When you are motivated, you make a million fitness goals. You buy new workout clothes, you join a gym, you plan to go to a spinning class or learn how the free weights can work for you. You are ready! But, it usually doesn’t take long for that motivation to diminish as life steps up and turns into a fitness obstacle. You let the workout clothes sit in a drawer, your gym membership goes unused, and you never figure out how to do squats with a weight. You won’t get back on track until you feel another heady influx of motivation. It’s a frustrating cycle, but it’s also one that a lot of people deal with.
Obviously, motivation is a big factor in this pattern, but there is another issue as well. Many people fail to give themselves the permission they feel that they need for self-care. When you aren’t prioritizing your wellbeing, any obstacle that you face feels amplified because you decide those obligations mean more than your commitment to yourself. But, it is possible to maintain a workout routine and to really come to love it.
You must discover what working out means to you. Experts feel that people assign meaning based on past experiences and beliefs. Given this, it’s completely natural to feel poorly about fitness. When each exercise is just another thing to cross off of a huge list of things you aren’t all that interested in doing, of course you look forward to workouts with anxiety. You need to associate physical activity with positive motivation in order to develop a passionate compulsion to get fit.
Get started by asking yourself if exercise feels more like a gift or more like a chore. If you feel like it’s a chore, then obviously, you aren’t going to be motivated to do it. That’s totally natural. If you feel like it’s a gift but you still aren’t doing it, the issue is probably your inability to make it a priority. But, you can correct these issues.
When you know what fitness means to you, you have to become self-aware. You need to be mindful of the short-term benefits of working out and feeling connected to your body and/or strong and empowered is a great feeling. Getting rewards like that keeps you motivated. You keep wanting to feel connected or empowered. Long-term goals like massive weight loss or the ability to run a marathon are great, but you need something that provides the instant gratification of a physical or mental boost. That is the motivation that will help you love exercising.
Fitness has a wealth of benefits and they aren’t secrets. You know all about the stress relief, the feelings of accomplishment, the decrease in depression, and the increase in overall health that happen when you work out. But, somehow, you still aren’t committed to doing it. Are you putting other things, like family, work, friends, and your responsibilities, first? It’s time you came first, even if it’s just for the length of a good workout.
People learn to put themselves last, especially women. It can be very difficult to alter that mindset, but you must because you can’t do anything for anyone if you fall apart. When you begin working out regularly and you are feeling the benefits it is providing, it will be a little easier to consider it important. You can give yourself permission to take this time because it will improve every aspect of your life.