What happened to the springtime promise you made to work out and get into shape for summer? And what about the other countless times you wanted to exercise but instead put it off until later, except “later” never came? Bad habits can never be fully eradicated with conventional methods. For this reason, a list of unconventional motivational tips was put together to get your heart racing.
Visual spamming: Post photos of people with figures you strive for in every visual space possible. Solution 1: Computer/cell phone background – Every time when I look at my laptop, I see numerous Miranda Kerrs dancing away with her photo-perfect figure on the desktop background (I set my background in mosaic format to maximize the visual impact.). This serves as a constant reminder to work out and get fit. A cell phone is also a convenient place for visual spamming, although from time to time you might look like a creeper for posting women in skimpy clothes or buff men everywhere.
Solution 2: Fridge door or anywhere in the vicinity of food – This is used to stop you from pigging out on unhealthy things. Each time before you reach into a bag of chips for a sinful piece of concoction, the person on the photo should stare at you and remind you how good being fit looks. All of a sudden, working out seems like a much better option than eating chips.
Note: There will be times when you are tempted to change or even remove the photos because you feel discouraged by the gap between your real self and your ideal self. In times like these, do not remove the photos completely. Instead, change the photo to someone with a figure that matches closer to your own.
Compare downward: Watch motivational weight-loss or makeover shows. My picks: “The Biggest Loser” and “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.” By watching people sweating, panting and struggling hard for better health and appearance will make you think twice about your own living habits. Contestants on shows like these should inspire you to feel more health-conscious and more willing to work out in order to avoid ending up in a horrible state of health.
Some may consider it cruel to use weight-loss shows as a motivation, but I consider it as a way to use other people’s success stories as an empowerment to exercise. Furthermore, these shows make us appreciate the assets and abilities that we all take for granted – and appreciate our own personal health that we all take for granted (Running half a mile doesn’t seem bad? Some needed immediate medical attention after running half a mile, – “The Biggest Loser” season four, episode one.).
Don’t waste your money: Hang up clothes that “you would look good in if you were fitter but never wore.”
Many of us have clothes that we bought but never wore after the initial impulsive purchase. Perhaps because we realized that they were too tight, so we would always say that we would wear them once we get in shape. Hang it up in front of your wardrobe, mirror, wherever. Use that clothing not only as a visual goal but also as a benchmark to track your workout progress.If you don’t have any, buy something that you would wear – but a size smaller. Use that as a motivation to work out and track your progress.
Imagine a 30-minute high: Crave the post-workout confidence boost and glowing mood.
We have all experienced the high we get after exercising regardless of the intensity of the workout. Whether it’s a short game of Frisbee or a mandatory cross-country run during phys-ed, our bodies are programmed to release endorphins that make you feel amazing after sustained physical movements.
However, because we would often get caught up with the longterm goals (such as dropping two pants sizes) we forget exercising also offers us tangible and rapid benefits that we can feel immediately after working out. The mantra I personally use for motivation is: In [insert time], I can either feel happy and relaxed, or I can feel dreary, tired and bored.
What would you choose?
Just remember that it takes different things for everyone to work out. Keep a mental note next time when you suddenly get an urge to work out. What is making you want to go sweat off some calories? Remember that trigger for next time and use it to motivate yourself until it becomes ineffective (time for a new one!).