7 Amazingly Simple Motivation Hacks To Keep Your Fitness Routine From Fizzling Out
Wondering how to get motivated to work out? Maximize your workout with 7 simple hacks that will not only get you to the gym, but drive transformational results from your efforts.
Originally published at Biohacking Entrepreneur.
Achieving Results at the Gym: Part Two
In this series, we will be sharing plans, routines, and tips to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts and keep you motivated and in the gym.
Moe here. This is a pretty personal topic for me, so I am going to be taking over on this post today. I struggled with whether or not I could tell my story, but I think some of the things I have learned can have a life-changing impact on our thinking.
It is tough to deny the necessity of working out in order to maximize your health and combat the low sleep, high stress, poor environment lifestyles that most of us are subjected to. You already know the importance of working out, not only for your health, but also for the direct impact it has on your energy levels, the efficiency of your sleep, and the effectiveness of your brain.
Let’s be honest with ourselves…so does everyone else. Building an effective fitness routine is no longer enough to give you an edge over the competition, rather it is required simply to keep up.
Because of the recognized necessity of a proper workout routine, a new breed of gym “attendee” has developed. This “model” of fitness is well educated in their field of business, as well as on what their body needs and how to maximize its efficiency. They eat well most of the time and work out five days a week.
Here is the problem. They know what they need to do to get ahead of the curve, but they often do not know why. They make a checklist of what needs to be done in order to gain an edge and find success and they stick to it, but it stops there. They are not constantly pushing themselves to reevaluate their goals and processes.
They are at the gym every weekday, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. Most would call them committed. I would call them misguided.
I should know…because I used to be that person.
Perhaps you are doing everything right on the outside, but feel as if you are only going through the motions. You are committed to a checklist, but feel bored and unaccomplished. You “show up,” but do not have the mental or physical energy. Maybe you have a nice looking waistline and have been at the same weight for a while, but it has been quite a while since you have gotten any closer to that 6-pack you really wanted.
Too often, we only think we need motivation hacks if we are not following through on our goals and commitments. However, we may be exhibiting an even more dangerous lack of motivation, as it is hard to pick up on since we are still completing our checklist of “actions towards success.” This lack of motivation will steal our effectiveness and our ability to achieve meaningful results.
It is not enough to know what will give you an edge, you must know WHY and you must be constantly growing. We discuss this concept in more detail in our post on 3 steps to complete before starting a new workout routine.
It is not enough to show up at the gym (although, I will share some motivation hacks to get you there!), you must show up with a big can of kick-ass motivation, take control of your workout, and drive life-changing results out of your actions.
I can relate firsthand to the struggle, not just for motivation to work out, but in driving results from my work outs.
After losing my mother to kidney disease, my life felt purposeless. I didn’t have the motivation or drive to do anything. I still went to the gym, but just went through the motions of the workout. I would stare at other people and be lost in my thoughts.
At the same time, I had started to eat out a lot. My daily routine was a bagel and chocolate croissant with coffee for breakfast. Lunch time would consist of pizza or pasta and dinner would be some restaurant with friends where I indulged in all the comfort food available.
This depressive state went on for about a year and led me to gain about 30 lbs of fat on my body. I felt disgusted with myself. I become self-conscious as my clothes didn’t fit anymore. I didn’t want to go out unless it was to eat.
The final straw that made me change my self-destructing ways was when my friend asked me to go for a 2 mile run and I had to give up half mile in. I was huffing and puffing within the first 5 minutes and had to walk the rest of the way.
I was ashamed of how badly out of shape I had gotten. I decided to join a weight loss contest at my gym to kick start my journey back into being fit and healthy. I started studying and using motivation hacks and ended up losing 42 pounds in 8 weeks.
Here are some of the motivation hacks I have been using since then. Most of these are adapted from Steve Scott’s book, “32 Habits to Exercise Every Day.” I have put together the 7 that have been most effective for me and have given me the most motivation to go to the gym AND keep my workout from fizzling out.
After you have read through these incredibly simple motivation hacks, I have a free goal-setting worksheet that incorporates hacks/techniques studies have shown can increase your chance of success by 10 times, plus, a mindset changing secret that will make these motivation hacks even more useful!!!
Don’t let the competition see you mindlessly going through the motions. Don’t give them the chance to keep up! Show them what sensational success looks like and let them watch from the ever-increasing distance between you and them.
