More than likely, because of this Coronavirus lockdown, your motivation to workout at home is less than your motivation to workout in the gym. At home you get distracted, others interrupt you, a program on TV takes away your attention. And there are many other commotions that get in the way.
So what do you do?
How do you avoid those disruptions? How can you motivate yourself to workout regularly and correctly?
The key question to ask yourself is, How badly do you want to achieve your health and fitness goal?
How to motivate yourself to workout is simple. Answer that question. Think about it with focused intensity. See the goal that you want to achieve in your mind, and reiterate your goal and, more importantly, reiterate the reason why you want to achieve that goal.
What’s the WHY you want to be fit and healthy.
What do you want to be fit and healthy for?
The WHY possesses all the power to go after your goal until it is achieved – even if you are working out from home in this lockdown situation.
How much you want your goal determines the strength of your motivation.
It is that strength that will steadfastly motivate and drive you to fulfil your goal irrespective of any challenges, setbacks, oppositions, confrontations, distractions, interruptions, diversions, or anything else.
How to stay motivated will not be an issue anymore!
I recall a friend who set himself a goal that he felt extremely excited about. He talked for days on end about that goal; what it meant to him and how he really wanted to achieve it within six months at the most.
A couple of months later, my friend Bill, took me aside. I could see he was feeling miserable and despondent. He went on to tell me how disappointed he was that his goal had not materialised.
“Goal! What Goal?” was my honest answer. I had forgotten all about it. It was not what Bill wanted to hear.
“You know, my goal to get a toned, sculptured beach body,” Bill reminded me, with a deep sense of defeat and frustration echoing from his voice.
“Oh that. I thought you were kidding. We all figured you changed your mind since we don’t see you going to the gym anymore,” I replied, perhaps a little sarcastically.
So, what happened here? What happened to Bill’s drive? Where’s his motivation?
In the beginning, Bill was excited about his new goal of getting a firm and toned beach body as he put it. He was full of motivation and determination to achieve that goal. “I will get it no matter what,” where his last words to me. Hmmm.
He consistently went to the gym four to five days a week. He took his protein shakes, his supplements, and always asked personal trainers’ questions about his training schedule and routine.
He was pleased with his progress.
By the third month, though, he started to go to the gym twice a week, and half-way through that third month it trickled to once a week.
His dilemma was he couldn’t understand why his motivation to go to the gum and workout had dwindled to once a week half-way through the third month.
“At the beginning, I was so full of enthusiasm and motivation. I felt nothing could stop me,” he explained, feeling ever so confused.
So what went wrong? Where did his incredible and unstoppable motivation go?
After careful examination, it came to light that Bill had lost his burst of motivation because he was not really passionate about being toned.
He really didn’t care too much about having that beach body. In fact, he used to laugh at the beach-bodied people whenever he spotted one on holiday.
Interesting point, huh? See where this is going?
His goal was merely a passing ‘wish’.
In other words, he did not want to be toned badly enough. If he did, if he felt passionate, he would have continued his workout routine no matter what challenges he faced.
Bill was torn between two thoughts.
The first said, “Yeah, I’d like to have a toned beach body.” But his conflicting second thought argued, “Sure, but you could get along in life without it. You laugh at people who have a perfectly toned beach body, now you want one? Come on!”
And who won?
His conflicting thought had the upper hand.
You see, Bill would have ‘liked’ the toned body, but he did not turn that wish into a solid goal.
The toned body idea remained just that, an idea or a wish. As such, his once powerful motivation had weakened until it was there no more.
If he had turned it into a goal, a solid goal, he would have sought after it. He would have been motivated to pursue that goal irrespective of how tired or how busy he was.
After all, it was his goal. And goals are meant to be achieved.
Passion ignites the drive from deep within to maintain the motivation to reach all sorts of goals.
Passion provides the fuel to keep you in a highly motivated state of mind.
Once you find out what you are passionate about, once you find out the WHY you want to be healthy and fit for, how to motivate yourself to workout will become a simple matter of getting up and getting started no matter what.
Your motivation to remain persistent regardless of any setbacks and obstacles will be unstoppably strong.
Now, in this lockdown situation we are all facing, I have included below 10 powerful ways you can make use of to motivate yourself to workout – in time, your motivation will increase in momentum regardless of any distractions or interruptions.
Motivation fuels you to take consistent daily action to achieve and live your goal.
