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Last Updated on December 8, 2020

How to Get Motivated to Work Out Regularly

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How to Get Motivated to Work Out Regularly

Locked inside the flat; gyms are closed, and the sight of your bed, couch, and armchair become very appealing.

Surely, this is a very unusual time for most, and even the most exercise-motivated people can see their resolve to get those 45′ of daily exercise whither.

I should know something about that, being a trainer myself and specializing in helping people to develop healthy habits. But what happens when your usual routine gets thrown out of the window because of the current COVID19 situation?

How do you get motivated to work out regularly?

To answer this question, we need to dig deep into what we mean with “motivation.”D

Motivation: What Drives Our Actions

During my career, I have been carefully observing many people transforming their bodies and subsequently improving their personal life.

Whether it was getting a promotion, starting their own business, getting married, or gaining more confidence, fitness truly helped them to change their lives. Many of them had incredible results under my guidance, but few others weren’t improving as fast or were going through a rollercoaster of ups and downs.

That got me incredibly frustrated and led me to ponder the reasons behind it. I gave them the best workouts and great diet plans, monitored their progress, and kept them accountable via texts and emails, but it was simply not enough.

I was missing something; I didn’t find the real reason behind them hiring me as a coach.

Let Me Tell You a Story

Rian had a tough job in a very influential consulting firm. He was hardworking, dedicated, and ambitious. But career achievements were not enough for him, and he wanted to feel confident and look great both in his formal outfit and naked.

When we started working together, he was overweight and ashamed of his body.

I gave him my best advice on nutrition and designed a training program for him. Rian quickly lost a bit of weight. He felt better and more energetic. I was very happy about his progress, and I tried to push him harder. But all of a sudden, he stopped improving.

He started missing sessions, snacking at work, and drinking more than usual. I took pictures, measurements, told him to block time for training as if it was a work meeting, and even showed him studies on how to control cravings and drinking habits.

But all the strategies I used didn’t work anymore. He quickly lost the motivation to train and keep improving his health.

Only then, I decided to sit with Rian and chat about what was going on. He divorced recently, and since then he didn’t want to date any woman. He focused all his life on work.

Deep down, when he was telling me his story, I knew that I had finally found what he was looking for: the confidence to meet new women and get on with his life.

That was his real motivation behind hiring me as a trainer.

I couldn’t find him a new wife, but I could remind him of what he was fighting for. I asked him to buy a new, tighter suit, swimwear, and book a vacation with his friends (they were already fit) somewhere warm.

Having something to look forward to bring back some excitement in his life. After that, all I had to do was to remind him that the better he looked, the more confident he would feel, and the higher his chances of meeting new women.

Rian started to train regularly and eat healthily once again. Every time we had a session, I made him feel successful and strong with positive affirmations. He quickly noticed that his performance at work was also improving. He could get done more in less time so that he could actually go to bed before 11 pm.

In almost no time, he was back on a healthy diet, consistent training regime, and felt less frustrated. I allowed him to have more drinks since he started being social again, but I made sure he burned them off in the gym. He started talking to women again and had a few dates lined up each week.

When the day of the holiday came, he was one and ½ stone lighter and radiant with confidence. And who knows what happened there?

Today, Rian is more focused at work. He feels more attractive, confident, and finally found health and fitness as a way to improve every aspect of his life.

Since Rian, I made the mindset process I used with him a part of my training system, and so should you if you want to stay motivated all the time.

Finding Your Values

If you want to achieve incredible results in whatever your next goal is about, it is crucial that you first find what is the deepest reason behind the goals you’ve set. This series of exercises will help you exactly to do that.

Answer these five questions and give three answers for each one of them.

1. How Do You Spend Your Time?

You always make time for what is truly important to you. When you say “I don’t have time”, you are simply saying that in your list of priorities, that particular task falls behind more important ones.

Often, what we think we want to do is not really what is most important to us. If it was, we would have figured out a way to do it.

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I spend my time mostly studying with my wife or working on my business. Those are the most important things to me.

So how do you spend your time most? Sleeping doesn’t count!

1a)………………….

1b)………………….

1c)………………….

2. How Do You Spend Your Money?

Leave aside food, rent, and bills (unless you love eating out as a social activity, or you purposely spend more to have an incredibly luxurious house). We use the money we have left after paying the bills for what is truly important to us.

I spend most of my money on my courses, activities with my wife, and investing in my business.

So how do you spend your money most?

2a)………………….

2b)………………….

3c)………………….

3. Where Are You Most Reliable and Disciplined?

We never have to be reminded from the outside to do the things that we value most.

I never have to be reminded of studying, working on my business, or spending time with my wife.

Where are you most reliable and disciplined?

3a)………………….

3b)………………….

3c)………………….

4. What Do You Think About, Visualize, and Realize Most?

I’m not talking about negative thoughts or fluffy dreams. Where are your thoughts, goals, and ambitions directed?

I spend the most time thinking of my studies, the evolution of my business, and about having a family.

What do you think about most of the time?

4a)………………….

4b)………………….

4c)………………….

5. What Do You Talk About in Social Settings?

We always like to tell people about what is truly important to us. If you had a child, you would most likely talk about them with most folks you meet.

I spend most of my time talking about what I’m reading in my studies, my latest business strategies, and relationships.

What do you talk about the most?

5a)………………….

5b)………………….

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5c)………………….

