Did you eagerly sign up for a new gym membership in January, but have lost all your motivation since? Or perhaps you’ve always been fit and healthy, but you’ve let your routine slip a little recently. With summer around the corner, now’s the time to get your mojo back.
Whilst there are many ways to motivate yourself, it’s important that you take the path that works for you personally. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Create an exciting routine
Ever considered that it wasn’t the gym which got boring, but your gym routine? There’s so much you can do with one gym membership. Shake up your weight training routine with a different split. Go to a new group exercise class. Set yourself a personal challenge on the cardio machines. Step outside your comfort zone by attending yoga or Pilates. Before you cancel your Direct Debit, really consider all the different ways you could make use of that gym membership.
2. Commit to 28 days
Set yourself the challenge to do some form of exercise every day for 28 days. It can be any combination of gym workouts, classes, PT sessions, swimming, home workouts, yoga, long walks or outdoor sports. Just do something for 28 days in a row. By the end of the 28 days, you’ll have a brand new habit, and you’ll know the kind of workouts you want to carry forward into next month.
3. Reschedule your workouts
Did you fall out of the gym habit because the gym was too busy, noisy, or intimidating. Things have got quieter since January. Ease your way back in by going at off-peak times. Not only will you feel a bit more comfortable, but you’ll be able to get on all your favourite bits of kit.
4. Create a ritual
All successful gym goers have a pre-gym ritual which makes the act of working out second nature. Set your own ritual: It could include playing a motivating playlist, making your workout drink, packing your bag, having a coffee, and picking out your favourite gym t-shirt. Keep your gym kit ready and out where you can see it. Your gym ritual needs to make things as easy as possible.
5. Book a summer holiday
There’s nothing quite like the motivation of sunning your body in a bikini or beach shorts to get you back in a gym routine! Book a summer holiday, weekend away, festival or mini break in the sun. It’ll be positive motivation to shape up, and it gives you a set-in-stone weekly countdown. Book something 12 or 16 weeks away and you have the ideal timeframe for losing a little body fat, adding a bit of strategic muscle, or shaping lagging body parts. And at the end of your 12-16 week effort, you have a great reward waiting for you.
6. Enter an event
If your gym routine is feeling stale and uninspiring, why not enter a sporting event? Mass participation events have come a long way since the days of trudging round a marathon. You’ve got tons to choose from in 2016, from triathlons and open-water swimming, to adventure racing, obstacle course races, off-road challenges and more. Find the thing that excites and scares you a little bit, gather a friend or two to join you, then get training!
7. Set a countdown on your phone
Once you’ve got your holiday, event, or race goal set in stone, create a countdown on your phone using a free app. Set it to remind you at weekly intervals, and let the ever-decreasing time frame keep you on track.
8. Make it social
If the gym was starting to feel a little lonely, make it more fun by including friends or family members. Recruit your sportiest cousin, or invite your healthiest mates along for a gym workout. Start to create a social group of workout buddies who like to train at the same time of day as you. The anticipation of meeting people at the gym will give you the push you need to get back into your workout routine.
9. Pick a meaningful date
Summer tends to be jam-packed with weddings, parties, and reunions. What’s in your calendar for Summer 2016? Pick an event which really resonates with you, and pledge to show up in jaw-dropping shape. Then mark the date on your calendar, set a countdown on your phone, and devise your plan of attack in the gym.
10. Take it outside
If the gym really isn’t for you right now, look at more appealing ways to get fit and shape up. Summer will be here before you know it. Perfect for early morning power walks, off road biking, trail running, or boot camp in the park. How about setting yourself a summer challenge: a triathlon, a road bike event, or an off road obstacle race? The gym will always be there (because you can never completely rely on British weather).