Don’t go it alone.
Exercising with a friend aids motivation and you will be less likely to miss a session due to the feeling of accountability, of letting your friend down, if you do so.
Set SMART goals.
A specific, measurable, achievable and realistic goal (e.g.” I will be able to run for 20 minutes without feeling breathless” is more motivating than a general one (e.g. “I will exercise each day to keep my heart healthy”.
Once you have achieved the first goal, you will feel more motivated to set a further goal and over time, will have a string of successes to reflect on.
Make it easy to begin.
With minimal planning you can overcome the first barrier of resistance.
Some people choose to leave their running shoes by the front door, or exercise immediately after work before going home. The important factor is to find the strategy that allows you to avoid the thoughts and behaviours that are getting in your way.
This is a great strategy that links a new habit to an existing one and has been shown to be significantly more effective than linking a new habit to a specific time and location. Exercise could be used as the lead or subsequent habit.
e.g. “After I complete my yoga, I will have breakfast.”
“After I walk the dog, I will go to the gym.”
Just do it.
Of course, there will be days when you just don’t feel like exercising. By accepting these feelings but doing it anyway you will build a stronger commitment to your exercise goals whilst continuing to improve your fitness levels and enjoy the post-exercise release of “feel-good” endorphins.
If motivation is low, tell yourself that you will begin anyway and keep going for ten minutes. By that time, the chances are that you will want to continue.
If a 30-minute block isn’t practical, segment to three 10-minute exercise bursts. You will still feel the benefits and enjoy the satisfaction of having maintained your exercise streak.
Join a fitness social network.
Research has shown that fitness social networks (e.g. Strava, Endomondo) can be a powerful aid to motivation. Through the online community you can share the successes and challenges that other members are facing and be supported in your fitness journey too.
Be that person.
Identify yourself as the person who does this new behaviour, not as someone who tries to. e.g. I lift weights ; not “I’ve never been any good with weights but I’m trying it to become fitter”. As the new behaviour becomes part of who you are, you will become more motivated to continue.
Choose a challenge
Sign up for a fitness challenge. This will add structure and extra focus to your training in addition to the sense of achievement on the day of the challenge itself. Looking for inspiration? Time outdoors have a great range of ideas to choose from.
Are you struggling to take the regular exercise your body deserves? Hypnotherapy can help. Through hypnosis, I can work with your subconscous mind to help you overcome any self-limiting beliefs you hold about exercise whilst also introducing positive suggestions that will enhance your motivation to exercise and achieve your fitness goals.
Why not contact me today to begin ?