It’s easy to talk yourself into the gym once the BOGO bikini sales start dominating the department stores, and the sun peeks through the winter clouds to invite you to a beach day. We’ve all felt that surge of motivation once the weather heats up and the layers come off, but what about when the quest for the beach body becomes a daily grind? Here are six ways to talk yourself into the gym each and every day:
1. Have some forethought.
Sure, it’s easy to hit snooze and forgo leg day to catch some extra zzz’s, but starting this habit is no way to achieve your fitness goals. Maybe it feels good for a moment to snag an extra hour at home before work, but think about how good you feel after a nice long sweat session. Moseying into class or the office just isn’t the same as entering awake and energized from a hard workout. You won’t have the guilt that comes with missing another workout, and you’ll be able to attack the day as a victorious woman (or man) of the world. One hour of getting your heart pumping comes at little cost and enormous benefits. Don’t be a sucker for instant gratification; you’re better than that.
2. Write yourself encouraging notes.
Sometimes, all we need is that little extra push. And sometimes, that’s our own responsibility. If you find yourself lacking motivation, write down all the benefits of getting in that extra gym trip. Write an encouraging note to go along with your alarm to (quite literally) talk yourself into the gym. You know yourself better than any fitness coach or instructor; remember why you chose this lifestyle.
3. Put your sneakers and (cute) workout clothes beside your bed.
Prepare yourself the night before, and give yourself no excuses to bail. Have fun with it, and pick an outfit that you’re excited about. Fitness is all about treating yourself well, and you can jumpstart that process with sneakers that match the waistband of your leggings, as you morph yourself into a gym queen. Feeling put-together is empowering, and that’s precisely the attitude you will need when you hit the weights or treadmill. Working out can be your initial (or last) victory of the day, so treat it as such. Whether you start or finish your day with a run, use exercise as an opportunity to assert your autonomy, taking ownership over your workout. You’ll find you won’t even have to talk yourself into the gym after a while.
4. Make exercise a healthy habit.
Believe it or not, working out is like a drug. Releasing feel-good endorphins, moderate exercise can stimulate your brain in a way that leaves you wanting more. Use this addictive property to your advantage, and simply make exercise a part of your daily (un-optional) routine. Like work or school, your health is a priority, so treat it as such. You’ll soon find that the days you don’t exercise make you feel sluggish and unproductive. Fuel that competitive fire and look for new ways each day to challenge yourself, and get a thrill from your own personal accomplishments. Not every day will be easy, but delivering each and every day makes things easier in the long run.
5. Reward yourself.
Yes, we understand you’re not Pavlov’s dog, but humans respond to a little conditioning, too! Find something to look forward to after each workout, be it the chocolate milk you down after a hard run or your favorite protein bar after that lift. Maybe it’s the feeling of the hot shower on your hard-working shoulders or watching the rings close on your smart watch. Find something gratifying that will encourage you to put on those sneakers when you (see #1) stop and engage in a little forethought. Make your post-workout routine a kind and rewarding one, a small token for doing something good for yourself each and every day.
6. Put. On. The. Sneakers.
The hardest part is getting yourself to the gym. Remember that. It’s pretty rare to get to that music-banging, friend-filled, goal-oriented place and not catch the exercise bug. In fact, sometimes it’s best to not even take the time to talk yourself into the gym. Instead, act. Put on your shoes, be a grown-up, and seize the day. You owe it to yourself and everyone who cares about you. Maybe Nike is on to something: Just do it.