Working out consistently is hard. And getting started is even harder! We all have a limited amount of discipline and motivation in one day and most of the time, we need to use our fixed amount of motivation on other things like work, school, even family duties. So by the time we might have time to work out, it can be hard to use whatever motivation is left to do so. So here are a few tips to help you get the most out of that leftover motivation…
1. Make it as convenient as possible.
Have you ever heard of the elephant and rider analogy? Sometimes it makes sense to imagine our discipline habits as a rider on an elephant. NYU psychologist Jonathan Haidt explains that the rational side of our brain is the rider and emotional side of our brain is the elephant. Chip and Dan Heath elaborate on this analogy in their book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by saying that in order to make a long-term, sustainable change, you need to find ways to make both the rider and the elephant happy.
So when we try to make a change like working out consistently, we need to do it in a way that will support the rider, who wants to work out because it knows the benefits, while also appeasing the elephant, who wants to curl up on the couch and watch Netflix all day.
With this analogy in mind, try starting with easy, convenient workouts. Something like an evening walk hardly requires anything besides making the time, putting on comfortable shoes, and leaving the house. Now the rider can rest easy knowing you’ve done something to work toward your goal, and the elephant isn’t exerting too much effort to make it happen.
2. Focus on immediate benefits.
It’s harder to get out and move your body when you’re focusing on the benefits that take a while like gaining muscle and trimming down. But there are so many immediate benefits that you can feel right away! Here are a few:
- You’ll sleep better tonight. The quality of your sleep is deeper, more restful and can even realign your internal body clock.
- You’ll feel the endorphins kick in right away! Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins which reduces stress, anxiety and even boosts your self-esteem!
- Entertain yourself! Listen to fun music, listen to an audio book, or even watch a show while on the treadmill.
3. Do something you enjoy.
There are countless, enjoyable ways to get your heart rate up. No one ever said the only way to work out is by running on a treadmill. Consider any physical activity you’ve previously enjoyed in your life and find a way to do it more consistently.
If you enjoyed playing basketball in high school, why not get back into it? Reserve a court at the rec center with some friends or join an intramural team in your community. If you’ve found you enjoy going out dancing with your friends on the weekend, join a Zumba class in person or online.
You can even combine other activities you enjoy with physical activities! If you enjoy watching TV after a long work day, try going to the gym and using the bicycle machines while you watch an episode or two. If you enjoy meditating or doing breath work, follow along a Yoga video on YouTube.
And of course, if you love crypto, join the waitlist for our fitness app! This summer, we’re launching an app that allows you to monitor your heart rate through fitness wearables like an Apple Watch. When you exercise, our app will track your elevated heart rate and depending on the effort you put in, you’ll be rewarded with our crypto coin (IZE)! Talk about motivation.