Over the past three years, I’ve slowly learned to adapt to training at home. After spending over a decade in the gym, it took me a while to really figure it out, especially when it comes to staying motivated. Here are ten tips that I have found to be the most helpful.
How to stay motivated to workout at home [Video]
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Tip #1: It’s our choice
Ok, so this is something that took me a while to really fully internalize, but it changed everything for me. And that means understanding and accepting that what we do with our time is always our choice.
That empowered me because usually when I lack the motivation to workout at home it’s because I didn’t prioritize it, or maybe I was tired from not getting enough sleep, or I’ve got the workout on postponed too late in the day.
This helped me see that when I wasn’t feeling motivated, it was because of the choices I had made, and so it became much easier to make the necessary changes to regain that motivation.
Tip #2: Eat the frog first
Mark Twain once wrote, “If you eat the frog first thing in the morning, you can go about your day with the satisfaction of knowing that this is probably the worst thing that will happen to you all day.”
And while I’m not a fan of exercise, for many of us it’s the one thing we’re most likely to skip, especially if we’re saving it for later in the day. Therefore, making sure your workout is the first thing you do each morning can be very helpful.
That way, you don’t have to risk other factors that might come up throughout the day and throw you off course.
And if you can’t exercise in the morning, I suggest at least trying to schedule it as the first thing you do when you can, whether that’s taking your child to school or after you’ve finished work.
For me, my daughter gets up very early in the morning, so I don’t have enough time to do everything I want, so I divided my training into two parts. I do the first 30-45 minutes or so in the morning, so at least I do that in case something unexpected happens, and then I do the remaining 30-45 minutes in the afternoon once I’m done with my work.
Tip #3: Block out your time
Another very simple but incredibly valuable tip for me is blocking my time in a daily calendar.
Sometimes all it takes to stay motivated is to make sure you’ve reserved the time so that you have nothing else to do during that time other than exercise.
When you don’t have time blocked, it becomes much easier to tell yourself that you are too busy or have other things to do. It’s an easy trap to fall into if you don’t stick to a schedule.
Tip #4: Remove friction
I like to think of friction as how difficult it is or how many steps it takes to start a task. The more friction there is in a task, the more motivation I need to muster for it, so it’s best to remove as much of that friction as possible so we don’t have to have quite as much motivation to train.
For example, if I want to workout in the morning, I’ll either sleep in or have all my workout clothes ready the night before, so I have one less thing to do to get started. I also have everything I need for training ready to go exactly where I need it. My cycling shoes next to my bike or when I’m lifting weights I have everything organized for my next workout because after I’ve finished my workout I make it part of my cooldown to prep everything for my next workout – including refilling my water and getting ready even the next shake.
While this may seem unnecessary to some, it really helps me to need less motivation to actually start exercising.
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Tip #5: Plan ahead
Planning your workouts in advance is another very important way to eliminate friction. I’ll also make sure I’ve met a workout at least the day before, if not well in advance, whether it’s something I’ve written or is a Peloton class I plan to take. When I don’t have to think about what workout I’m going to do that day, it’s a lot easier to just go for it.
Tip #6: Reward consistency
Ok, when it comes to exercising at home it can help to keep motivating yourself, especially if you’re not someone who particularly enjoys exercising. Now, I’m not a fan of worthwhile outcome goals like pounds lost or new personal records. I find that focusing on the systems and behaviors that will help you achieve those results is far more effective than focusing on results – with consistency being key. Rewarding yourself for being consistent can be helpful.
One of the best ways to do this is to have some sort of image that you see most of the day to track your progress. For example, a calendar on the wall where you mark the days you exercise with a big X — even the satisfaction of not having to stare at a black space on the calendar can be reward enough to motivate you to to stay consistent. But if you want to add an additional reward, such as B. Buying something you really want when you train X days this month can provide an extra boost of motivation if needed.
Tip #7: Accountability
Now if you’re really struggling to be consistent with your home workouts, another really effective strategy is to find someone to hold you accountable. If you have someone you think would be interested in training with you, in person or even over the phone, that can be very helpful.
It also helps to find someone you can check in with regularly. This can be a family member, friend, or coach. The reason trainers are generally the best choice is because they feel less obligated to make you excuses, while family and friends may not be as comfortable confronting you with your own bullshit.
Just make sure you make it clear that you will be held accountable by them and set up a system for you to talk to them about your daily results.
Tip #8: Mix it up
Sometimes you may not feel motivated if you feel your workout is boring. In this case, I’d suggest mixing up what you’re doing so it doesn’t get quite as boring. Whether that means trying new trainers on an online fitness program, or trying new training styles, or even new types of training.
You can also try exercising while watching a show on Netflix, listening to an audio book, or anything else that you find entertaining. There are countless ways to make exercise more enjoyable and fun, you just have to actually try. Again, if you get bored and don’t change anything, that’s a choice you’ve made. So why not make a better choice?
Tip #9: Exercise every day
Ok, working out every day is probably going to be the most controversial tip on this list, and it may not be necessary for everyone, but for me it’s a lot easier to train consistently if I plan to do it every day.
You see, rest days are extremely important if you really want to make progress and not burn out…but I plan my rest days the same way I plan my training days. So instead of doing a 30 minute workout in the morning, I schedule a 30 minute mobiyy or yoga session, or even just a walk, but I schedule some type of activity that keeps me moving and is good for my body. In this way, every day at the same time I know that this is the time dedicated to me and making me better physically.
Tip #10: Do what you enjoy
After all, it doesn’t matter if one type of exercise benefits you more than another, or if one method gives you better results than another if you don’t actually enjoy it. I don’t care what anyone says, consistency at work is the number one factor in any type of results you’re looking for, so ultimately you have to genuinely enjoy what you do.
I’m not saying the workouts themselves always have to be fun, but at least they have to be enjoyable enough and make you feel good about actually wanting to start exercising, rather than always having to feel like a chore to just do one more thing Your daily list to check off.
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