February 04, 2021 4 min read
Beginning a fitness journey is hard—you don’t know what you’re doing, you must balance it with your other responsibilities, and motivating yourself to workout is the toughest aspect of all. So how do you find that motivation? Where should you start? Well, the good news is that you’re not expected to figure everything out on your own. Consulting with experts and veterans of fitness will give you valuable insights and tips to an effective and manageable workout routine, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let us begin with learning how to start getting fit with the motivation to commit and continue.
First thing’s first, you must set up your goals. This may seem painfully obvious, but all too often do new gym-goers simply begin working out without a plan or strategy. If you’re going to get into shape, you need to know what you should work on and what exercises will be most beneficial towards your end goal.
You also may want to do a bit of introspection to identify where you got your motivation from in the first place so you can remind yourself later. Who or what are you changing for? Why do you want to get in shape? Basic questions like these will help you keep perspective when you have a moment of weakness or are wavering in your convictions.
Once you’ve established your big end goal, you will want to then break that goal into more manageable steps and milestones. One of the most common mistakes people make is focusing on too big of a goal. Without managing it in bite-sized chunks, it’s inevitable that you’ll become overwhelmed and quickly lose your motivation.
The added benefit of breaking your goals into smaller, more achievable steps is that you’ll set milestones. Achievements you make along the way will be worth celebrating to reward you with a sense of accomplishment and drive your motivation onward.
The best time to exercise is first thing in the morning. It’s too easy to say you’ll work out later and procrastinate, so by exercising first thing in the morning, you get it out of the way and the rest of your day is free. It’ll also be progressively harder to actually start exercising after a long day of work, socializing with others, or completing your responsibilities because you may feel tired or exhausted before you even start.
Morning is also a great time to work out because it’s before your day “starts.” It’s time you can dedicate to yourself and push everything else to the back of your mind for a brief time, allowing you to destress and wake up.
If possible, you should share your goals with friends and family. Whether it comes up in casual conversation or you publicize them through social media, talking about and having others aware of your fitness goals will help you stay accountable and responsible for fulfilling your exercise routines and reaching the goals you said you would. Being able to talk about your progress will allow you to express your hard work and celebrate what you have achieved while also providing a healthy social pressure to keep you motivated.
On a related note, surround yourself with others who are supportive of your goals and things that inspire you. While being able to talk about and share your progress with others is a powerful motivator, depending on someone who simply doesn’t care can be a huge blow to morale. If you have friends who are also looking to get into fitness and improve themselves, that is a fantastic opportunity to support each other and even invoke a bit of friendly competition. Nothing drives someone like a good-natured competition and the privilege of light-hearted bragging once you win.
A large but rarely mentioned obstacle is boredom. While you are figuring out how to start getting fit with the motivation to commit and continue, you should plan out more than one fitness routine to follow. Repetition can be dangerous if your routine quickly becomes monotonous. Having something to listen to, whether that be music or a podcast, is a fantastic way to entertain yourself while you go through your exercises. When you’re working out at home, try decorating the space around you. Nothing is worse than staring at a blank wall while repeating the same motions over and over. A good example of something to put on your wall would be a mirror so you can watch yourself and see if you are making any mistakes in your form.
It’s easy to discourage yourself from exercising when it’s a hassle to even begin the exercise process in the first place, such as having to travel all the way to a gym. However, thanks to the pandemic, no one can go to gyms anyway, so why not create a home gym? Or at the very least, have something at home you can work out on or with that is convenient and easy to jump right into. Cardio machines are often ideal in this scenario as they typically do not take up too much space, are easy and convenient to use, and are effective for weight loss. If you would like a recommendation, elliptical trainers for home gyms have the advantage of working out both your lower and upper body, thus working out more muscle groups.
Whatever your preferred method, it’s strongly recommended you record your progress in some way. Because fitness is a gradual change, it can be hard to see. Like hair, you just don’t notice a change until much later. However, by recording your workouts, you’ll be able to spot those gradual changes and visualize the progress you’re making. This is a lifesaver for motivation because it reduces the likelihood of feeling like your efforts are pointless.
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