There are many people out there in fitness-land who believe that the hardest part of attaining a healthier lifestyle is to get going. Me, I’m firmly entrenched in the belief that it’s to *keep* going. Motivation comes in many forms, and while it can light a fire beneath us when we’ve got our goals in mind, when it wanes— or worse yet, we have a day where it fizzles completely— we have to dig deep to see what we’re made of.
One of the most important things to remember is that bodies in motion stay in motion. Having a low motivation day? Make a bargain with yourself. Say you’ll walk for ten minutes instead of thirty. Chances are, once you get to that ten-minute mark, you’ll keep going. Why? Because getting yourself in gear is often the hardest part :)
Have a buddy, and be a buddy. We’ve talked about the benefits of workout partners before, but they’re a lot like critique partners in writing. They’ll motivate you to do more and be more. And returning the favor is a motivator as well, because the key to a good partnership is good balance.
Put it to music. I can’t emphasize this one enough! Regardless of your genre of preference, there’s always a list of go-to songs guaranteed to get you moving. A few of my playlists of choice are below (please note! Not all songs are meant for under-18 ears). Feel free to share yours in the comments section, too.
In sight, in mind. Write a weekly goal on Post-Its and stick them around your house where you’re sure to see them. You want to lose two pounds before your next weigh-in? Put “2 pounds!” on your bathroom mirror, your computer monitor, your pantry door, and every time you see one of those notes, do 5 push-ups. Next time, 5 squats. Or take the stairs in your house for a minute without stopping. Then you’ll be in motion. And you know what they say about bodies in motion J Also, find photos of yourself at a goal weight, and keep them prominently displayed. Oh, and those Post-Its are great for motivational sayings, too. Some of my favorites are:
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will” (Mahatma Gandhi)
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it” (Lou Holtz)
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity” (John F. Kennedy) *Something to think about, writer-friends! J
Being motivated is easy (okay, *easier*) when we want to exercise, eat healthier foods, and reach our goals. But life often takes over, making motivation slide, hide, or just plain disappear. So tell me—what motivates you? What makes you get up from the couch, desk, or bed and say, “I’m going to exercise even though I’m not in the mood” or “I’m not going to blow my healthy diet even though I’m tempted”?
Kimberly Kincaid’s Get Up and Go Music: (all of which is available on iTunes for quick download!)
“Faster” by Matt Nathanson
“Let’s Get it Started” by the Black Eyed Peas
“Raise Your Glass” by P!nk
“Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba
“I’m Still Standing” by Elton John
“Breathe” by Michelle Branch
“Firework” by Katy Perry
“Let’s Get Loud” by J Lo
“Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark
“I Wanna” by the All-American Rejects
Cooldown songs: “I Stole Your Boots” by Chelsea Williams, “Good Life” by One Republic, and “Run” by Matt Nathanson and Jennifer Nettles
Next month: Q&A, as well as how to avoid your kids' Halloween candy!