It’s no secret. Fit people live longer, happier lives. But longevity and happiness just aren’t the motivators some people need to get up off the couch.
As we approach the dog days of summer and recover from the strawberry shortcakes of July 4th, some of us need a little help finding and keeping motivation. For us, just the thought of “Crossfit” can be intimidating. We need something that is a little more approachable.
Short-term motivation is key to taking that first step, but long-term motivation is the tortoise that wins the race. And a plan always helps. Here are some motivational tips to help you keep moving and keep healthy.
Short-term motivation tips:
- Create a goal – Figure out what you want and write it down. Everywhere.
- Make a plan – This might mean a new pair of running shoes, a book of great day hikes, or finding the right fitness class.
- Schedule it – Google calendar can help you get off your butt. Schedule your exercise in your calendar and send yourself alerts.
- Start small – Make each step achievable.
- Social Media – You don’t have to do this alone. Recruit friends and report your activity daily. Your Facebook posts and Tweets represent your commitment publicly.
- Bring a buddy – Whether you are going to Barre class or just out for a stroll in the park, bring a friend. You are more likely to stick to your exercise plan if you have companionship along the way.
- Join a gym or buy a 10-class pass – The financial commitment alone might guilt you into working on your fitness.
- Get and app – There are hundreds of fitness apps available; find one that works for you and use it. If you are old school, get a little spiral notebook.
- Write it down – Keep a fitness journal. Write about how amazing you feel after exercising. Write about how proud you are of yourself for doing it. Reread these notes about your own awesomeness.
- Music – Pick a tune you love. Listen to it every time you exercise. It will inspire you. And like the bell to Pavlov’s dog, your song will create a craving for activity.
Long-term motivation tips:
- Change your perspective – Start thinking about fitness as something enjoyable. Keep thinking about it that way. You do have control over your thoughts. (Meditation can help convince you of this if you’re in doubt.)
- Start training for a marathon – This track has a built-in motivational plan.
- Get engaged (or commit to going to your high school reunion)- Nothing is more motivating than that wedding dress/cocktail dress/tux/bathing suit.
- Change your diet – The food you eat may be holding you back. Eat mindfully and notice how you feel. Over time you’ll naturally gravitate toward the foods that make you feel good.