It’s 5:30pm, you’ve just finished work and you’re packing up your stuff to leave. You give a sigh of relief as you reach for your bag but get caught off-guard by the gym kit staring you directly in the face. You look away in disbelief, how could you have forgotten you planned to go to the gym? With only a moment before the train to process your next steps and a finger already on the Deliveroo app, you forfeit the gym for the 3rd time this week to go home and relax. “Next time” you whisper to yourself, also for the 3rd time this week.
We’ve all been there before. Motivation is a big factor affecting millions of people every day, especially those who suffer from mental health problems. Just when you think you’re ready to give something a go, that little voice inside your head tells you not to. Well luckily for you, there are lots of easy things you can do to get that motivation going and our partners at The Gym Group have shared 6 expert-approved ways below:
Set goals based on what motivates you:
Everyone has a different view on what motivates them because of personal lived experiences. At work, some people are motivated by money and others by holidays. Managers know this and will adapt their working models to reflect this in employee reward schemes. The same theory can be applied to exercise! If you’re the type to be motivated by a challenge, then set big goals for yourself that you can measure in the gym. If you’re motivated by competition, bring a friend to the gym. Experts say that by setting goals based on what motivates you personally, you stand a better chance of completing that goal.
Celebrate all achievements, big & small:
Success is a journey not a destination, which means we should all be counting the small wins along the way. Whether it’s the fact you finally signed up to the gym or tried out a new piece of equipment, every step is a step in the right direction to consistency. There are many ways you can celebrate your achievements in the gym such as keeping a diary of personal bests, treating yourself to some new trainers or posting about your ninja warrior session on social media. These actions will help your brain to create positive associations with the gym and in turn reinforce your growing sense of motivation.
Document your journey:
Taking pictures or writing notes of each milestone can really help you stay consistent with your goals. When you start to physically and mentally notice the desired changes in your body, you’ll be motivated to continue the journey! Documenting progress once a week is all you need to get an accurate picture of how you’re doing. Try investing in a journal or using the notes app on your phone.
Find a gym buddy to hold you accountable:
Working out with friends can encourage you to go to the gym because you’re no longer just working out for yourself, you’re supporting a friend on their journey too. This only works if you pick a friend you can trust to push you to your limits. If you feel like you need someone to show you how to use the gym or be there on a more consistent basis, then a Personal Trainer could be for you. The Gym Group has a whole host of qualified PT’s across 204 gyms ready to support and give you advice on your journey. If you’re interested, you can find out more about them here https://www.thegymgroup.com/personal-training/.
Give exercising a function in your life:
It’s much easier to go the gym when you’ve linked your progress to other goals in your life. If you’re looking to make some new friends, then attending a class at the gym is a great place to interact with other like-minded people. If you’re looking to run a marathon to support a charitable cause, then you’ll find that training in the gym will help you increase your stamina to complete it. The reasons can be for whatever you’ve got going on in your life, but just remember they should be positive things to keep you going!
Invest in new gym clothes:
Have you ever heard the saying “when you look good, you feel good”? Well, it’s true! Psychologists call it ‘enclothed cognition’, where your choice of clothing affects your mood. Studies have shown that when you speak positively about your appearance, it improves your self-confidence and your mood. So, if you’re going to go to the gym, why not feel your best when doing so?