How to find motivation to work out

In December, I decided that 2016 would be my year to get fit. I planned to work out three times a week beside my dancing classes. I had dancing classes at my school every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 8 to 9:50. And Monday and Tuesday from 6pm to 9pm I danced at a theatre in Copenhagen.

I quickly realised that it was close to impossible for me to work out three times a week beside my dancing classes while working at a local coffee shop either Saturday or Sunday and hanging out with my boyfriend in the weekends (it’s a long distance relationship) and doing my homework and walking my dog almost every day. It wasn’t what you should expect from a 16-year-old girl – and guess what… no one but myself did. I made this new year resolution and failed within two weeks and I was disappointed. At the same time, I realised that I wasn’t the problem. The problem was simply that I didn’t have the time to do all the things I wanted to do. I had to prioritise.

Does that sound familiar to you? You want good grades, a fit body, a social life, and you have a hobby that makes you happy but every time you actually have time to work out you want to lay in bed and relax because you’re constantly busy?

If so, I may have some helpful tips for you.

1. Set realistic goals

You’ve heard it before. Goals are important to help you stay motivated during the progress but they won’t motivate you if they’re unrealistic. If you haven’t tried it before you might have to try to set a goal and try to achieve it – and you might have to do that and fail until you find out what is realistic for you.

One of the best methods to set goals is the SMART-method:

S – Specific. Be specific about your goal. Try to describe it as detailed as possible i.e. “I want to be able to run 5 kilometres in 25 minutes by the 1st August 2016 so I can get on the running team when the school starts again.” Make a plan for it.

M – Measurable. Track your progress. Take my example again: 1st July = 5 kilometres in 35 minutes, 14th July = 5 kilometres in 32 minutes, 20th July = 5 kilometres in 29 minutes. You get the point. Is it realistic to run 5 kilometres in 25 minutes with this progress?

A – Attainable. If your goal is to lose a huge amount of weight you might need to break the goal into smaller goals. It’s often more motivating to achieve smaller goals during the progress than spending years trying to achieve the same goal. Set a goal you know you can achieve.

R – Relevant. Will the goal improve your life? My example from before would not necessarily be relevant if it wasn’t with the purpose to be able to join the running team. Find out why it is relevant for you and change it after your needs.

T – Timely. Set a deadline for your goal. This will help you stay motivated to work harder. It is important to have a deadline so you don’t just hope to achieve your goal sometime within the next five years of your life. Take control and make it happen!

2. Visual inspiration

Inspiration depends from person to person but for a lot of people it helps to have visual inspiration. It can be a page in your calendar with inspirational quotes or pictures of healthy food, fit girls, workout clothes, whatever inspires you. You can also create a poster with pictures or quotes that inspire you. A good tip is to have your visual inspiration somewhere you often look. This will work as a “friendly reminder”.

Another tip is to follow fitness accounts on Instagram, collections on WeHeartIt or boards on Pinterest so that every time you use those media you will be inspired.

My favourite Instagram account for fitness inspiration is blogilates.

If you want, you can follow my workout collection on WeHeartIt.

3. Tell people about it

If you’re trying to eat healthier it is important to tell your friends and family about it. If they know they might not offer you a piece of cake and they will remind you of it if you’re about to give up.

Make sure to tell them why it is so important to you to work out. They will understand you and ask about your progress sometimes. This is very motivating to some people and embarrassing to other people (like me) but it is good to spend some time outside your comfort zone.

4. Change your attitude

If you constantly think of working out as an obligation, it can be hard to find motivation to do it. Working out shouldn’t be like cleaning the dishes – and you can change that.

Remind yourself of why you do it. Maybe it isn’t fun in the beginning but as soon as you find a routine that fits you and start to see progress, you’ll learn to like it. Until then you should try to change the way you look at your work outs. Try to think of it as something you enjoy doing. It’s much easier to do something you like than something you have to do.

5. Find the workout you like

This can be hard if you’re not a sports person but it’ll make working out much easier in the long run if you find a sport you really like. Personally I love dancing. It makes me happy to dance. If you already have a sport you love then there’s no problem. But if you haven’t found it yet I suggest you try.

You don’t have to join a sports club – you can just do it at home or in a local park or wherever you find it comfortable. You can invite your friends to play basketball or football or dance with you. If your friends do sports you can try to learn their sports to find out if you like it.

6. Schedule

Put workouts into your schedule. This way you won’t feel guilty for having to do something else and more important. The time you set aside to work out is quality time with yourself and you can focus on working out without guilt.

If you’re a student it can be hard to find time to work out and do your homework. Make a schedule that works for you. If you like working out in the morning wake up earlier. If you like to work out right after school, it’s fine. Find a workout schedule that works perfectly for you.

Final note

You should never feel like you need to work out. Working out is not just for the vanity but because it gives you a feeling of quality in life.

You are beautiful as you are and if anyone tells you something different, they’re simply wrong!

So my tips were…

1. Set realistic goals

2. Visual inspiration

3. Tell people about it

4. Change your attitude

5. Find the workout you like

6. Schedule

I hope you found this post helpful.

Stay happy, stay beautiful

– Ellie xoxo


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