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How To Find The Motivation To Exercise

How to Find the Motivation to Exercise?

In this article we will discover how to find the motivation to exercise. We all know that it’s hard at times to get yourself up out of a chair and start moving. In order get ourselves going to exercise we often need motivation. That motivation can come from a lot of different sources – maybe we don’t like the way our clothes feel tight or how we are out of breath walking up a flight of stairs or maybe our doctor told us we should lose weight. Whatever the motivating factor was, we need to have that impedance to cause us to break the inertia of being still. We have all heard that bodies at rest will tend to stay at rest. That is why it’s so hard to pull yourself off the sofa and go to the gym sometimes.

Once we have the motivation, we can often use our momentum to keep us going on that path. However, we also know that momentum can go two ways. We want the positive momentum to keep us on track for our goals. Unfortunately, negative momentum from our goals is a real threat to our progress in life. The good news is that there are strategies we can use to trick your mind into finding the abundance of energy that resides in each of us and is often untapped.

Has this happened to you before? You wake up in the morning and pack your gym back, determined to go to the gym after work and proud of your own resolve to do so. Then the day goes by, maybe you could not leave work at the time you intended and you find your resolve drifting away. You think to yourself, tomorrow I will get there, today I am too tired. Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

You are not alone, many of us have experienced this or very similar circumstances and we failed to follow through with our good decision to exercise. The temptation to put the effort off until tomorrow is very real for us all. However, we all know that the concept of tomorrow never comes because the next day you can say ‘tomorrow’ again. This creates negative momentum and before we know it, we have gone weeks, months or maybe even years without progress towards the goal that caused us to resolve to exercise in the first place.

Tap Into the Energy That Lies Beneath the ‘I’m tired” feeling.

The best strategy that I employ is to trick my mind into tapping an abundance of energy that lies beneath the ‘I’m tried’ feeling. I know that you can relate to a time when you had absolutely no energy and couldn’t get off the couch or out of the bed until you hear that an old friend or long-absent family member was coming over and then you jumped up and had energy overflowing at the prospect of seeing this person.

If you were utter exhausted before the news that that person was on the way, how come upon hearing that they are coming, you are over whelmed with energy. You can practically fly through your shower, cleaning up the place, getting ready, etc. Where did that energy come from?

Your emotions are energy. When we felt excited to see the person coming to visit, we found energy that we didn’t know that we had because our excitement (emotions) caused it to well up (energy) inside of us.

If we use this example, we can trick ourselves into having energy for going to the gym when we are tired by imagining that a famous person, whom you admire, is working out there right now and if you hurry you might just get a chance to meet them. I will often conjure up an image of Dwayne Johnson or Chris Evans working out at my local gym. You can be sure that my tiredness goes away quickly if I have a vision of working out with ‘The Rock’.

Obviously, we are using an unlikely scenario that may seem silly to you. However, your body does not know the difference between real or imaged events. If it did know the difference, we could not enjoy watching a movie and get wrapped up in the ends as they unfold. If a movie can cause the emotions of fear, anxiety, grief, joy, etc. to take us over, why not make your own internal movie to be motivated to take better care of ourselves?

We have to use all the tools and strategies available to us to help us become the person we want to be. I know that the desire of seeing Dwayne Johnson in real life is much stronger than the desire to set on the sofa and watch television. Maybe you need a different force to drive you like the opposite type of motivation – the fear of failure.

If you are more driven by a threat then you can conjure up thoughts of what you would look and feel like if you continued to sit on the sofa and never worked out. Imagine a year of basic inactivity and how you would look and feel. Would you put on 20, 30 or more pounds? Would your knees and back hurt going up the stairs? Would you be out of breath if you had to spring to catch a runaway dog, toddler or bus? I am sure that you can image continuing on the path of inertia and seeing the pounds add onto your body and how the resulting feeling would be far less than enjoyable.

To get to the place that you want – your ideal weight and an abundance of health and vitality, then you have to use either the reward or the threat and maybe even both to motivate you to act in your own best interest. It is far too easy to let your idea of being tired, lazy, exhausted or what have you define us. When we know that we can tap to an abundance of energy within, we will find the way to motivate ourselves to do it over and over.

12 Responses to “How To Find The Motivation To Exercise

  • The reason why I don’t work out is because I don’t have the discipline and need motivation and accountability to not lack its discipline. Its weird though because once I do start, I can exercise for hours and not stop. However, all I truly need are twnty minutes but daily to send oxygen to my brain. 

    • Patricia Sullivan
      4 years ago

      Thank you Linda for your insightful comments. It’s very true that it’s weird that it’s hard to start exercising but often once we start we get into it and want to keep going. The initial inertia is what we have to break free from. Keep going and you’ll do wonderfully. 

  • Quite frankly, I find myself losing motivation to exercise somewhat more often than not. As a result of this, whatever momentum I managed to gather is lost. That would mostly mean that I’d have to start all over again. I can relate to the idea of tricking the mind to find energy, but I’m more inclined to be motivated by a threat at a time when I have no other source of motivation. Great post 

    • Patricia Sullivan
      4 years ago

      Thank you Rhain for your comments. It’s true that we have to start over again if we lose the momentum. It’s the lack of momentum that costs us our prior gains quite often. I hope that my way of tricking myself will keep me more mindful these days to stay the course. 

  • MrBiizy
    4 years ago

    Hello Patricia, thank you for sharing this post on how to find the motivation to exercise. Yes, we all set goals and eventually got tired of doing what is required to reach our goals. We have set some goals for our exercise, it’s only natural to procrastinate. But it’s not a good character we should let stay. I totally agree with you that visualisation is very helpful in motivating us to take action. It’s very helpful to visualise six packs, healthy and lean body etc. Visualisation actually helps in any goal we set to achieve.

    • Patricia Sullivan
      4 years ago

      Hi MrBiizy, you are so right! Visualization is a powerful tool to keep us motivated and on track. Keep up the good work!

  • Finding the motivation to exercise can be very difficult. What motivates one person is not going to motivate another as each of us is very different in our own personal likes and dislikes. I think what is important is when you DO find something that motivates you (as long as it is healthy) then stick with it. If you just keep trying to do things a certain way because you think you SHOULD be motivated by it, it won’t work! Thanks for the informative post!

    • Patricia Sullivan
      4 years ago

      Hi Steve, thank you for your insightful comment. I agree it’s so important to do what we love. I enjoy working out but unfortunately I enjoy eating too much as well, lol

  • You’ve really said well on how to find the motivation to exercise. This is truly an enlightenment. If I must say, I’m one of those that feel very “lazy” and “tired” when it comes to doing some certain things, not just exercise. I tend to give excuses a lot for things my body finds uninteresting. You’ve really given some clues on how to handle this issue. Thank you for this.

    • Patricia Sullivan
      4 years ago

      Hi Leon, thank you for your comments. I am glad that you find my strategy helpful. I am sure that you are not lazy at all. We all need to trick ourselves to be motivated at times! 

  • James T
    4 years ago

    Indeed, procrastination is the thief of all time and it’s not good at all. We need to deal with it. I really loved the way you talked about how to handle issues like this a lot like drawing energy from the tricks we play on our mind. In fact, this is just the way to get read of “I’m tired” every time. I will have this at the back of my mind when dealing with daily activities. This is informative.

    • Patricia Sullivan
      4 years ago

      Hi James, thank you for your comments and for letting me know that it’s helpful to you. May you achieve all your goals! Best wishes to you on your journey!

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