Finding Motivation 5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

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Adapted from Time Magazine article by Mandy Oaklander, May 2017)

The hardest part of any workout is just getting started. It’s cliché because it’s true, but even once you’ve pushed past your own excuses—Too busy! Too tired! Too lazy!—and showed up  to exercise, there’s still the challenge of keeping with it. It’s so common a challenge that social and behavioral scientists have been working on a fix for years. Luckily, it’s a problem with many solutions. Below I’ve identified science-backed tips that have worked for other people and will probably work for you too.

 

  1. FORGET HOW GOOD IT IS FOR YOUR HEALTH

Dodging a heart attack that may or may not happen 10 years from now isn’t likely to make you want to work out, says Michelle Segar, director of the Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy Center at the University of Michigan. Exercising for eventual health is a worthy pursuit, but it’s too abstract and far off to keep most people motivated, Segar says. Instead, focus on what you’ll get out of the exercise right now—a boost in energy and mood, improved sleep and productivity, increased lean muscle and decrease in fat—since those are some of the most motivating rewards of all. For long term sustainability, you’ll want to have a “Big Why”—a bigger reason ‘why’ you push yourself to get uncomfortable on a routine basis. At your 6.10.17 Makeover, you will have time to detail out your ‘Big Why’.

 

  1. PICK SOMETHING YOU LIKE

Many people feel that if exercise doesn’t hurt or doesn’t in some way feel like punishment, it’s not worth doing. In reality, if you feel like you are being punished every time you exercise, you aren’t likely to stick with it long. Instead, start with something you’ll enjoy a little more (walking, playing tennis, etc.) and finish with something more intense (MaxT3, HIIT, Surge Training, etc.).

 

  1. MAKE IT NON-NEGOTIABLE

The most consistent exercises seem to be those who turn exercise into a type of habit—one triggered by a cue, like hearing your morning alarm and doing MaxT3 without thinking about it, or getting stressed and immediately deciding to exercise (after praying for peace of course).

 

  1. CARDIO DATE, NOT COFFEE DATE

Accountability, accountability, accountability! It’s so important. As an added benefit, physical movement increases the connection we have with the people we enjoy spending time. Who is your accountability partner? Tip: you should have a sit down meeting with your accountability partner and detail out your goals. Let your accountability partner know your struggles and ask for their help. The relationship should go both ways. More on this at the 6.10.17 event. Bring your accountability partner!

 

  1. PUT MONEY ON THE LINE

People are motivated by losses more than gains, and they prefer getting rewarded now rather than later—two human quirks that can translate into a surprisingly effective way to get people to move more, according to a 2016 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. A research team assigned almost 300 overweight and obese people the goal of walking 7,000 steps a day for three months. Only their incentives were different. When they met their goal, some people were merely told they had done so, while others were entered into a cash lottery. Those in a third group were given $1.40 for each day they met the goal. Members of the final group were allotted  $42 at the start of the stud and had $1.40 removed for every day they didn’t take enough steps. People who stood to lose money met their goals at a much higher rate than those in the other groups. We will be using this research for the 30-day challenge following the 6.10.17 Makeover so stay tuned! And GET YOUR TICKETS!! There is limited seating and this event will sell out.

 

Looking forward to seeing you there! For ease, go to www.drwilsonlive.com to register. Tickets are two for $25 or one for $15.

 

Together for transformation,

Dr. Wilson