By far the #1 question people ask me is how they can get and stay motivated to exercise.
I know from personal experience, in my own fitness journey, lack of motivation can be a real problem.
MY SEARCH FOR A PERSONAL TRAINER WHO COULD MOTIVATE ME TO EXERCISE
During my 14 year weight loss journey, my motivation to exercise was typically highest at the start of a new program. In my past, I had 5 personal trainers. With each trainer I’d be SUPER motivated when I first signed up with them and received my new workouts.
Unfortunately, over time my motivation would wane. Soon I would skip workouts. After a period of time there was nothing I could do to motivate myself enough to commit to the workout program. At that point I would quit working out with that trainer, take a break from my goals, and re-sign with another trainer in the future. When signing with the new personal trainer, I was doing it in hopes that they would be able to motivate me enough to stay consistent.
The only problem with this cycle… I could never find the right trainer to keep my motivation high long term. 🙁
In time, though… I learned I was looking at motivation ALL WRONG.
No one could ever “make” me feel motivated enough to exercise for life. More important, I learned motivation is NOT the holy grail to becoming forever-fit.
In fact… MOTIVATION IS A BUZZ WORD. It’s unreliable and (best of all) it’s NOT required for long-term success with weight loss and good health.
IF MOTIVATION ISN’T THE SECRET TO FOREVER WEIGHT LOSS – WHAT IS?
The idea that you must be motivated to get fit, or that you must like exercise more than the average person to do it consistently is just one (of the many!) myths in the diet industry.
The diet industry likes to make us think we need to feel motivated to exercise, and if we don’t, we must be lazy and complacent.
The truth, though… real-life fitness doesn’t work that way.
Oh, and laziness has NOTHING to do with it. #TotalMindsetShift
The secret to exercising consistently has nothing to do with motivation. It’s really about building repeatable habits, and removing your opt-out point while you build those habits.
REPEATABLE HABITS & YOUR OPT-OUT POINT
First, I must give credit for the term “Opt-Out Point” to blogger, Victor Yu Kung, whose article on the “opt-out point” can be read here. Check it out.
As Victor states, “The more you repeat an action, the easier it gets, until it finally becomes a habit.
Habits remove your reliance on motivation to take action.”
Start small when building these exercise habits. Instead of trying to workout for 30 minutes to 1 hour, start with a 10-20 min walk, or one of the super-short (but efficient!) home workouts I’ve emailed you recently. Pick an activity you can do regularly that will fit into your busy life.
IDENTIFYING & REMOVING YOUR OPT-OUT POINT
When building your new exercise habit, be sure it’s repeatable and can realistically become a part of your regular life. Your goal should be “real-life fitness,” and not a 1 or 2-hour workout commitment you can’t maintain long term.
Then as you build your habit, don’t give yourself a chance to say, “yes” or “no” to the activity.
Remove your opt-out point.
Your opt-out point is the moment you give yourself a chance to opt-out of the workout. For example, one of my old opt-out points was allowing myself to sit and watch a DVR’d show or Netflix in the afternoon to relax a bit before my workout time.
Unfortunately, I learned that TV time was my opt-out point. If I sat down, I had to rely on motivation to try and get myself back up to exercise. And we all know motivation is unreliable and doesn’t work forever.
Instead, I removed the opt-out point and didn’t give myself a chance to get into a TV show. I would workout first before sitting in my favorite chair 🙂 In addition, I would go even further and plan for the workout the night before and have my workout clothes on and ready to go!
Maybe your opt-out point is pressing the snooze button on the alarm clock in the morning. Maybe it’s scrolling through Facebook or getting sucked into the Internet before your planned workout.
Do you know what your opt-out point is? What would happen if you removed it? Would that be the answer to your your workout struggles? Give it a try and let me know how you do!
And remember, motivation is a buzz word. Don’t let the diet industry (or anyone else!) make you believe that you must feel motivated to be able to get fit and healthy.
Instead it’s just time to build those repeatable habits.
p.s. Have you downloaded my latest freebie, “The Busy Woman’s Workout Guide?” 7 super simple workouts! Video instruction, PDF for grab-and-go, and daily coaching along the way. Sign up below or grab it HERE.