The 10 powerful ways on how to stay motivated are listed below. All you have to do is alter your strategy:
1. Plan your health and fitness goal once again
Now that you are in lockdown mode, simply having a goal will not mean you can achieve it. Your mind is too focused on this interruption of you going to the gym. By being frustrated and continually asking yourself, “How can I stay motivated with all these interruptions around me? How can I stay motivated without being surrounded by others who are also working out?” and an array of other similar questions, you will inevitably head towards the wrong direction.
As we saw with Bill, you need to have a clear and concise goal with no conflicts.
Simply wishing to have a certain kind of body won’t help.
Simply wishing to lose weight won’t help.
Simply wishing to jog the marathon won’t help.
Working out has so much more to do with an emotion of achieving complete and all round fitness.
That’s a great goal to strive for; at least for now while you’re working out at home and not in the gym.
So what workout routine plan can you follow at home? Jumping Jacks, Planks, Tricep Dips using a stable chair? Think about it and come up with a plan. It need not be written in stone; adjust it as time goes by until you finally come up with a plan you’ll be happy about.
You may face ‘at-home-distractions’. Arrange with the people surrounding you a time of no interruptions while you workout. Ask them to respect your workout time.
2. Focus on the emotion of working out, and not on just working out
A powerful way to stay motivated to workout is by focusing on the emotion and happiness that working out will bring.
Endure the discomfort of working out at home by seeing the end result; by remembering the WHY you are working out for in the first place.
And an even more powerful emotion booster is to look into the mirror after the workout.
See and feel how great you look. This is a great motivation booster.
3. Reward yourself
When you used to workout in the gym, did you reward yourself for having such a great workout? If not, you should’ve.
Now that you are working out from home, it is even more important to reward yourself after each and every workout.
Come up with a list of rewards.
4. Stick to the plan that works for you
As we mentioned in step one, planning is important. Now, sticking to the final plan is crucial to your fitness success.
If your motivation to workout has dwindled, and it may at times, this is where discipline and your big WHY kick in.
Allow discipline to motivate yourself to workout.
Allow the big WHY to be your powerful ‘chatter on your shoulder’; that urges you to stay motivated. This ‘chatter on your shoulder’ guides you on how to stay motivated throughout your workout.
And throughout the lockdown.
5. Quality over quantity
This is key. Just because you are at home and not in a gym doesn’t mean that the quality of your workout should suffer.
Do not compromise and settle for less.
Do not jeopardise what you have already gained.
True you may need to adjust your home workout. True how to motivate yourself to workout may be an issue (at first). True the quality of your workout may take a slight knock.
If that is so, find a way around that to regain as much quality as you can from each workout session, and perform each session with total determination and dedication.
It’s all about quality and not quantity.
6. Set yourself workout at home milestones
Chunk your final goal into small achievable milestones. You may do this every week, if you like. If, at the gym, your goal was to do 100 pushups and you find it hard to do that at home for whatever reason, chunk that down to achievable milestones by performing the amount you can do at home and scale up to 100.
Start off with baby steps to see what you can and cannot do and increase it incrementally.
This will certainly keep you motivated.
7. Get yourself a workout buddy
How to stay motivated consistently may still be a struggle every so often. If that happens to you consider finding a workout buddy; someone who will work out with you, and one who will help you maintain your motivation – and you can encourage and motivate him, too.
What a wonderful win-win exchange.
8. Music keeps you going
If finding a workout buddy is a challenge for you, or that person cannot be there for you as often as you like (even on Facetime), enlist your other workout buddy: Your music playlist.
For many, listening to music can powerfully motivate them to workout.
Are you one of them?
If not, consider that method.
You may be pleasantly surprised how listening to your favourite music can power you up; where you will be motivated and where you can stay motivated to workout.
And for some, they workout even longer and more intensely as they are powered by the loud beats of songs they love.
9. A fantastic distraction you will enjoy
As we wrap this up, here’s a particular distraction I feel you will like. Perform all or part of your workout while watching your favourite TV program.
This will be a pleasant distraction that will take your mind off the unpleasantness of working out at home and not in the gym.
It could be a great distraction if your cardio routine is ‘boring’ at home. This distraction will override that boredom, don’t you think?
Make it a point to celebrate your success. You could celebrate every workout completion. You could celebrate reaching every milestone. You could celebrate every week of dedicated working out.
Celebrate that you are actually working out at home in the first place and didn’t quit now that the gyms being closed.
Come up with a list of celebratory reasons, and enjoy every celebration.
There you have it. Those were 10 powerful ways to motivate yourself to workout and how to stay motivated during this lockdown.
Let me finish off with a quote from Zig Ziglar: People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
Hani Al-Qasem is a published author, a Certified EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Practitioner, and inspiration specialist.