Now that you have started your journey towards personal growth, you are probably wondering what comes next? Often you will find how you are feeling internally can affect the way your body behaves externally and vise versa. In this post, we will discuss the steps required to physically and mentally motivate yourself.
If you are having difficulty finding motivation or mental clarity, I recommend starting from the outside-in as a means to give yourself the confidence boost you need for success in all of your future endeavors. That being said, if you intend on starting a serious and advanced fitness routine that you are not familiar with, I suggest that you speak with a professional first.
I am not a personal trainer or fitness coach by any means. However, I can provide you with a few recommendations and examples from my own personal experience on how to get motivated and become a healthier version of yourself – not only mentally but physically as well. I hope to inspire you to find a fitness routine that makes your body reflect your mind.
For the longest time, the only type of exercise I ever participated in was cardio. I played soccer when I was a teenager. During my early adulthood I was active almost every day either biking, windsurfing, or running outdoors. Sure I was dedicated and healthy, but at the same time I was not challenging myself in any new areas of physical improvement.
After I met my husband, he suggested that we try a kettlebell circuit together. I never really experimented much with weights before, but I was open to attempting something new that would benefit us both. Looking back now, I am so glad we did because I could not imagine life without our daily workout routines – not to mention the added physical and mental health benefits as a result of motivating and challenging each other.
Although there are days when I could think of plenty of reasons and excuses to skip a workout, I always follow through with my commitment; even if I have a severe headache (I have been living with TMJD for most of my adult life). Maybe you don’t always feel like it, but do it anyway. Sometimes you must push beyond your comfort zone to physically and mentally motivate yourself. Trust me, you will feel much more accomplished and in-turn, it will energize you to keep moving forward. You will thank yourself later for pushing through.
Keep an open mind. You never know, something that initially seems unappealing at first might actually be helpful for you, and you may find that you really enjoy it. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be beneficial in ways you could never even imagine. Do not be afraid to try new methods towards improving yourself.
There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them.Bruce Lee
The first step is writing down what you want to achieve from your fitness routine. Whether you expect to lose weight, gain muscle, acquire more endurance, or simply become healthier in general – you need to write out a specific plan of intent that is based on your individual needs and expectations. Keep in mind you will only be getting out as much as you put into the workout. This is a long-term commitment. Be ready to hold yourself accountable.
Once my husband and I decided on using kettlebells, a friend of ours recommended a leading kettlebell instructor, Steve Cotter, who has a wealth of knowledge and information on proper fitness instruction. We used one of his circuits as a guideline for our workout routine, which was a good mix of weights and cardio that made us break a sweat.
In my opinion, if you are not sweating by the end then it wasn’t a successful workout. We have adjusted our specific routine to best fit our evolving needs. It currently consists of a total body balanced combination of weight training, cardio, core, legs, and arms.
Find an open space. Consider what equipment (if any) you might have to purchase to optimize your fitness goals. All we needed were kettlebells in a realistic weight range for each of us specifically and weight lifting gloves. You may want to invest in some comfortable sneakers and breathable activewear as well.
The best way to begin a habit is to actively commit to practicing it every day. Consistency is key. Once you have come up with your fitness plan, set a schedule on a specific time of day or night and how often you want to workout. Start small and work your way up as you progress. Make sure to set realistic expectations for yourself so that you will not become overwhelmed or discouraged which can easily lead to burnout.
Remember with anything good in life, practice makes perfect! Do not make the mistake of rushing through your fitness routine expecting to see results immediately. This can often be counterproductive. Slow down, take your time, and make sure you are doing it correctly.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have proper posture and breathing techniques throughout your workout. Keep your back straight and be cautious not to overextend your muscles or you could injure yourself. Watch and learn from professionals. Anything worthwhile takes time, knowledge, and patience.
Initially, we alternated three days a week for an intense 30-minute kettlebell workout. Start out with something challenging yet attainable. If you are using weights for the first time, I recommend having a day in between workouts for your muscles to recover and heal. Trust me, you will be sore!
Over the course of about a year, we gradually increased our individual kettlebell weight as well as the frequency of workouts to five days a week, Monday through Friday. Although it was challenging, I honestly have never felt better. The health results from keeping yourself committed to a fitness routine are well worth all of the effort.
Remember how I had mentioned in step two about surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you? In my experience when it comes to working out, it is beneficial to have a companion who is as dedicated to the routine as I am. Find someone who will help hold you accountable and help you to physically and mentally motivate yourself. I am incredibly fortunate and grateful to have my husband who is as committed to our goals as I am.
If you do not have a spouse or significant other, I recommend sharing this experience with a friend, colleague, or even another individual who simply enjoys fitness. It’s always helpful to have someone in your life who challenges you and inspires you to consistently move in a positive direction.
Having a little friendly competition never hurt anyone either. Form a mutually symbiotic relationship. As an added benefit, you can share stories together and look back over the memories made while tracking the progress of how far you have come. I am now both physically and mentally the strongest I have ever been, and it’s all because we make a great team.
There is no better way to attain instant motivation than playing music that really speaks to you. Listen to songs that inspire you and make you strive harder for who you want to be, both mentally and physically. Music can play a vital role in setting the tone while stimulating your senses.
Find a band or genre that you particularly identify with, and make a playlist that compliments your individual workout routine. Customize it as needed to enhance your own motivation. As soon as the beat to your favorite song drops, you will immediately get into the mindset that it’s time to get your adrenaline pumping!
Our current workout playlist features a combination of motivational metal songs including Comeback Kid, Hatebreed, Chimaira, and a few tracks peppered in from The Witcher (because who doesn’t love the epic Witcher soundtrack?) just to name a few. Find a style that compliments your routine and most importantly, acts as the catalyst to help you physically and mentally motivate yourself. One example of a motivational song with inspirational lyrics that we use in our fitness routine is “Supremacy of Self.”
I must attain supremacy of mind, supremacy of body, supremacy of spirit, supremacy of self.Hatebreed
Kettlebells may not be for you, but I urge you to find something that is. Most importantly, make it enjoyable and realistic. Nobody wants to start a fitness routine when they dread working out. So make it fun by involving others and pushing yourself a little harder every day while tracking your own personal progress.
Something I have incorporated into my workout ritual is treating myself with a cup of post-workout coffee (mostly black with a splash of flavor). Some might think it’s strange, but there is a method to my madness. This not only boosts metabolism, but it also helps relieve sore muscles after a workout. If you are not a fan of coffee, I’m sure you can think of something else you enjoy instead – like a healthy fruit smoothie. There’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself a reward; all in moderation of course.
As if the physical results alone are not enough, think of how much money you will be saving by creating your own fitness routine at home. Trust me, you do not need a gym membership to achieve results. My husband and I were already doing this long before social distancing was the new normal.
All that is required from you is the effort and commitment to make it happen. What better time to begin to physically and mentally motivate yourself than now? Make your fitness dreams become a reality, and enjoy every step of the journey!
If you missed my 3-part series on Rebuilding Yourself, click here to view step one.