Whether you’re a fitness newbie or a longtime gym-goer, finding the energy and inclination to work out can be a huge mental roadblock—especially during the colder, darker months for people who don’t live with year-round sunny weather.
In a thread on Reddit which has garnered nearly 10,000 replies, people who go to the gym every day (or practice some kind of other daily skill) have been sharing the things that help them stay motivated and proactive in keeping up with their good habits.
Seeing the Results Can Be Encouraging
Redditor Inflammable said that “getting addicted to the results” of working out was a primary motivator for them, while GetOutYaFeelings added: “Hell yeah, this. Slowly seeing your hard work pay off has to be the biggest motivation.”
However, while going to the gym every day might lead to some fairly fast, visible changes to your body, whether it be losing weight or building muscle, that rapid progress won’t continue. From whatthehelliswater: “Yes but this is unsustainable for 99% of people. If you’re chasing results you will be discouraged when you plateau which is a natural part of the process.”
Exercise Is a Great Way to Work Through Frustrations
After a long day at work or school, hitting the gym can be handy (and healthy) to have a way of venting all of the things that have annoyed or angered you.
Says Kohrack: “I am angry… I am REALLY ANGRY AT STUFF. Thats the thing that drives me.”
From Tiiimmmaayy: “I went to a community college my freshman year about 45-60 minutes away. I was in the best shape of my life because of the road rage I endured for the drive there and back. I was so angry I couldn’t wait to get into the gym once I got home.”
Working Out With Others to Stay Accountable
From ASleepAndAForgetting: “I have been overweight my entire life, and I have started to work out and then failed to maintain the habit many times. I started again about two months ago, and I think it’s going to stick this time. I approached things a bit differently this time around. I go to a 30 minute class with friends, and that helps to keep me accountable. The class is also extremely accepting of all fitness levels and body sizes, and the exercises we do are easily modified. The focus is on doing a level of activity you can maintain for 30-40 minutes instead of going so hard on the first station that you are burned out for the rest of the workout. I’ll be real – I dread going. I don’t like exercising, it hurts, it’s not fun. I think I failed for a long time because I focused on finding exercise I “liked”. And this time my focus shifted to finding something I can hate, but maintain for 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week. I also hate doing laundry and vacuuming and dusting, but I do that s**t anyways because they’re chores that need to be done. Working out is now another chore I do.”
Build Exercise Into Your Routine
Sometimes there is no key magical motivating factor that propels people into the gym; they key is just building the habit, day in, day out. In other words, maybe motivation is about working out even when you don’t want to. Rather than waiting around for inspiration to strike, these commenters just do it.
From Outrageous_Claims: “I don’t believe the hype of motivation, and realize that it’s discipline that keeps me coming back every day. Take progress pics every now and again, and reflect fondly on that progress. But think about your future self, and work out for him! I tell you what, I work out 6 to 7 days a week, and I don’t want to work out most days. But I have never regretted working out once it’s over. I’m always glad I did.”
From awallpapergirl: “No motivation is involved for me. I go in dragging my feet, but the gym is between me and home and I carried my bulky gym bag with me all day on crowded transit, I may as well make it worth it.”
From grendus: “Motivation is like a match. It’s easy to get going, but it doesn’t last long. Routine is kindling. It needs a little heat to get going, but it will burn longer and puts out more heat. Habit is firewood. It takes some time to get going, but once you’ve got a good blaze it will go for a long time. Forever if you keep feeding it fuel. You need all three. Motivation to start, routine to catch, and habit to keep going. I will say this – every time I go to the gym, I moan and gripe the whole way there that I don’t want to go. And every time I leave the gym, I remind myself how glad I am that I went. It’s all a matter of perspective.”
Or, as DontTouchTheWalrus simply put it: “Discipline > motivation.”
Slideshow: These 40 fit celebrities over 40 will inspire you to hit the gym (Provided by Prevention)