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How to Convince yourself to Exercise and then Actually DO IT!

Want to exercise but find yourself lacking motivation? Well here is some tricks to making certain you exercise, even when you don't want to.

#1. Manipulate yourself so that you don't have a choice but to exercise.

This is basically blackmail. You blackmail yourself into doing something, so you don't really have a choice but to do it. Finding a way to force yourself into doing it is sort of a "carrot or stick" approach, you are either rewarding yourself for exercising or you are punishing yourself for not exercising, or both.

eg. One way to do this is to give your remote control to a friend and tell them not to give it back until you lose 20 lbs. The remote control become the reward, and the lack of TV is the punishment.

Or another example is if you decide to bicycle to work every workday and you give your car keys to a friend, thus giving yourself no choice but to use your bicycle.

#2. Don't attempt the impossible. Set reachable goals that you can do in stages.

For example if you weight 320 lbs, set a goal of losing 21 lbs within 80 days. You might actually reach that goal sooner than that, but giving yourself a small goal makes it easier to achieve.

Then once you reach a weight of 299 you set a new goal: To lose 29 lbs, so you then weigh 270.

After that you set a new goal of 249. Notice that having a goal being 1 lb less than 250 is also a psychological point where you can say "Hey, I weigh LESS than that now!"

Then 220, then 199. And keep setting new goals until you reach your desired weight. This way you are always seeing progress.

#3. Context and Timing, set goals related to specific dates.

For example set a goal of losing 10 lbs before Valentines, or losing 20 lbs before your Summer Vacation to Jamaica. Or gaining 10 lbs of muscle before doing a Firefighters Calendar photo shoot.

#4. Choose Exercises or Sports you are Interested In.

It is much easier to convince yourself to do something if it is an activity you've been wanting to do. eg. If you've always wanted to run a marathon, time to start jogging and training yourself to run a marathon. Or if you've always wanted to get into archery, time to go buy some equipment and start practicing every week.

#5. Reciprocity.

If you are in a situation wherein you owe a friend of favour, and that favour involves exercise (eg. helping them shovel snow, move into their new home, help them move a sofa) then you now have no choice but to do it, realizing of course that they will now owe you a favour - or perhaps you owe them a favour and it is time to pay up.

#6. Persistence Vs Boredom.

Sometimes people start exercising and then they stop exercising because they lose interest in it. There are three ways to deal with this:

Option A: Force yourself to do it anyway, using rewards or punishments if you have to.

Option B: It is time to do a new activity instead. So if you were doing weight lifting before and it got boring, now is the time to go jogging instead.

Option C: Change what you are doing by making it more challenging, more fun, or more interactive. eg. If you are weight lifting, try doing dead lifts instead, try challenging yourself with heavier weights, and try listening to music while you are weight lifting.

#7. Give Other People Compliments on their Weight Loss.

Being a little jealous is a good thing. Give compliments to others, and accept their compliments too. Ask them what they are doing that is helping them. Try using any advice they give. Use their compliments to help motivate you.

#8. Give Yourself Expectations and Realize they cannot be done unless you EXERCISE!

Anyone can diet, and it helps, but giving yourself exercise goals and expectations means that you will need to actually exercise in order to reach those goals.

#9. Don't Assume that Exercising Just A Little is Enough to Lose Weight.

Everyone exercises at least a tiny bit every day, just from walking around. If a tiny bit of walking was all it took everyone would be thin and happy with their weight. This is a case in which the more you exercise, the better you will be off. You don't want to go overboard however. Set a goal of exercising a maximum of 14 hours per week, and see how close you can get to that in the first week. You might only do 2 hours, but 2 hours is better than nothing. Then try to beat that next week. And the following week. Keep up this trend of beating your own score until you are exercising 14 hours per week out of habit.

#10. Urgency Matters!

If you are in urgent need to lose weight, that is the time to start exercising for 2 hours every day for a week. Even if the exercise you are doing is just going for a long walk, at least you are doing something instead of nothing - and having an urgent reason to go for long walks, jogs, exercising outdoors will keep you motivated.

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