The 10 Steps to Workout Happiness
These steps are as much for me as they are for you! Once in a while I need that little extra kick to get off the coach, and since I’ve been sick the past few days, I really need some motivation to get started again. So here we go, my 10 things to get us off the coach:
1. Change your mindset
Workout can be fun if you make it so! Try to think that every Monday yields new opportunities. If you kick-start every week, you will feel motivated to continue. (I always have my personal trainer sessions on Mondays!). Your mentality is key to success, and you need to continuously think that you CAN and you WILL! Turn negatives into positives! Don’t think of workouts as exhausting and awful, focus on why you do it, and all the good things it does to your body. Don’t make excuses to not work out – if you’re spending 30 min on the computer right now, you’re damn sure you have 30 min of your time for a workout as well! Change takes time, so be patient and KEEP GOING. You have no idea how many times I’ve just wanted to quit because I haven’t seen the progress I wished for, but do you know what? You will only see progress if you KEEP PUSHING. A workout is a great example of what you put into it, is what you get back from it. Think about the great feeling of accomplishment when you are done with a workout! You always regret the ones you don’t do, but never the ones you do!
2. Set clear goals
Make sure you know what you are working towards. I usually don’t think a number on a scale is enough, nor is it particularly healthy. That number isn’t telling you your worth! Work out to better your chances at a long, happy and healthy life. Work out to be comfortable in your own skin, to feel energetic and strong. Work out to boost your confidence and your self-esteem. Workout to limit and/or prevent disease or pains in your body. You can also set more specific goals, such as working towards a competition, race or run. Remember that you are competing against yourself, and it is YOU that you have to focus on. Don’t give yourself unattainable goals (just like the rhino here), because you are not working out to feel miserable about yourself, you are working out to develop habits and love for being active, happy and healthy.
3. Invest in some nice workout clothes and shoes
Sometimes some new colors or a new workout outfit can be what you need to get renewed energy to work out. Check out my little inspirational board below for some inspiration:
4. Music is the Answer
Often when I’m not motivated, all I really need is some sweet new hits on my playlist. I usually use Spotify, as I find it very convenient for 10 dollars a month. I listed some of my favorite songs not so long ago, and the playlist can be found here. Music can do so much to the mood, and if I have a good playlist, I usually work out longer. It’s a definite go to for an energy boost!
5. Find some fun activities, recruit a friend!
There are so many activities to try and endless opportunities when it comes to activities! I often find it more effective to be active when I workout with a friend (let’s face it – you must try to be better than your friend!) and it is often much more fun! Try something new, like zumba, Pilates, yoga, sensual dance, couple dance, capoeira, volleyball, kick-boxing, pole dancing, swimming, bandy, handball, tennis, squash, etc, etc… Find something you are comfortable with, but still challenging enough so that it becomes a good workout.
6. Find other tools or other likeminded to get motivated
Join a sports club or work out tracking program online that promotes health and work out. I for example, have a Fitbit which tracks my activities. In addition, lose it is a great website to track your meals and activities. If you still struggle with motivation, perhaps a few personal trainer sessions will get you going?
7. Daily Activities
There are several habits in your daily life that you can change to get some extra daily exercise. Take your bike to work/school, walk those stairs instead of taking the elevator, mow your lawn, take your kids out to play and actually play with them! Ask a friend to go for a walk, maybe to go grocery shopping? In Norway I’ve even seen little groups of moms with strollers who work out together in the park! NO EXCUSES!
8. Don’t forget your diet!
I know you’ve heard it before, but you can’t expect results if you go work out, then binge eat right after. I like the quote “what you eat in private, you wear in public”. Rose has a great post on food tips, and I like her 80/20 rule. 80 percent healthy, 20 percent treats. Cutting everything is unrealistic and doesn’t necessarily make you any happier, so a nice quota helps a lot! I really like Rose’s charts as well, and think they give you a good image of when to eat and when to stop:
9. Keep track of your progress!
I found this inspirational image via hot mess princess. In addition to Lose it, what about putting a dollar in a jar for every workout, and after – let’s say 10, then 20, then 30 etc – you buy yourself something nice? Have you seen all the cool pictures out there of people who have gone through impressive body changes? You could do the same: make before and after pictures in 6 months or a year or so. Then there is hot mess princess’ idea. Keep marbles in a jar, and remove them one by one as you lose weight. For those who don’t enjoy pictures of themselves, a jar is perhaps a kinder alternative.
10. Award yourself
It’s important to award yourself for every milestone you make. It could be anything really, like a spa treatment (could be at home!), a pedicure, a new haircut, a pair of shoes, a date with your boyfriend/girlfriend/friends. I actively try to avoid food for this one, as I don’t see it as a good thing to award yourself with binging or sweets. If you’re trying to lose weight, awarding yourself with food is not the way to go. Food should be a natural part of your daily life, something you enjoy, but it shouldn’t be an award for your hard work. Think of something social to treat you with instead!
Now, I don’t expect changes to happen overnight, and progress takes time. The important part is to start, and work towards a better you – inside and out! The goal is to better how you feel about yourself and help you be as happy and healthy as you can be!
Do you have any tips?