A question that I get a lot from people is “how do you find the motivation to go to the gym”? The answer to that question? Well to be honest some days it isn’t a matter of “finding” the motivation it’s more a matter of making it. Many of us are not the kind of people who wake-up in the morning bright eyed and bushy tailed, brimming with excitement for the new day. Many of us are the kind of people who barely manage to slug our way out of bed in the morning as we crawl to the coffee machine for a cup of that delicious bean juice that transforms us into functional human beings. As someone who can Identify as the later of the two I can assure you that motivation to leave the house and head to the gym isn’t alway easy and in hopes that I might make my fellow slugs lives easier I have a couple of tips to share.
The first of these is that in order to find motivation you oftentimes have to seek it out, not simply let it come to you. Everyone experiences a bout of drive to accomplish some task now and then, whether it be cleaning the house, reading or going to the gym it is an experience known to many. However as we know those bouts rarely last more than a day or even hours and can not be relied upon for consistent drive to complete a task. In order to find your own motivation you must first ask yourself the question, what motivates you? Everyone is different and draws motivation from different sources, I’ve talked to people who just needed a motivational quote about fitness or simply about hard work in order to achieve the level motivation they require to get themselves to the gym. I have also talked to people who like to scroll through instagram and look at their favourite fitness influencers or icons and gain motivation from that. Everyone is different and finding some things that motivate you can be a helpful tool in giving you that extra little boost that you may need to get to the gym.
Another tip is to find a workout partner or even a group! You’re more likely to do something that you think is going to be fun that something you don’t really want to do. What better way to make something fun than having a group of people you enjoy being around? Don’t be afraid to goof around a little at the gym, safety obviously comes first but have fun with it! Make your friends laugh when they are at the very end of their last bicep curl and their beginning to make that face they make when they strain too hard. Make an absolute fool of yourself as you and your friends try to skip rope for the first time (which is an amazing exercise by the way). The point of the gym is to not only get you physically fit but it’s a place where people are supposed to come together and laugh and smile and feel good about themselves! So enjoy yourself and bring some friends too, they make it easier to go and have a tendency to hold you accountable. Have fun, but again remember, safety first.
The last bit of advice that I have is to set goals for yourself. One of the main things that I do each morning when I don’t feel like going to the gym is I set a bunch of mini goals for myself in order to get myself moving. Goal 1, get out of bed, Goal 2, brush my teeth, Goal 3, eat breakfast. It may seem a bit silly but accomplishing goals, no matter how small, give a sense of accomplishment and encourage you to press forward and accomplish more, and eventually you work up to the daunting, “gym goal” that becomes less daunting and just another goal to check-off. Now those are very short term goals to set and can help in the moment but it is important to set long term goals as well. Long term goals such as, “I want to get jacked”, while admirable, aren’t the most easy to accomplish. Try being specific, “I want to spend a total of 2 hours in the gym each week”, is a bit more of an accomplishable goal and is one that you can work towards either a little each day or in bigger lumps if some days don’t work!
My most important piece of advice is to be kind to yourself. You’re not always going to accomplish your goals or find motivation, we all have bad days, but never forget that we have good ones too. Try your best and maybe throw in some of these tips, and more often than not you’ll find that ever elusive motivation.
By Kurt Dunstall