Push Yourself: Take Your Routine to the Next Level

\n\nMany people think that getting started is the hardest part, but it’s often easy to get up and hit the gym for the first few times. You’ve got a certain rush of energy when you commit to making a change and starting something new for a healthier life. Unfortunately, that initial burst of energy only lasts for a couple workouts before it fades away. Even if you stick with it past that point, many of us become less and less motivated as time goes by due our brain’s natural adaptations to new routines. Keep yourself going when your workout plan becomes boring or less than exciting with these proven tricks when you’re stuck wondering how to get motivated.\n

Lay Out the Plan

\nWhen you’re still dozens of pounds away from your goal weight or waiting for your ripping abs to emerge, the idea of yet another workout seems kind of meaningless. You can only really get visible results after every trip to your favorite Scottsdale health clubs for the first few visits, if at all. Saying you want to lose weight or look fit is too vague and leads to disappointment when you’ve spent weeks already working on the nebulous goal. Writing out your goal on paper and laying out the steps needed to get there gives you a lot of perspective. For example, you know you’re losing about 2 pounds a week when you stick to a weekly routine with three gym trips. Marking out the number of weeks with routine visits will remind you of the importance of each individual trip, reducing the number of skipped visits and preventing delayed goals.\n

Set Up Tangible Rewards

\nSince it takes weeks and months of hard work just to see a visible difference in your body, you need to add other tangible results to make your workouts a positive part of your routine. Small rewards, like a fruit smoothie or single song download from iTunes, make every workout you complete a success to your brain. Upgrade to bigger rewards by getting new workout gear or a fun toy every few months or when you complete 20 workouts without skipping one.\n

Keep the Gear Out

\nThis is a simple trick that works surprisingly well, even for dedicated exercise lovers that are feeling a little worn out. Add a basket or bin next to your front door and keep all your exercise gear in it, including your clothes and shoes. You’ll see it every time you leave or come home. The constant reminder makes it a lot easier to remember to go, especially when you’re heading back in after a night of less-than-healthy indulgences.\n

Journal Your Experiences

\nWith all the apps for smart phones that make it easy to record your experiences on the go, you have no excuse for not journaling your workouts. Taking a few minutes to type or speak how you felt about the exercise experience gives you a log of both your successes and failures. The next time you feel like an early morning run could ruin your day, grab your phone and read up on some entries from previous days to remember why you hit the pavement in the first place. Write your entries while you’re still in a blissful state from all the endorphins and before you forget the small details.\n

Avoid Positive Thinking

\nThere are plenty of new-age fitness gurus who tell you that visualizing and positive thinking is the key to workout success. However, modern psychological research proves the opposite – people who spend more time focusing on imagining their goals as achieved end up doing less to actually accomplish those goals. Stick to the hard facts and practice your problem solving skills instead to stay motivated instead of trying to think your way to a better body.\n\nEnjoy lasting motivation by making it a regular part of your routine. For each hour or two you spend in the gym, spend at least half an hour working on a trick that works to bolster your mood. It’s important to stay dedicated or all your hard work will slowly go to waste.