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How to Get Motivated for Exercise

We all know we should be exercising. But for many people, finding the motivation to exercise, and the ongoing motivation to make it a habit, is extremely difficult.

For a while now I’ve been paying attention to what the people who are successful do in their pursuit of health, and what the people who aren’t successful don’t do. And there is one major distinction.

That distinction is in how they start their journey. The ones who get off to a good start are far, far more likely to not only be successful, but to integrate exercise into their life long-term.

How to Get Motivated to Exercise

  1. Get enough pain. 
    We all move towards pleasure and away from pain. However, we will do much more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. Therefore, most people start a new fitness regime when they’ve finally had enough of where they’re at, and motivated to do something about it.
  2. Do more of what you already do. 
    We all do something that can be considered conducive to physical activity — as small and insignificant as it may seem. The successful ones however, recognise what they already do and do more of it. They might sign up for a gym membership, hire a personal trainer, or join a group class, but they do this in addition to the other activities they already do and enjoy!
  3. Don’t eliminate too early. 
    Stopping any behaviour that you enjoy evokes feelings of grief. And if you’re doing those behaviours on a regular basis, chances are you like doing them (on some level). In the beginning, it’s essential you develop momentum. Momentum comes from having little wins. Doing more of what you’re already doing helps to build momentum, which in turn develops motivation. Reducing and eliminating behaviours early on (even if they’re negative) is like a solid brick wall for any momentum snowball.
  4. Know your outcome. 
    If you don’t know where you’re going, who knows where you’ll end up. It’s like sitting in the middle of the ocean with no rudder. You must know what you’re striving for so you know if you’re heading in the right direction, and so you know when you’ve reached your destination. Knowing that you’re closing in on your outcome helps to create and foster motivation throughout the journey, allowing it to ramp up as you get closer.
  5. Ensure you are inspired by your outcome. 
    This is probably the most important one in my experience. Regardless of what your goal is, it must — absolutely must — inspire you. If you are not inspired by the outcome — what it is you’re trying to achieve — you likely won’t have the motivation to partake in the daily behaviours you’ll need to achieve your goal. Connect with your outcome and through mental imagery, experience all the pleasure that will come with achieving it.

Getting motivated is often considered a difficult thing. But it is merely a basic human state. I think some people think that other people are always motivated and they are just not that sort of person. But in actual fact, motivation is just a basic human state that we all experience. It may be that you just don’t experience it with regards to exercise.

To foster motivation for exercise, you must first establish enough pleasure to doing so and enough pain to not doing so. Look for types of physical activities that you enjoy and do more of them. Be kind to yourself and take small, easy steps. Look for the next most actionable step you can take along your journey. Don’t try to rush it and certainly don’t compare yourself to others. You are exactly where you need to be right now. Decide what you want that inspires you; I mean, really inspires you, and work towards that. Enjoy!

What inspires you?

Let me know in the comments below 😊

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