I had the idea for this post when I was thinking about how awesome my new gym bag is. I have mentioned in other posts about how I was getting myself a brand spanking new gym bag from Ogorgeous. The creator of said bag is the wonderful and inspirational Cassey Ho of Blogilates.
This got me thinking. What motivates me and keeps me waking up at 4:30am, or heading out to a yoga class after a long day of work? I realized what motivates me has really changed over time. Some of it has changed just because I have changed and other motivating factors have changed because I have forced the change.
There are always events in life that will provide motivation (tropical destination vacation, bikini season, your wedding). I have always found these things to be great motivators, depending on their significance to you. Personally my wedding has given me a big kick in the butt, the honeymoon too has also given me loads of motivation. I am hoping that there will be tons of activities and I want to be able to hike up the hill, go cycling or walk around all day without getting tuckered out. Events and milestones aside I believe it is important to find little motivators which will keep you going once you have come back from vacation or all the wedding photos have been taken.
Years ago In my first year of university, I used to bribe myself to go to the gym with the promise of unhealthy snacks. “If you go to the gym 3 times this week you can have a personal size pizza/ bag of chips/ chicken wings/ 10 beers” This worked for a bit, but then I realized this is kind of counter productive to what I am doing, and rewarding myself with food (unhealthy food at that) can spiral out of control really easily.
Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with eating pizza or other unhealthy snacks for that matter because heck I do it ALL THE TIME (poutine being one of my faves! – that would be fries, cheese curds and gravy for any non-Canadian out there). What I am saying is that food really didn’t work for me, because a little always turned into a lot, and it did this because I was being so restrictive the rest of the time. I soon found that bribing myself with treats and snacks might work well for studying or writing essays, but it didn’t work to motivate myself to be healthy and fit.
Through joining a Running Room running clinic I learnt new little tricks. When I was seriously unmotivated to go and do my solo runs I would buy myself just one pair of new running socks. I would get so stoked to get out and test them that I would forget how much I didn’t want to go running in the first place.
Over time I realized that workout clothing and accessories was my motivator of choice. A new pair of shorts, a new top, some socks, a new headband, a new holder for my iPod, all these things got me so excited to try them out I wasn’t thinking about how much I didn’t want to run 8k, or do 90minutes of hot yoga, or an hour long rollerblade, all I could think about was testing out my new toys and clothing.
Once I figured this out I started setting goals for myself. Like “if I stick to my gym plans for a month I get a new Lululemon top”, and depending on the goal and length of time, the dollar amount associated with the reward would vary. This method worked best for me because that way it not only limited my sometimes excessive spending on yoga pants and hoodies, and it gave me something to look forward to at the end of the month and keep me motivated.
What motivates you to stick to your fitness goals?