By Katie Rosenbrock
Raise your hand if you agree: Working out isn't really the hard part, finding the motivation to get your butt out the door and to the gym is the bigger problem. (I know I can't see your hands, but I’m assuming many of them are raised.)
We've all been there before; setting out to achieve a goal (exercise-related or other) begins with the best of intentions and mountains of motivation. But as time passes, keeping up with the work input needed to realize a successful end result becomes more and more difficult as your enthusiasm beings to fade.
If only you had some kind of personal cheerleader or a little confidence-boosting birdy on your shoulder, right? Some external source of motivation you could pull from when relaxing on the couch after work sounds so much more inviting than gearing up to go to the gym.
Well actually, some of the best fitness experts know that all the motivation you need can come from right inside your head. (And maybe a little bit from your friends and family, too).
"If you don't have an emotional connection to why you are trying to accomplish your goals, the odds are you won't reach them or will quit trying,” says Brett Hoebel, celebrity trainer and creator of the new 20 Minute Body Program.
"I always say, 'Get emotionally connected and the rest will follow.' Long-lasting results are not given; they are earned and they come with a price, like facing fears, physical discomfort and emotional transformation."
Maybe you can't have your own private coach, but trainers like Hobel use effective techniques to keep clients motivated and we’ve rounded up eleven of them for you. Apply these tips and tricks to your fitness routine, (and maybe even some other aspects of your life, too) to help keep your devotion and motivation going strong.
Hoebel's No. 1 tip for staying motivated is simple: have continued confidence in yourself and your abilities. “Believe in yourself and your ability to overcome whatever physical, mental and emotional challenges you face. If you believe in yourself first, the rest will follow,” he says.
Hoebel says that finding the deeper meaning behind why you want to achieve your goal is the key to success because once you find that emotional connection you'll be much less likely to turn back. "At the surface, many people's goals are to lose weight, tone up, feel better, etc., but superficial goals get superficial results that usually fade,” he says. "Dig a little deeper, and the 'why' is usually unveiled: To be more confident, to be more happy, to feel sexy again."
If you start to get bored with your exercise routine chances are you won't find it fun anymore. Your boredom might cause you to associate exercise with feelings of negativity (instead of fun and excitement) and as a result you might be more likely to quit. "I keep my clients motivated with unexpected routines. I try and mix it up each time I see them. It keeps them focused and motivated," says X93 Fitness personal trainer Carol Hochenberg.
Gary is also a fan of visualization techniques that help remind his clients of what they’re working towards. "One of my new lines is 'Summer's coming ... you don't want to be wearing sweat pants during the day in the Hamptons this summer now do you?’ Everyone laughs, but they get the visual of wearing sweats at the beach and they say ‘Hell no! I'm wearing a two piece!' and they work a little harder," he says.
"I was once told that trainers should always be in their clients back pockets, whether that's emailing them daily, texting them or calling just to say hello and how their week is going,” says Boston-based personal trainer and group exercise instructor Caroline Earle. This doesn’t only apply to exercisers with personal trainers, though. Share your goals and aspirations with your close friends and family members and ask them to help hold you accountable. When your motivation is running low it's important to have a support system that will back you up and encourage you to keep going.
Earle says that fitness professionals should set an example for their clients by leading a healthy lifestyle. If you don't have a trainer, try following a few fitness personalities on social media or focusing on a favorite hero for an extra dose of inspiration on a daily basis. Plus, online fitness personalities usually share helpful tips and tricks and following along with their day to day updates will help motivate you to stay dedicated to your own healthy habits.
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-- 31 Best Gyms in America
-- 5 Secrets For Successful Fitness
-- 11 Stretches You Should Never Do Before a Workout (Plus Replacements)