In today’s post, you will find:
- 7 incredibly simple motivation hacks to:
- get you to the gym
- keep your workout from fizzling out over the long term
- get you ahead of the curve by consistently driving results and maximizing the potential of your workouts
- Our FREE fitness goal setting worksheet
- FILL THIS OUT FIRST
- Recent studies have shown that refining and defining your goals in writing using the techniques we include can increase your chance of success by 10 times!
- My mindset changing secret that will make these motivation hacks transform your life
How to Get Motivated to Work Out Through 7 Incredibly Simple Motivation Hacks
Dr. BJ Fogg, of Stanford University, has helped make this concept popular through his Tiny Habits program. The method is described as attaching a new habit you want to form to an existing habit.
At the gym, I dreaded doing any sort of cardio exercise. I avoided the treadmill, rower, and elliptical like the plague. However, I knew that I needed some sort of cardio if I was going to increase my endurance levels. I also did not want to spend a lot of extra time at the gym, so I used habit anchoring to accomplish both tasks.
I increased the pace of my strength routines and began completing them 10 minutes faster. This not only gave me the cardio advantage of an increased heart rate, making it easier to jump straight into cardio at the end of my strength training, but it also gave me extra time to complete cardio without staying longer.
Steve’s examples of habit anchoring:
- “After I complete my work in the morning, I will take a 10-minute walk before eating lunch.”
- “After I complete my morning routine, I will complete a 5-minute yoga session.”
Our heads can often be our biggest enemies…and I am not talking about receding hair lines or uneven eyebrows. We set big goals (which is a good thing!), but it is disheartening how easy it is to get discouraged when we do not see the results right away. Humans like to feel a sense of accomplishment and as simple as it sounds, this can keep us moving forward.
The idea of micro-commitments is to set an action so small and simple, that it would seem silly if you did not do it. Of course, you must ensure that the action is still specific enough to accomplish results and that it will take you one step closer to your goal.
I used this strategy with my cardio dilemma. I usually spend one hour at the gym and before starting cardio, all of that time was spent doing weight training. I made the micro-commitment of doing just 10 minutes of cardio after each workout. It is not too hard to jump into cardio if I know I only have to make it through 10 minutes.
Now, I am up to 20 minutes on the assault bike, rower, or treadmill at the end of every workout.
Steve’s examples of micro-commitments:
- Instead of saying, “I want to drop 20 pounds,” say, “I will exercise 20 minutes per day for 30 days.”
It is so easy to design an action plan that seems flawless. However, when planning meets reality, there are so often unforeseen things that constantly get in the way of the actions and results we thought we would accomplish.
For me, it was hard to find the energy to workout once I got off work. Plus, it made it even easier to skip out when there was a friend who wanted to meet up, a family event I forgot about, or an extra work project I brought home.
In order to remove both of these obstacles, I began working out in the morning before work instead.
The most crippling obstacles are usually unforeseen. Like a debate team, preparing their rebuttals before they ever hear the opposing team’s arguments, you should visualize your day and write down the items you will need to complete your “checklist” and any potential obstacles.
Then, write a series of “if/then” statements to address these obstacles.
- “If I check the weather and it’s raining, then I will work out at the gym instead.”
- “If I have a really bad day at work and don’t feel like working out, then I will still walk briskly for at least 15 minutes.”
Some of the most common obstacles to prepare for:
Before we get to this point, there is something stupendously important that we need to clarify.
Technology is an incredible tool in the life-hacking entrepreneur’s belt. However, I am asked with alarming frequency, “what app can I use to transform my workout?” or “which apps can I use to be successful.” There is no app that can give you success…you have to use your ideas, mindsets, and sheer determination to achieve phenomenal success. Technology is simply a tool.
If you are a messy person, downloading an organizational app will not make you an organized person. Changing your messy habits AND utilizing an organizational app? Now THAT sounds a lot more likely to accomplish real results.
That said, as long as you are forming other exercise habits, technology can provide you an extra leg-up!
Coach.me is a wonderful habit tracking app for iPhone and Android. It implements many scientifically backed habit forming hacks into its design.
In addition, there are dozens of fitness tracking apps, as well as health wearables(include link to news release about electronic skin once published) for tracking activity.
What are your favorite apps that you use to assist in tracking and optimizing your workouts?
Make Your Routine Fun
According to Steve, boredom is one of the biggest excuses people use for not working out. There are a few different ways you can combat this.
I try to change up my gym routine every few months to not get bored. I will go from body building, to Crossfit, to strength training. Sometimes, I will just find a physical project outside to supplement and switch up my routine.
- “Try different exercises until you find one that seems interesting to you.”
