Every morning, as I wake up to my alarm, a series of questions spread through my mind. Should I gym? What if I just slept more? Nothing bad would happen if I skip one day…
The pros of working out tip the scale heavily, yet part of me can’t stop whining. Finding the motivation to workout is the most difficult part and it’s something I’ve personally struggled with for a really long time. There are plenty of articles online that give advice on motivation, but this is my take based on personal experience.
1. You can make exercising enjoyable.
You’re probably cringing at how unuseful I sound. By saying that it can be enjoyable, I mean that if you find it unenjoyable right now, you just haven’t found the exercise that fits you. For example, I personally dislike gyms. I dislike how mechanical and closed in they are. I enjoy running outside where I can see things and interact with the environment differently. This, of course, is not everyone’s cup of tea, but you can explore what fits you through trial-and-error. If you hate the treadmill, go outside. And if you don’t like the monotony of running, kick a ball around. And try yoga, if you don’t like aggressive activity. There are so many ways to work out, and you don’t have to limit yourself to mainstream ways of working out.
2. Think of it as a way of balancing out your social life.
For those who like to be by themselves or have zero time alone during the day, working out is a great way to get to know yourself better both physically and mentally. It’s an hour that you can spend meditating on things you don’t have time to think about during classes or work. For those who love being around people or want to make new friends, finding a workout buddy is a classic way to stay motivated and connect with others.
Me after running with a friend
3. Take it slow!
For me, setting distant goals can be quite daunting and ironically demotivating. Pushing yourself too hard, in the beginning, can make you hate working out. Better to start small and feel satisfaction from achieving smaller, more evenly spaced out goals.
4. Think of it as a way to forget, just for a moment, about all your other troubles.
Being outside in nature can be psychologically refreshing and help you think about you and your place in the world in simpler terms.
Ah scenic runs
Working out and eating healthy are the only two ways you can naturally influence your body’s appearance. That being said, the key to motivation is thinking of it as an activity and not a chore. Many people focus on the end goal, which can be helpful, but focusing on what’s right in front of you instead of what’s far ahead can be the best way to motivate you to keep on going.
Written by Jay Kim