all fears, doubts and negative thoughts. Remove the word “can’t” and replace it with “can.” Learn positive self-talk and watch your attitude blossom.

Have fun with working out, reward yourself every 7 – 10 days and be patient with your body. Beginning any new routine, especially with exercise involved, can feel overwhelming at first. Start off slow and don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Focus on this week and make your goals realistic. If you slip once, it’s not the end of the world. Those who experience success also experienced failure at some point. The difference is the successful woman is one who handles discouragement and failure. We all deal with it. Don’t dwell on a setback — get back on the horse tomorrow. Stick with it and don’t stop once you reach your goal weight. This is a life long journey, and your life is worth earning.