Your Top Answers

Write an X when it reports. Don’t worry if you have many different answers.Example:

Work xxxxx

Partner xxxx

Friends xxx

Politics xx

Sports x

In this example, “fitness” doesn’t show in your top five. Therefore, it’s no news that you are not fit right now.

Pay attention that fitness also didn’t show in my top 3 values.

My values:

Businesses xxxxx

Studies xxxxx

My wife xxxx

My health and body xxx

Traveling xx

My parents x

Now it’s your turn, what are your answers?

………………….

………………….

………………….

………………….

………………….

………………….

My top 3 values right now are (the three that repeat the most):

………………….

………………….

………………….

If you gave three answers to each question, you should have 15 answers now.

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Many of them probably repeat, and that’s a good thing. The top three that repeat the most are the things that you care about in life right now.

Do not worry if you didn’t mention things like religion, family, charity, or even your partner. That doesn’t mean you don’t care about those things. It simply means that, at this point in life, your focus is directed mainly towards your top three answers – the things that motivate you to continuously change in life.

For example, just imagine you meet a new person and you totally fall for them. I bet that you will start investing time, thoughts, money in dating them, and also talking about them non-stop.

Another less cheerful example would be if a dear family member gets diagnosed with a very bad disease. In this case, I bet that your thoughts, time, and resource will be directed towards helping that person.

Life Constantly Changes

Life constantly changes and so do our priorities.

What we often don’t realize is that, in the process, we lose track of other things that are also important, like our health. Doing this clarification exercises can help you to understand yourself better.

Note that in the example of my top three values, ‘health and look aren’t present. Yet, I stay at 8% body fat with a good amount of rock-hard muscles and a clean bill of health year-round.

How do I do that?

First of all, health shows in my top 5, so I do spend money, time, thoughts, and effort on it because I see the value of it. I used to be obese, and the pain it causes me to think of being obese once again is a great motivation.

I also nearly died because of alcohol and drug abuse, and the fear of hurting my body again keeps my priorities in check.

In your case, I do not wish you to experience any of the latter. What I want you to do is something different.

You’ve Found Your Values, Now What?

Now that you’re extra clear about what drives you in life, it’s time to connect the dots. It’s time to dig into how fitness can improve those driving forces.

Going back to the previous example, let’s assume that your top three values are:

a) Your career

b) Your relationship

c) Your social life

Now you need to figure out how looking great and being full of energy can help you to be better at a, b, and c.

Example:

a1) Looking great in my new suit will help me to feel more successful and be more confident in the boardroom.

a2) Having more energy will help me stay focused during meetings and more present with my team.

a3) Being in great shape will make me feel like a role model for my team.

a4) Running a marathon will earn me the respect of my boss.

a5)………………….

a6)………………….

b1) Looking great naked will drive my partner crazy in bed.

b2) Having more power and stamina will make me a better lover.

b3) Having more energy will help me to spend better quality time with my partner.

b4)………………….

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b5)………………….

c1) Looking great when I go out will make me feel like a boss among my friends.

c2) Being fit will allow me to do social activities like playing sports, hiking, surfing, playing tennis, and so on, that I wasn’t able to enjoy because I felt heavy, goofy, or not good enough.

c3) Being healthy will allow me to feel…

c4)………………….

Your answers:

a1)

a2)

a3)

a4)

b1)

b2)

b3)

b4)

c1)

c2)

c3)

c4)

Exercise: Connecting Your Values With Fitness

Do you get an idea of how this works now? Don’t you feel a bit more motivated to change your body now?

What I want you to do is to spend 30 minutes writing AS MANY REASONS AS YOU CAN on a piece of paper. Try to at least give 20 reasons for each one of your top 3 values no matter how silly they might sound.

Repetition is what wires your brain (exactly as when you’re learning a language), so don’t be afraid of being repetitive in your answer. Just use a slightly different angle for each one.

Store that piece of paper somewhere safe. Whenever you feel like slacking on your training or going for a Mcdonald’s, pick up that piece of paper and start reading what you wrote. It can also be an Evernote file, but writing on paper is more powerful.

When you’re feeling demotivated, pick up that piece of paper and start reading it. You will find back your motivation in a split second!

Also, whenever you feel particularly in shape and ready to rock your next workout, pick up that paper once again and try to add more reasons to your list. The more you think about it and write about it, the more likely you are to take action towards that outcome.

Now that you’re clear on what drives you, and you’re all pumped up, it’s time to set goals and see them coming true.

How to do that? You can follow this article and learn how to set SMART goals.

Conclusion

Having a strong mind and a strong body will help you during tough times like nothing else. Keep working on both and your resolve will become unstoppable.

If you’d like to get support and motivation to work out your body and mind, join me in Busy Yet Fit Community!

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More Tips for Workout Motivation

Featured photo credit: Meghan Holmes via unsplash.com

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Davide Alfonsi

Online Weight Loss And Exercise Specialist

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Last Updated on October 4, 2021

5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

  • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
  • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
  • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
  • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
  • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
  • Total: 20 to 22 hours

Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

  • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
  • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
  • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

No equipment? No problem.

So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

  • Quadruped Rocks
  • Frog Stretch
  • Hip Prying
  • Scapula Push-ups
  • Hindu push-ups

Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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2. Yoga

Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

3. Calisthenics

Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

4. Aerobic Exercise

Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

Chipper 60

Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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“Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

Stress

We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

Stimulants

Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
[2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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