There comes a time when you decide to get serious about your fitness- focused and determined, you hit the gym and crush your workout. And then you crush it again the next day and the rest of the week too. Nothing will stop you and you feel on top of the world. And then out of nowhere, you run into a wall. Maybe you had a rough day at work and it’s cold and raining outside. The couch looks more comfortable than ever. Even if you somehow find a way to drag yourself to the gym, you don’t have the drive to push yourself like you did before and your workout suffers. So what can you do to stay motivated when you need it most? Here are 5 easy and effective ways to help you get the most out of your gym sessions.
Set SMART Goals
It’s great to have goals like, “I want to be healthier” but without some more specifics and direction, you’ll most likely lose focus and end up disappointed with the results. Instead, make goals that are SMART:
If you want to lose weight for example, a SMART goal may be, “I want to lose 10 pounds by June 1st.” Once you’ve established it, come up with a game plan each week to move you toward that goal (i.e. running on the treadmill for 30 minutes every other day). Even if you don’t end up achieving it, you’ll be much more focused and make far more progress than if you didn’t have goals. In the words of Stephen Covey, “Begin with the end in mind.”
Get a Workout Partner
Skipping a workout and watching TV instead is pretty easy to do. Having a friend who can help keep you accountable is a perfect way to keep you motivated and consistent in the gym. Not only that, you’ll push yourself harder and your workouts will end up being more fun, keeping you from looking down at your phone the whole time.
Change Up Your Routine
Doing the same thing over and over gets pretty boring after a while, and the gym is no exception; you’ll quickly lose motivation and quit. If you ran on the treadmill twice this week already, change it up and do some weight training instead. Your body adapts to a routine over time, so if you keep it guessing and vary your workouts, you’ll stay engaged and have better results.
Listen to Your Favorite Jams
One of the best ways to elevate your mood and get in the zone before and during a workout is to listen to some of your favorite uptempo music. Whether it’s Lil Wayne, Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift, choose whatever gets you pumped and moving. In addition to making your workout more enjoyable, listening to music can actually enhance your performance up to 15%, according to some studies. And like your routine, don’t forget to change up the playlist occasionally.
Don’t Forget to Rest
Last but certainly not least, your body needs time to recover in between workouts. Pushing yourself to the limit every day for a week with no rest will leave you physically and mentally exhausted. So make sure to get plenty of sleep and schedule 2-3 rest days into your week so that you’re refreshed and ready to crush your next workout.
When it comes to fitness, consistency is key. These are just some of the ways that can help keep you motivated at the gym, but find what works best for you and take it one step at a time!