Committing to a regular fitness or wellness program is one thing; making it a habit is another. Finding the motivation to workout when you're tired or when the weather isn't ideal is crucial to maintaining your fitness routine for the long haul. Figuring out exactly how to do that can be the million-dollar question, but here are some motivation tips that have helped others stay on track.
1. Reward yourself
It's common to attach vague goals to serve as motivation for our fitness program, goals such as "managing my weight." But experts say that specific goals are far more effective: treat yourself to an episode of your favorite TV show, or reward yourself with a new piece of workout attire or fitness gadget.
Author Charles Duhigg, who has written extensively on the power of habit, talks about creating a "habit loop" that involves a cue, such as setting out your workout shoes, the routine (completing your workout), and the reward.
2. Sign a contract
Don't just create a contract with yourself with no one else around — create and sign it in front of friends. Doing so makes it more likely that you're going to follow through on your pledges. You can make it even more binding by agreeing to pay your friend a certain amount of money every time you fail to meet your exercise commitment. Research has also shown that people who signed longer contracts exercised more frequently than those who signed shorter ones. Committing to exercise for a longer period helps you get past the initial displeasure of a new routine.
3. Make positive thinking effective
People who praise the virtues of positive thinking talk about visualizing benefits as an effective motivational strategy. For example, you visualize how good you'll feel after a run, or how you'll feel when you see your muscles developing because of a strength training routine. But many experts today say that visualizing the outcome should be accompanied by identifying what's holding you back, such as what triggers you to act when unhealthy food cravings take hold.
4. Pay yourself
Let's face it, money can be a huge motivator and getting paid to reach your fitness goals can provide plenty of incentive. The app Pact, which consists of a community of fellow users who will pay you to stick with your schedule, is one example; you authorize the app to charge your credit card or PayPal when you miss your workout. But when you reach your goal, you're paid out of the pool funded by you and other users.
Matrix Age Management is committed to helping men and women turn back the clock and reverse the aging process through exercise, stress management, hormone therapy, and more.