Motivating Motivation: Exercise tips for the Unmotivated
Some people are naturally motivated to go to the gym, run marathons, or climb mountains. I, however, am motivated to go to Cold Stone, run a bath, and climb into bed. Exercise? I hardly know her.
If you are anything like me, you dread the thought of physical activity. Or rather, you dread the thought of dedicated physical activity. An active lifestyle takes time and discipline, and being consistent seems daunting. At least, it does for me.
So, for those of us who are naturally unmotivated to exercise, but understand its importance, how do we become motivated? Where does our journey start? Here are a handful of tips I find particularly…motivating.
- Start Small, Dream Big Realistic
The younger me was the queen of big dreams and big disappointments. I have now learned that success takes refinement and time. The same applies to wellness.
Start with short-term, achievable goals. If you are unsure what goal to set, start exercising 30 minutes a day. Give yourself confidence and mercy to adjust as needed.
Being realistic does not make you any less of a hard worker. Realism can keep you motivated and grounded as you start your wellness journey.
- Discover your Favorite Exercise
When you think of exercise, you may think of running, weightlifting, or a favorite sport. If any of these activities motivate you, start setting exercise goals.
If you have the coordination of a baby gazelle, you may be more comfortable with alternate activities. Try yoga, dancing, rollerblading, walking, hiking, etc.
Enjoyable exercise can do wonders for motivation and consistency. It may take time to discover what you enjoy but do not let that discourage you. From running to curling, soccer to ballet, find what motivates you.
- Document your Wellness Journey
Wellness can be fun when you document your process. Doing this helps you see your progress, even if it seems small.
If you enjoy writing, try a wellness journal. If you like talking, try an audio journal. If you love making videos and taking pictures, try a video journal.
Whatever you choose, documenting your journey can help you stay consistent, motivated, and accountable.
- Find a Workout Buddy
Workout friends are a simple fix but exercising with people can be intimidating. It can be hard to gauge reliability, level of judgment, and support.
Choose a friend that makes you feel safe, comfortable, and accountable. Find friends that make exercise fun.
When it comes to motivation, you deserve support. Start looking for a friend that will motivate you to reach your wellness goals.
- Treat Yourself (but like, know your limits)
What is the point of setting a goal without a prize? Give yourself a tangible reward for a job well done.
My goal is to eat vegetables daily, for a month. At the end of the month, I want to buy myself a Shiatsu massage. This reward will help me feel accomplished, and in this case, knot-free. It is a win-win for mama (I am mama).
While incentivizing is different for everyone, it may not sustain motivation. It can, however, put you on a path of consistency and dedication. Know your limits, know your worth, and accomplish your goals.
If you are anything like me, you dread the thought of physical activity. Or rather, you dread the thought of dedicated physical activity.
However, dedicated activity does not have to be uncomfortable. Try setting realistic goals, finding your favorite exercises, documenting your wellness, exercising with friends, or rewards.
Motivation can be all you need to start your journey. Time can turn your motivation from consistency to purpose. Give yourself grace as you navigate through trial and error. With time, you may learn that motivation can be particularly motivating.