How do I motivate myself to exercise?

Buzvil_LogoBy Patrick Koehler

motivate myself to exercise

Throughout life, and especially during youth, a very useful notion arises: people too often focus on a quick fix and don’t have the foresight to look beyond what can be attained immediately. Time after time they opt for the quick solution or goal, which metamorphoses itself eventually over time into regret and remorse.

Being able to think long term is a skill that hopefully comes as a by-product of countless mistakes and failures due to being shortsighted and impatient. Long-term thinking certainly has become a very useful tool in my life, as it helps me to prioritise and allocate my energy accordingly.

I am fully aware that both long- and short term planning play a role in life. However, attempting to maximise short-term rewards can undermine long-term objectives by ignoring important factors and opportunities. Many people repeatedly sacrifice future targets and ambitions to satisfy their short-term goals. Unfortunately this is more often than not to their detriment.

Necessity, urgency and accountability

Having established the benefits of setting aside short-term gains and pleasure when it comes to working out, the same strategy can apply to all the difficult decisions and tasks in life.

We all have tasks we don’t like to do and decisions we don’t like to make. However, when we adopt a ‘bigger-Buzvil_Banner_300 x 250picture’, longer-term view it helps to create three things: necessity, urgency and accountability. With those in hand, boring or difficult tasks, while very much remaining boring or difficult, become recognisable as being important and integral parts of your long-term goals and planning.

Such an approach applies to almost all challenges in life, and especially working out. I too often find myself coming up with a plethora of well-constructed and beautifully thought out excuses to not work out. And these arguments have often won. But they have provided me with short-term relief, and I’ve always ended up feeling a deep sense of shame and regret for not doing what I feel my body needs.

Today I take a different approach and remind myself why I started working out and what I wanted to achieve when I first began. And while my brain wastes no time in delivering me its ‘top 10 best reasons not to work out’ pitch, I lift up my shirt and realise that not only have I not achieved my goal, but nor has my thinking been right in the past in deciding to skip my workout.

There are great exercise motivation tips out there; however, thinking for the long-term has become a tremendous motivator for me and is my chief catalyst to get up and get it done.


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