Finishing What We Started

If you keep up with my workout log you’ll see that I haven’t been as diligent with my workouts these past two weeks as I had been. That got me to thinking about how I can make sure I stay on track with my exercise. After scouring the internet for the best advice out there and thinking on my own experiences, I’ve come up with a list of different ways to stay motivated to work out and to finish the work out.

setGoals

The most important motivator for me, and the one that gets listed with the most consistency on other sites, is to set a goal. A goal gives us something to work towards and a reason to work through any obstacles. The trick is not to set a goal that’s beyond what we can accomplish. It doesn’t matter how simple our goal is, the important thing is that we can reach it.

A great way to keep ourselves accountable is to keep a log of our workouts. This does two things for us. First it encourages us to work out because we feel responsible to maintain the log. It also allows us to see our growth. When we see the progress we’ve made, it’s easier to continue on that path.

Exercising with friends is another great way to encourage ourselves to workout. We don’t have to find a friend to run with us every day, we just need someone to play disc golf with once a week or so. Or basketball. Or any other activity that makes us move and elevates our heart rate.

We know that music can affect our emotions, moods, and attitudes. Mixing the right music into our runs and workouts can be just the push we need to finish that last circuit or run that last mile. The music that gets me moving has to be up tempo and not too poppy.

If we’re not enjoying what we do, we probably won’t continue to do it. With exercise, as with life, let’s try to have fun. If we don’t like to run, we won’t continue to do it. Not every workout has to be drudgery. Let’s find something we like to do and build our workout around that.

Establish a routine. We’ll be much less likely to skip a workout if we’ve been doing it at the same time every day for a month. Make workouts a habit. We don’t fret about whether we’ll have enough time to brush our teeth every day because we’ve been doing it regularly for so long that it’s a part of our day. If we make a habit of working out, we’ll find ways to ensure we work out, not excuses to avoid it.

Stay healthy. Being sick and not feeling well have kept me inside for the past two weeks. We need to rest to recover from illness but it is better to prevent the illness before it can take you out of commission.

I used these sites to inspire my list:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20047624

http://life.gaiam.com/article/5-ways-stay-motivated-exercise-regularly

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/tips/habits-of-effective-exercisers/

http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding_1000/1051_staying-motivated-to-work-out.html

http://www.military.com/military-fitness/health/top-ten-list-to-stay-motivated-and-build-mental-toughness

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