When you first make the commitment to start going to the gym, it seems like it should be an easy task. However, it only takes a few distractions before life starts to get in the way. It’s tempting to spend that extra hour sleeping, or catching up on your favorite show, or meeting friends for a drink after work. And when you’re not seeing the results you had hoped for, it certainly can feel like you might as well throw in the towel. If other people can do it, why can’t you?
Luckily, there are some quick, easy habits you can get into to maintain that drive to stay active, day after day. If you’re looking to keep yourself motivated to go to the gym, try incorporating some of these tips – you might find the encouragement you need to stay on track and achieve your fitness goals.
- Track your progress.
Whether you decide to invest in a smart watch, use an app on your phone, or just log each workout on your calendar, keeping track of your exercise gives you the chance to see improvements that might not show up on the scale. Maybe you can do more reps of each exercise, or you’re putting more miles on the treadmill in less time – celebrating these small victories is a great way to stay on track.
If you’re comfortable with it and you have a supportive network, share your progress on social media for even more encouragement and motivation.
- Exercise with friends.
You can take that idea a step further and find yourself a group of friends who are willing to hold you accountable for your fitness goals. Either recruit members of your family or friend network to hit the gym with you, or reach out to someone who seems to share your interest in health – maybe at a spin or yoga class.
If you can make your daily stop at the gym into a social outing where you can reconnect with friends or loved ones, you’ll find yourself looking forward to your workouts. And not only will you be building muscle – you’ll be building relationships.
- Convenience is key.
The more excuses you can find to get out the gym, the easier it gets to skip your workout each day. Maybe you only have one pair of jogging shorts, or you keep your gym bag tucked in the back of your closet – whatever it is, you’ll find a way to use it to get out of hitting the gym. Get yourself enough workout clothes to last the week without having to do laundry, and keep all your equipment within view.
If you can make going to the gym an easy part of your day – and one that’s hard to ignore – you’ll be much more motivated to keep it up.
- Build a routine.
For working out to become a habit, you need to make going to the gym and being active a normal part of your daily life. Not only should you schedule a time to hit the gym each day, you should find other ways to incorporate activity into your routine – take the stairs, walk around your office building during breaks, and park further away from the store when you pick up groceries.
The more ways you can make fitness a part of your routine, the more natural it will feel to spend that hour at the gym, every single day.
- Treat yourself.
Set realistic, achievable fitness goals – and don’t be afraid to reward yourself when you reach them. However, this doesn’t mean splurging on a big meal that’s going to undo all your hard work. Find treats that don’t involve food, like buying yourself a new pair of running shoes, getting yourself a massage, or take a day off work to spend some time doing your favorite hobby, guilt-free.
Whatever it is, let the promise of the next reward encourage you to work even harder at your next set of goals.
Hopefully, making some of these changes will make it easier for you to get in gear and keep yourself motivated to hit the gym. You can keep this list bookmarked or even printed out in a spot where you’ll see it regularly, to stay focused and working toward looking and feeling your best. Your health and fitness goals are within your reach – just keep that motivation up!
This article was written by Jon Reyes from Clearwells. He has over 10 years’ experience in writing health related topics and specializes in the health benefits of saunas and hydrotherapy.