How to motivate oneself to achieve long-term exercise goals
Working out an hour a day without distractions is a good way to release mood-boosting endorphins that help boost motivation
A regular exercise regime is essential for maintaining our physical and mental health. However, it is very common for people to feel a short burst of motivation where they start working out and eating healthy, only to fall off track shortly after. With a few simple tricks, however, staying consistent can actually be a lot easier than you may think.
Create a plan
If you don't know what you are doing, you are more likely to stop doing it. Plan what you are doing each day - whether it that means deciding which body part you are training or what group class you are attending. Decide a time and add it to your schedule so you are more likely to stick to it.
Set short term goals
Your long-term goals will take a long time to achieve and it is very easy to get discouraged while you wait. Setting short-term goals can keep you motivated and remind you that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Something as simple as doing ten push-ups or holding a plank for one minute can really help you keep going.
Stop relying on motivation
Motivation comes and goes, habits last forever. After two to three months of consistently working out, it becomes a habit and then lack of motivation does not stop you. Nobody feels motivated all the time and the trick is to keep going regardless.
Quit looking at exercise as a punishment
People look at exercise as a way to counteract poor eating habits when in fact, exercise should be seen as a reward. It is a way to get an hour to yourself without any distractions, a way to release mood-boosting endorphins, a way to remind yourself what your body is capable and a way to love yourself by keeping yourself in optimal health. Building a habit begins with what you believe. Looking at it as a punishment leads to a negative perception of fitness which is likely to demotivate you.
(Yasir Khan is a Dubai-based transformation expert with 17 years of experience in fitness and mind coaching.)