- “If you have friends of similar ability and fitness level, start a friendly fitness competition with them.” This could be a weight loss competition, or a weekly pick up game of basketball.
- Get out of the gym when you can.
Recognize the Necessity of Accountability
Recommended by psychiatrists and researchers alike, accountability is a ridiculously important part of driving results from your goals.
Do not underestimate this! Make it happen.
Surround yourself with two types of people.
- Those who have similar goals
- Those who have more expertise, are in better shape, or have reached the place you wish to be
I surround myself with workout partners who keep me motivated and on a schedule. It is easy to discuss our progress together, since we are at similar fitness levels.
I also work with a partner who is in better shape than me. This allows me to have an example level of fitness I can always strive to reach. Because my partner knows how bad I want to have 6-pack abs, he checks in on my progress and gives me any suggestions he can.
Relate Exercise to a Goal
If you have a specific personal development plan that outlines driven action plans and goals, it will be much easier to find motivation when obstacles arise.
The idea is to tie a short-term habit to a long-term goal.
Steve says, “As an example, one of my core exercise goals is running marathons. One reason I stick to this habit is because I have a lifelong goal of completing a marathon in each state in the U.S.”
Steve recommends that you build your goals with the S.M.A.R.T. format:
We implement these and many other research backed motivation and mindset hacks in our free goal setting worksheet to help you build goals that you are 10 times more likely to accomplish.
Have any other motivation hacks that have worked well for you? Comment below and share them with the community!
Motivation to get you into the gym or completing your fitness “checklist” is not enough. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, if you want to have an impact that brings sensational change in your world, if you want to chase down above-average, awe-inspiring success…you need to revamp your view of motivation.
In order to drive results from your actions and achieve greatness, you must pair emotional, physical, and mental motivation with an understanding of why you are doing what you are doing. This free goal setting worksheet will help you apply mindset and motivation principles that studies have shown can increase your chance of success by 10 TIMES! Don’t forget to use the motivation hacks you just learned when filling it out!
Ready to achieve results and success you once would only dream of?
Enter your email on biohackingentrepreneur.com receive our FREE goal setting worksheet, incorporating 6 tips recommended by researchers to help you set goals that you are 10 TIMES more likely
Here is my mindset changing secret that will make these motivation hacks transform your life
You might be asking, “What’s the big deal, Moe?”
“Working out is great for my mental/physical health, my productivity/creativity at work, the efficiency of my sleep, and my energy levels…which is really great. But there is only so much exercise can do to impact these areas. What is the big deal about these fitness motivation hacks?”
Here’s the thing. I haven’t been entirely honest with you.
These motivation hacks are not just for fitness.
You can (and should) apply these motivation hacks to every part of your life that you want to see extraordinary success in.
Print out an extra copy of that goal setting worksheet and fill it out again for each area of your life you want to be ahead of the curve, form life-altering habits, and achieve sensational success.
Your business? It is not just enough to know what you should do, show up every day, and complete your checklist. You need to have a driving emotional, physical, and mental motivation along with a firm grasp of WHY you are doing what you are doing. Go through the worksheet, then apply these motivation hacks.
Your education? Fill out the worksheet, apply these hacks, and drive results.
Your hobbies/passions/life goals? Print out another copy!
Watch as you begin accomplishing spectacular things that you only dreamed of, one day, one habit, and one micro-commitment at a time.
So what are you waiting for? I, for one, do not want to sit around and go through the motions of success without actually getting any closer to it. Print out a worksheet, fill it out, and put it somewhere where you will see it every day. Take it down and rewrite it every month to every few months to make sure you are constantly growing, learning, and keeping this motivation rooted deep inside.
- Motivation to go to the gym is not enough. You also need an emotional, physical, and mental motivation to drive results from your actions and a deep understanding of why you are performing those actions.
- You can foster this deep understanding of your goals and implement other strategies proven to increase your chance of success by 10 times by filling out our goal setting worksheet.
- You can transform your motivation through:
- habit anchoring
- removing obstacles
- fun routines
- relating exercise to a goal
- These motivation hacks can transform a lot more than your fitness routine! Use them to drive results from the other areas of your life you want to achieve extraordinary success!
In the next part of our Achieving Results at the Gym series, we will be sharing how to overcome some of the most common mental stumbling blocks to fitness success. Subscribe below to receive the latest fitness hacks and body optimization tips to keep you ahead of the curve.
- Coach.me habit tracking app for Android and iPhone
- Steve Scott’s book “32 Tactics for Building the Exercise Habit”
Questions about this post?
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Originally published at Biohacking Entrepreneur.