This summer, as many people do, I'm sure one of the goals you set for yourself was to develop a healthier lifestyle and actually use your gym membership. But sometimes squeezing in a good hour at the gym and the commute there and back is hard. You spend all day (and night if you're like me) at work, and on those rare days you have off you actually want to do something fun with your friends or family. One week goes by where you don't go to the gym, and then Sunday rolls around and you tell yourself, "Okay, this week I'm starting fresh. I'm really going." And then before you know it you're back at Sunday and you still haven't gone. So here are seven tips I've discovered that help me get my a** to the gym.
1. Pack your gym clothes the night before.
This way, you have no excuse. Pack your stuff the night before and throw your gym bag in your car so you bring it to work with you and when you're done the work day, actually put your gym clothes on. Now, you're already dressed and ready and you can't talk yourself out of going on the ride home.
2. Hold yourself accountable.
Whether this be on social media or with a friend, find a way to motivate yourself socially. Tell your friends you've started going to the gym, heck even drag one along with you and the two of you can hold each other accountable. Make a post on Facebook that you've started working out, throw a pic of you walking in the gym on your Snapchat or Instagram story - do it all. There's something about making your lifestyle habits social that helps you stay on track.
3. Get all the right swag.
Sneakers, work out shirts, baseball hats, leggings- if you can name it, go get it. Feeling good about yourself and being excited to show off your sick new leggings will give you the extra push to go to the gym. Plus, you'll tell yourself you just spent all this money on gym clothes and now you need to go use it.
4. Go at the end/beginning of your work day.
Okay, you might think this one is crazy but here me out. Whether you work 9-5, or the night shift, or odd hours at a restaurant, there's always a part of the day where you have just a couple hours to yourself. I work 9-5 on two days a week for my internship, and at a restaurant on the weekends. On the days I work 9-5, I've started going to the gym after work, and, just as I advised in tip #1, I bring my gym bag to work an change before I drive home. I thought I would have absolutely no energy by the time I got to the gym, but I was wrong. Spending 10 hours sitting at work and in the car I need to move around. Not to mention it's the perfect stress reliever after sitting in traffic. All I've really done is add an hour and a half or so to my day, and when I get home I can just eat dinner and relax and feel good that I had a full day. On the days I work in the restaurant, I'm not in until 11am at the earliest so I go before my shift. Again, all I've done is add the same hour and a half to my day and going to the gym before helps wake me up. Now my days off from both jobs can really be my days off.
5. Put yourself in the right mindset.
Every day you want to go to the gym and then end up skipping and you tell yourself, "Eh, it's okay I'll go tomorrow" and then tomorrow comes and you do the same thing. Nothing will change if you keep giving yourself this free pass of constantly skipping and never starting your routine. You have to change your mindset and actually hold yourself accountable. When you start to talk yourself out of going, really ask yourself why you're not going and develop some self discipline when you give yourself a lame excuse.
6. Set goals and attack them.
Setting a goal of wanting to get in better shape or lose weight is great, but they're not specific enough. Do you want to lean out, grow muscle, lose fat? Do you want to lose 20 pounds, 5 pounds, 5 pounds by the end of the month or by the end of the summer? You need to set a tangible goal so you can really go after it, and take pictures too. On day one, snap a picture, and take one every single week. You may not see a difference week to week, but when you compare your pictures across multiple weeks, or months, you will see your hard work paying off.
7. Get addicted.
Working out is incredibly addictive, ask anyone you know that's been going for years. Once you get into that routine you just can't break it and furthermore - you don't want to. Open up your mind, don't be timid, and let yourself fall in love with your new lifestyle.