#MondayMotivation: How to stay motivated in the gym

#MondayMotivation: How to stay motivated in the gym

Going to the gym is one thing, but returning again and again is another.

By John Balfe - 15 Jul 2019

It is said that it takes two months, or around 66 days, to develop a new habit and place it into your regular routine. 

While most people think that adding a habit to your routine is a good thing (and it often is), you can also develop bad habits in the same span of time and lower your own personal standards in various elements of your life, your exercise regime and elsewhere. So how do we give ourselves the best chance to get to a place where physical and mental betterment becomes a standard, rather than an occasionally-overlooked part of your life?

Change How You Think

While the vast majority of those reading this will never know what it truly feels like to become a professional athlete, switching your brain to a similar mindset can be hugely beneficial. Remember, many of our brains can play tricks on us to try and undermine your own better instincts.

“You’ve already gone to the gym this week,” it might inform you, offering an excuse to skip a session. “You ate healthily yesterday, you deserve this take-away” is another, and while everyone does deserve a take-away every so often (or at least a reward of some description) it is important to be aware of this line of thinking to try to avoid self-sabotage of your goals.

 

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Set Goals

Many, or most, of us are goal-oriented. That’s just how our species works and it is evident in practically every walk of life from the business world, to athletics and beyond. This is why a carefully constructed list of goals is an incredibly important element to your own campaign of self-improvement. Do you want to lower your 5K time? Or how about achieving a specific number of reps with a troublesome machine in the gym? Or maybe you want to lose 10-pounds?

Ideas such as this become a lot less complicated when you can track progress, measure what works for you and try to put it to practice over a specific period of time. You will find that this has a much more defined impact to your goals than a more chaotic, haphazard approach.

Schedule Time

If you have a specific appointment, it becomes more noticeable when you miss it. The idea of going to the gym three times in a week can sound daunting, but if you say to yourself that you will attend at 8pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday then you will be more able to actively place the necessary time into your diary. If you don’t, you might not even be aware that you’re missing workouts until too late — and that habit-forming part of your brain will suffer for it.

Don’t Make It A Slog

Not everyone enjoys going to the gym. For that reason it is important to try and have as much fun as possible there, or at least make it easier on yourself. If music works for you as a motivator, programme up a gym-specific playlist for you to listen to. If podcasts are more your thing, find a series you can get lost in while you work.

Find Support

A ‘gym buddy’, or someone to push you, can be an extremely helpful resource for anyone struggling to maintain the correct levels of motivation. Can you go to the gym with a friend or a loved one? Maybe you can enlist the services of a personal trainer? Either way, there are numerous different ways in which to provide yourself with the correct environment necessary to flourish — and it can be a lot easier to keep working when you see someone beside you doing the same thing, making the same sacrifices and dealing with the aches and pains which can come in tandem with the methodical pace you are putting your body through.

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