One of the questions that I receive a lot has to do with motivation. People want to know how I stay motivated to exercise, especially being as busy as I am, and how I motivate myself to exercise at home.
The long answer is that it’s definitely not easy, and there are times when I feel I fail miserably. But I can honestly say that I’ve found some secrets to helping myself stay motivated, focused, and on track more times than not over the years.
So, to answer those questions, I’ve put together a short list of the ways I stay motivated to exercise at home and how they work for me!
How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise at Home
Plan Your Outfit Ahead of Time
It may sound silly, but planning your outfit ahead of time is essential. Not only is it saving you time the next day, but because you’re not rushing, it allows you a few extra moments to really put together something you’ll feel good in. Knowing that you’re going to be showing off your fave workout gear will help motivate you to actually put that gear on and go show it off. Even if you’re not working out in front of people, snap a selfie for the ‘gram and post that post-workout glow.
I like to set aside my outfit the night before; gym shoes, water bottle, ear buds, headband, jacket, etc. – everything that I’ll need already hanging in the bathroom waiting for me (except that water bottle, that would just be weird) and ready to go so it saves me time in the morning and I’m less likely to back out.
Setting rewards can have a huge impact on sticking to your plan and helping you achieve those goals. Keep in mind, it’s essential to choose non-food related rewards, because otherwise you can easily run the risk of sabotaging all that hard work, and learning to reward your mind and body with something other than food is essential for any lifestyle change.
These can be anything (other than food), and set at any time. For example, you may say that if you workout five times this next week, you’ll treat yourself to a fresh manicure.
Or if you exercise 20 times this month, you’re going to buy yourself a cute new water bottle, or a fancy new bubble bath and have a mini spa night at home.
The prizes can really be anything, big or small, set at any point in time. Just again – be aware of choosing non-food options for your rewards. Make sure that they’re something you truly want, and be stern with yourself. If you don’t achieve that goal, you don’t get that prize.
Make Exercise Fun
It’s so important to choose workouts that will challenge you, but that you’ll also enjoy doing. If you hated yoga, it wouldn’t do you any good to download a yoga app, because chances are you’re not going to use it.
Experiment with different fitness programs and apps that allow you to exercise with minimal equipment, or with what you’re using at home. Find something that challenges and motivates you, that you have fun doing.
Some of my favorite at home workouts that don’t break the bank are:
MOVE from VShred (great HIIT style at home workouts)
Toned in 90 Days from VShred (focuses on toning muscle and helping shed those last few stubborn pounds)
Women’s Fat Loss Extreme from VShred (great if you have 20 pounds or more to lose!)
You can also try these lower body movements for an at-home burner!
Schedule Your Workouts
Life gets BUSY. I am the first person to admit that, and if I’m not being intentional with my schedule and planning, I wouldn’t exercise – ever. Take some time at the beginning of every week – I do this on Sundays, and write out your schedule for the week, including when you’ll complete your workouts. Seeing it as part of your day and part of your schedule will help you stay on track and committed to making it happen.
This is especially important for when household duties pile up. It can be really easy to push off a workout when you feel like the dishes, laundry, or emails are calling your name. When you schedule your workout, treat it like you’re leaving your house for an appointment, even if you’re only going in the other room. When you treat it as such, you’re more likely to stick to it. The chores will be there when you get back; it’s okay to walk away and do something for you.
I like to schedule my workouts for first thing. That way, no matter how busy my day may get, or whatever life throws at me, I’ve already got it checked off my to-do list.
Change Your Mindset
Stop looking at each workout with dread and something you “have” to do. Instead, start looking at it as something you “get” to do.
Exercise should never be viewed as punishment for your food choices, but instead, as a celebration of your body. You’re not exercising because you have to, you’re exercising because you get to. Sound familiar?
This especially helps when you’re choosing something that is fun – you’ll be excited to go spend those 30 or 60 or however many minutes doing something you’ll enjoy.
Another thing, and I mentioned this recently in an Instagram post, is stop looking at exercise as this big complicated thing. There is no set time, there are no set number of repetitions; you don’t have to sweat a certain amount or burn a set number of calories for it to count. If you only have fifteen minutes, use them! It’s not always about quantity, but rather the quality.
Stop looking at your workouts the way you’re used to. Instead, start looking at them with a fresh perspective. A chance to do something amazing for your mind and body, and you’ve been blessed enough to have been given however many minutes each day to do so.
Instead of walking away feeling like you had to take “too many breaks,” walk away feeling accomplished, and proud of what your body just did. Start celebrating each and every workout because you are amazing.
Join an accountability group online, and celebrate with one another for every sweaty-selfie post you make documenting your progress.
Take any opportunity that you can to get outside and move. This can include going for a walk, a run, a bike ride, or even taking your kids to the park for an afternoon and creating a workout that involves monkey bars. If the sun is shining and it’s not too hot or too cold, move your mat and equipment outside to soak up some Vitamin D while you sweat.