Do you ever see those fitness pages on Facebook or Instagram? You just can’t help but wonder how exactly these people are all staying so on track and are so focused, to obtain the results they do in their health and fitness journey. You do so much research, you try to be as consistent as you POSSIBLY can be when it comes to working out, but you lose your stride after you plateau, or stop seeing changes in your physique, or life just gets in the way…
Trust me, we have ALL been there before, and while I am still working towards my fitness goals, I will not be deterred from what is rightfully mine! So, to inspire others that you ARE NOT ALONE, I have created this top 10 list of motivational hacks that have really come to use for me in the past three months post wedding. But it all starts with the FIRST step, which is your desire to WANT to change. It’s all true when they say it’s a lifestyle change, you have to WANT to change your life. These hacks will push you along the way after that decision has been made, we all need the push sometimes, so let’s get to it!
- Exercise even if you are short on time. Even if you only have 15 minutes, exercise anyways! A short gym routine or at-home circuit is honestly better than nothing. Pinterest has thousands of quick at-home circuits that you can utilize within that short amount of time, or you can even find them on Youtube! You will feel ten times better after that short workout than you would have if you just brushed it off…again.
- Invest in a fitness tracker, such as FitBit. While some of these trackers can be expensive (like $100-$130), there are also a lot of free phone apps that will actually track your steps for you. Most androids come with that feature already built in. This feature is not as accurate as the more expensive wrist bands, but it will save you some money while also showing you how much you ACTUALLY are walking each day. If you’re like me and have a desk job, then that’s not much. On average you should be walking at least 10,000 steps a day!
- Mix up your routine. If your fitness routine doesn’t bore you, then you are more likely to stick with it. Do interval training one day, yoga another, give pole fitness a try. We’re all not made of money, always check Groupon for fitness classes around you! Get involved and find your calling, mine just so happened to be found in my own living room!
- Focus on how good you will feel after your workout, rather than skipping it. Some days you just don’t feel like working out, we’ve all been there. I’ve had plenty of times where I’m exhausted after work and just want to relax and cuddle up on the couch with a jar of Nutella (counter-productive). Think of how awesome and awake you will feel post workout, embrace the endorphin high and you’re one step closer to your fitness goals.
- Don’t wait for a special occasion to get in shape. This method of thinking is unrealistic and will only disappoint in the long run. Not only will this effect your moods, but it will kill your self-esteem trying to reach a goal in such a short amount of time. Fitness is a lifestyle, not an exercise in vanity.
- Eat! Real food. Don’t try to restrict your diet right off the bat, you will automatically lose the motivation to continue right there. If you love pasta (like I do) then eat it! Of course you don’t want to over-indulge, eat within moderation. If you swear off of all of the foods you love, you will only be miserable and binge at a later time and then feel awful, only to repeat the cycle over and over again. Keep everything you LOVE in moderation! Don’t swear off of it!
- Exercise when you’re sore. If you’re just getting into working out, of course you will be sore afterwards! You need to continue pushing through to start the recovery process for your muscles. Sitting on your ass isn’t going to help with your recovery process, you need to keep going and stay ACTIVE in order to build and tone. Keep protein on hand to assist with this process, such as Whey protein.
- Get sleep. The more you workout the more you will want a good night’s sleep. It might seem like an impossible task to add working out into your already busy schedule, but it’s not. The things you can accomplish post workout are amazing, and consistently moving up until your bed time will only assist with sleeping through the night.
- Focus on how you feel instead of how you want to look. This is a very hard task to accomplish to stay motivated, but it helps to keep you encouraged to push forward. Working out leads to increased energy and a positive attitude all around. Focus on that good feeling rather than looking good and you’ll see results quickly.
- Remember that the main goal isn’t to run a 5k every day, it’s just to do something. Even if you aren’t feeling up for the gym today or popping in a workout video, the goal is to stay active and at least do 5 – 10 minutes of something! Whether it be a quick set of jumping jacks, squats, chair holds, what-have-you, chances are that once you start you will be much more inclined to go longer.
So get out there or stay in, either way just stay positive and keep pushing. Your motivation comes from within and through healthy habits that better influence your everyday life. Once you start implementing these into your life, you will see drastic changes into the quality of your lifestyle.