Since finding CrossFit I actually need to be *forced* to stay out of the gym, and there is no one who is more surprised by this than me. I spent 32 years before that struggling to find a fitness routine I loved and I feel excited most days to get up and hit the gym. Don’t worry I’m not a robot, there are still days that I struggle to get out of bed but the overall ratio is much more in my favor these days.
Now does this mean you should all go out and join a CrossFit gym? No. Not at all! (Well, Maybe? Ok just kidding! But I DO really love it) What it means is that there is absolutely some strategy involved in making daily fitness more fun. If *enjoying* daily fitness is one of your goals this year, here are some of the strategies I’ve used to keep me motivated.
1. Find something that YOU love, and don’t stop looking until you do
If you are struggling to fit fitness into your life, trust me — YOU DON’T LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING. That’s okay, but you need to acknowledge it. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad because you don’t love CrossFit/Yoga/Running/P90X as much as they do. There is something out there FOR YOU and you don’t need to apologize for it. Do actively keep trying to find it though. It’s easy to default to feeling bad when you don’t like something that works for someone else. Don’t let this happen with fitness, there are too many options! Workout at home, go to a Zumba class instead of getting on that mind numbing treadmill you hate, learn a new running technique and go to the park and take a jog instead of even going to the gym. Keep trying until you find it! Fitness is not a One Size Fits All endeavor, but since it should be part of your daily life you owe it to yourself to find something that you actually enjoy. It’s worthwhile to put in the research who wants to do something every single day that they don’t even like? That’s a recipe for failure, for sure. Just ask the dishes sitting on my counter top waiting to be washed. Better do some research on how I can get them to wash themselves.
2. Keep a Fitness Calendar
Keep track of your workouts somewhere you can see it At-A-Glance. I keep my workout calendar right above my laptop. The only thing I use it for is to write whether I worked out or not. This is not where I log exactly what my workout was, it is solely that place to put your gold star! It’s a quick and easy way to notice patterns in your training (apparently Wednesdays are good rest days for me) and to track your number of workouts. It’s like a chore chart for adults! And that little Kindergartner inside of me who yearned for that gold star LOVES THIS CALENDAR. I find it totally motivating to see a visual representation of my efforts, cheesy as it sounds, and it was so fun to look back over all of 2011 and say “Wow! I worked out 204 times! Not too shabby!”
3. Find A Community of Support
I used to always read in fitness magazines that it helps to workout with a friend, but honestly that advice always made me roll my eyes. Sometimes the thing that I enjoy MOST about daily workouts are that time alone with my own thoughts! Sometimes I don’t want to coordinate with someone else’s schedule. Sometimes friends FLAKE! Those things didn’t really motivate me. If working out with friends is motivating to you — AWESOME! If not, what find another way to enjoy what that advice was truly getting at — support. Support is such a necessary part of making your workouts enjoyable, no joke. At CrossFit that support is built in to gym which helps me immensely, but there are so many other ways to find support even if CrossFit is not your workout of choice.
Try tracking and sharing your workouts with friends on a fitness application like Daily Mile (you can find my workouts here), join a message board like Nerd Fitness (HT to Danielle for that link), find a friend on Twitter or Facebook to keep you accountable (Stop by and ‘Like’ HollyWouldIfSheCould on Facebook, we do lots of that over there!) Whatever it takes to make you feel like you are not working out alone!
4. Keep Your Gym Bag Stocked With The Good Stuff
I used to have the most crap-tastic toiletries in my gym bag and I hated using them when I showered after a workout. One day in Ulta I saw travel sizes of some of my favorite products and while they were stupidly overpriced, I thought — What the heck? And you all, it was a GAME CHANGER! I actually looked forward to the next time I had to shower in my office locker room. Fun facewash! Delicious shower gel! GOOD SHAMPOO! Buy yourself a treat as a reward for working out, put it in a cute bag and BOOM — insta-motivation! It sounds silly, but it’s the little things that keep you going over time.
5. Organize Your Workout Clothes
Guess what doesn’t make fitness fun? Working out naked. And if you have to search high and low for an outfit you feel comfortable in, guess who isn’t going to the gym? Keep your gym clothes accessible and organized. Give them their own drawer. Organize by type or style — whatever makes your little heart happy — just make sure it is easy because the last thing you need is to be skipping a workout because of clothing. And it doesn’t have to be expensive! While I love perusing the pages of Lululemon, most of my workout essentials come from affordable places, that way I can HAVE MORE STUFF! It appeases my inner shop-a-holic and the lazy girl inside that hates laundry. Get your clothes in order and remove one more speed bump in your path!
6. When All Else Fails, Buy A New Pair of Shoes
I’m a girl. Some things always deliver! While I may not have a closet full of Louboutins, I definitely prioritize having great workout shoes. That doesn’t mean they are the prettiest or the fanciest, but they are tried and true and good shoes make a difference. Experiment! Invest! Don’t be afraid to try new things! A good pair of shoes makes all the difference — for your body and for your mind. And you (and your health) are worth it!
What are some of your strategies to make fitness fun?