We’ve all been there: We create the lists, mark the dates on our calendars, hit the first two workout routines and then that unexpected meeting comes up. Or, you finally get in with your stylist. Before you know it, your schedule is packed to the brim, and the workout routine you spent all Saturday drafting is now hiding in the junk drawer of your mind.
Have no fear! There are many ways to kickstart a workout routine and stick to it. But, it’s important to remember that not every solution will work for you. Just like any good experiment, it will take time to figure out what your perfect routine is.
Sign Up For A Competition
There’s no better way to hold yourself accountable than by forcing yourself to BE accountable. Competitions cost a pretty penny and by signing up for one, you’re bound to feel like you need to get your money’s worth. This doesn’t just include 10ks or marathons! Consider a bodybuilding competition, or hit up your local box and try a CrossFit competition. Whatever you do, you’re going to have to train for it. Set a date, create a plan and get moving.
Put Money On the Line
Speaking of cash, try handing some over to a friend and have them pay you back as you achieve your fitness goals, whether that’s losing weight, gaining muscle, increasing your max back squat or running a mile for the first time. A trusty friend will hold you to it! Plus, you can use the money you earn back for a massage or special treat.
Hang With A Friend
Some people enjoy flying solo when they head to the gym or barre class. If you’re a social bird, don’t shut down your instincts! Find friends you can socialize with during your workout. Hold each other accountable and treat each other along the way. A reward program with people you love is highly motivating and keeps you responsible: It won’t feel good to receive those shame texts if you’re the one to schedule the 5 a.m. group workout and you don’t show up.
On that note, if being active on social media keeps you going, then share away! Hearing words of encouragement from friends feels good and feeds the reward centers of your brain. You workout, post something to Instagram, receive some congrats from friends and boom – you’re hooked! Sharing on social media also connects you with like-minded workout buds and introduces you to new activities.
What is more motivating than seeing progress? Losing weight, building muscle, working on your splits or back flexibility—whatever it is, document it! If you’re planning a 30-day program, take photos along the way in similar lighting with the same clothing and compare images side by side (post them to Instagram while you’re at it)! Nothing is more motivating than seeing results.
Do It For A Good Cause
Being self-motivated is hard work, both mentally and physically. So, how about sweating for donations to a cause you care about? Raise money throughout your fitness journey, and you’ll become more accountable thanks to the people cheering you on. Raise money for miles and donate to a local charity. Or, make it easy and sign up for a charity run.
Whatever it takes, whether it’s a combination of the tips above or your own spin on this, get out there and get moving!
Kelly Brown is a writer, marketer and egg-eater. Her writing have been published across Michigan and the US. When she isn’t writing, she works full-time at Green Giftz, instructs at Beer City Barre, and attends classes at CrossFit 616.