Get motivated! No really. Sometimes when you want to try something challenging you need a little social motivation to make it happen.
If you spend any time looking at fitness pages on social media, you’ll notice something immediately: motivational content. It may come as a quote, a meme, a GIF, or a video, but odds are it’s there, and the further you scroll, the more you’ll see. This tells us that fitness enthusiasts like to see motivational content, but what else does it tell us?
The underlying message here is simple: If you like fitness, you’re going to need regular doses of external motivation. It may sound unfair, but judging by the ubiquitousness and popularity of this material, I don’t think I’m wrong. It may seem counterintuitive, but apparently, fitness oriented people actually aren’t any more motivated than everybody else. We all have down days, we all have struggles and setbacks, and we all have days where we’d really rather do anything else!
So, if that’s the case, what are some things that a person who really wants to be consistent with their fitness habits can do? I would argue that the biggest and simultaneously least appreciated strategy for long term motivation is easy: make it social.
Human beings are a social species, meaning we like to do what people close to us like to do. We also usually have a lot more fun doing something with a friend or two than if we do it by ourselves. This provides us with a perfect tool for improving lifestyle habits easily and enjoyably! If you want to start doing something, start doing it with someone you like being around. This could apply to virtually any habit or hobby you want to pick up, and it works perfectly for fitness.
Having a gym buddy to lift weights with or go to fitness classes with will offer some immediate benefits. You’ll be more likely to go when you’re meeting someone there, you’ll have more fun while you’re there, and you’ll most likely work harder than you would have on your own. Having some external accountability will help anyone because we all have down days, and odds are your workout partner will be motivated on days you aren’t, and vice versa. Working together at something will also elicit a little friendly competition, causing you both to work harder and push yourselves further. All this clearly spells better results.
An important thing to keep in mind when selecting a gym partner is to make sure they are compatible with your goals. You should try to select someone who has similar goals and abilities as you, and who also has a similar work ethic. A training partner isn’t much use if they show up late to all your workouts and just want to chit chat the whole time, and you’ll probably also have a hard time if you two just don’t have much or a rapport. The ideal partner will challenge you, motivate you, and hold you accountable, and will rely on you to do the same for them.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a fitness person and you don’t waste as much time as I do scrolling through motivational social media pages, you should see the benefits of harnessing social motivation to improve your health. In my experience, few things are more powerful at ingraining habits and maximizing results. If you feel like you need some help to anchor you in your resolutions to get fit, Sunwarrior has you covered with their fitness challenge that provides motivation, social interaction, meal plans for your specific needs, and workouts for your specific needs. All of this is free of charge!
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