Having a life event, like my wedding last year was a great motivator to shed some pounds and kick-start my exercise routine. But this year, things have been a little slow on that front. Even with a vacation hanging over my head, it was still hard to prioritize fitness. A few months back though, I finally found a few tricks that have helped me get back into routine and exercise with some productive results. Here are my 8 steps to jumpstart your exercise routine.
1. Get rid of your gym membership
Seriously. If you haven’t been to your gym in the last couple of weeks, stop telling yourself next week is going to happen. The gym is like that guy you don’t really like, but will date because he is nice and it gets you out of the house. He isn’t the one, so don’t waste your time, and break it off. Besides, walking on a treadmill while watching Bravo reruns isn’t exercise, (unfortunately).
2. Find something new, exciting and free
Now that you have some extra cash from your cancelled gym membership, start signing up for various studios in your neighborhood. Sometimes the first time is free. Treat all your new workout adventures like a Costco outing. You know you’re not going to love all the free food samples, but you might as well give it a go.
I signed up for a four-week bootcamp via Groupon, and while it wasn’t my favorite work out, it got my body re-energized, and helped kick-start weight-loss.
3. Say “yes” to penalties
Do you know what really got me out of bed at 5:30am for that bootcamp? Money. They charged a fee for not showing up to class. That was a great motivator for me, having to spend money and not get any exercise was a huge no-no, so I made it every time.
4. Give yourself incentives
Set small goals for yourself, that have nothing to do with weight loss or food. Getting fit doesn’t mean you get to reward yourself with cheesecake for dinner, but it could mean you get a new workout outfit. After two weeks, I bought myself some new workout clothes.
5. Get a buddy
It really helps to have a friend who is willing to suffer, I mean exercise through a bootcamp with you, or a friend who will try new fitness studios with you. My friends have helped me get to a workout on days that I didn’t have enough self-motivation. Keeping each other accountable helps keep you both on track.
6. Make it Social
You don’t have to wait for Taco Tuesday, Wine Wednesday or brunch to get together with friends. You don’t have to eat and drink with your friends at all. Instead, try to plan active “dates.” Recently, I went hiking with a friend, and not only did we get a good workout in we also got a few hours to just chat. Paddle boarding, racquetball, or walking dogs together can be a fun way to spend time with friends and burn some calories.
7. Get the Pass
(Have you heard of it?)This is my ultimate favorite thing. For $100 a month, you get to try every workout studio in your area—even those really expensive pilates classes. To stay on track, my friend and I try to plan out the classes we can do each week on Sunday. Knowing the schedule ahead of time, but also knowing there is flexibility to cancel and shift things (as long as it’s not last minute), helps me mentally prepare without having to commit to a membership at just one gym, and the variety of classes keep me engaged and motivated.
8. Get actual workout clothes
I used to be the girl at the gym wearing old, dirty rags that I wouldn’t dare even wear to grocery shop, but felt it was totally acceptable as “gym-wear.” Stop wearing ugly clothes to workout. Invest in good quality and cute outfits that make you feel good. Tights that are breathable and sports bras that are actually supportive help you perform better. Who knew?!
What helps you stay motivated?