The Ririan Project offers 13 ways to get motivated to exercise. Two ways are slightly ridiculous – would you really take a picture of your naked self holding a sign with your e-mail address on it, then ask a friend to post it on MySpace if you haven’t improved after 12 weeks? And trust me: buying a year’s worth of protein powder will not motivate you; it will only make you feel poor and angry at GNC.
Fortunately, the post redeems itself with the other 11 tips. The one about pre-packing your gear works wonders for me:
Getting your stuff ready the night before will make you more likely to use it. It’s that simple, so you’ve got no excuses.
It’s true, and intrinsically tied to my other motivational strategy: work out in the morning.
I can’t deny that I do this partly to get exercise “over with”. But that’s just my groggy 6am self talking, the self that really wants a cup of coffee and a newspaper. Once I get over that, the exercise is more about starting the day with something positive and naturally energising. Then I have all day to feel warm and fuzzy because I did something good for myself (and because my metabolism is super-charged from the workout!). In fact, I’ve never reflected on a morning workout and thought “wow, I really wish I stayed home and read the news, ‘cause that’s not depressing.”
Getting ready the night before is key. I actually used to sleep in my running clothes so I could roll out of bed, into my shoes, and onto the pavement.
A word of warning: if you keep up a morning exercise routine long enough, you will become a morning person. If this is what you’re after, check out Steve Pavlina’s How to Become an Early Riser.