4 Tips for Getting and Staying Motivated to Exercise
February 1, 2012
Studies have shown that people with intrinsic motivation are more likely to stick to their goals and see success. Incorporate these 4 tips for getting and staying motivated to exercise!
1. Set your own goals. In order to make them personal and meaningful, you need to set the right kind of goals. These need to be designed to your needs and fitness level, not just what the latest magazine article said. While a goal with extrinsic motivation - losing weight for an upcoming class reunion - has a high chance of immediate success, the studies show these types of motivators don’t stick for long term behavior change. Tap into your intrinsic motivators - getting fit in order to feel better or stay healthy for your family - and you will see significant long term results.
2. Ditch the machine. Unless you really like the machines, your challenge is to find a form of fitness that you enjoy that produces addicting moments of flow. These are the moments that you are fully engaged and enjoying the activity for what it is. Turn your workout into play.
3. Seek mastery. Find an activity that you can improve on and learn more about. This type of activity gives us more energy to keep pursuing it. You will naturally be able to increase the intensity and difficulty if you are taking on a new or different activity. Take it to the next level!
4. Reward yourself the right way. Rewards can be beneficial motivators toward a goal, but use the right type. Beware of bribing yourself with “if-then” type goals. Instead try the occasional “now that” type reward. “Now that I’ve made it to the gym 4 times this week, I will get a massage!”