2. Forget About Motivation
Motivation is a fickle friend; sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. Relying on motivation to fuel your workout program is like relying on regular tires to get you through the snow: You might get there, you might not.
“Don’t rely on motivation,” says Ian Elwood, a certified athletic trainer and strength coach who works with the Air Force to prepare para-rescuers, those superheroes who parachute into danger zones to save downed aircrews. “You can use motivation to position yourself in the beginning of your program,” he says, “but don’t expect it to last. Instead, set up systems that make exercise easier to follow through on.”
If you work out in the morning, put your gear next to your bed the night before so there are no obstacles between you and heading to the gym. Pre-plan your workouts, schedule them into your calendar, and set reminders to go off in the hour leading up to your workout time so you won’t get caught up in something else. It is this kind of preparation, not just motivation, that mentally prepares you to exercise day after day.
And reframe how you think about exercise. When you catch yourself thinking that you don’t feel like going to the gym, remind yourself that it doesn’t matter what you feel. You may not feel like going to work every day, but you go. Give yourself a grownup pep talk and remind yourself that exercise isn’t always exciting, but it’s important, especially if you’ve got big goals to achieve.