For years, I didn’t have the habit of working out. Then one day I decided to start building the habit and now I’m glad to say that I work out almost every day.
So how can we get motivated to work out?
The starting point, I believe, is internalizing the benefits. The more you internalize the benefits, the more motivated you will be.
Here are the benefits you will get from working out:
Personally, this is the benefit that I like the most. Since I spent years not exercising, I can attest to the difference it makes. Exercise gives me more energy throughout the day. It results in more enthusiasm and better focus.
For this to happen, I suggest you exercise in the morning. That way you will get the energy you need for the rest of the day.
- Improved Self-Control
Studies show that exercise can help you build self-control. In The Power of Habit, it’s mentioned that exercise is a keystone habit, which means that building this habit can help you build other good habits.
When you have more enthusiasm and self-control, you will increase your happiness. I can say from experience that working out is a good way to lift your mood.
- Long-Term Health
Working out is essential for maintaining good health. There are so many health risks that can be reduced if you make working out a habit.
In addition to the benefits above, you can use your exercise time for learning. Bill Gates, for instance, uses his exercise sessions to watch video lectures. I use mine to listen to podcasts. It’s a good way to build your knowledge without taking extra time.
Some Tips on Getting Started
Having seen the benefits of working out, here are some tips on getting started:
1. Start Small
I almost fainted when I first tried to run. I had to lay myself down on the side of the road for a few minutes! I learned a lesson from the experience: start small. Don’t be too ambitious, because you might overestimate your ability. Just start small and build from there.
2. Make It a Priority
In the Eisenhower Matrix, working out is a quadrant II activity. That means the activity is important but not urgent. Since it’s not urgent, it’s easy to get overridden by other things. So make time for it. Make it a priority.
3. Make It Easy
Make it as easy as possible for you to work out. In my case, I work out at home, so I don’t have the excuse of being too lazy to go to the gym. In your case, you might decide to work out with friends if the peer pressure makes it easier for you to do it.
4. Make It Fun
If it’s fun, it’s more likely that you will do it for the long run. You might want to use a habit tracker to give you a sense of accomplishment. Or you might just have fun doing it with your friends.
5. Set a Routine
Don’t make it complicated to work out. If you need to constantly think about what to do next, you might stop working out before long. So set a routine. In my case, I have a set of activities that I’ve been doing for years. Many people use the 7-minute workout. The important thing is that you make it “automatic.”
6. Use an Activity Tracker
If you want to, you can use an activity tracker to keep yourself motivated. There are many gadgets out there that can track your activities and give you real-time reports. Apple Watch, for instance, allows you to set a daily goal and give you a report on how you are doing.
Internalize the benefits and apply the tips above, and I’m sure you will be motivated to work out.
Any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments.