1. Watch Shakira music videos. I'm not kidding. It doesn't have to be Shakira, it could be any artist who's bod you aspire to emulate, but that's what works for me. When I know I should be out there running but instead I'm scrolling through my blog feed and eating froyo, I direct my attention to Youtube (particularly this video, this one and this one). There's just something about those honest hips (and perfect body) that changes my tune pretty quickly. Nike commercials also do the trick.
2. Start jammin'. Listen to a playlist that gets you pumped. I know everyone says this and that's because it works--but only if it's your kind of pump up music! It's important to figure out what kind of jams make you feel invincible and which ones just make you feel "meh." I know that a lot of people really get stoked on EDM or dub step (they're different things, right?) but not me. I'd rather stairmaster in silence than listen to the wub wub, but that's just me. Maybe you like to pump iron to Mozart or hardcore gangster rap, I'm an alt-rock kind of gal myself but a little electronic and pop here and there goes a long way. I really like this playlist on Spotify and here are my top 10 running songs.
3. Go outside. Do an outdoor activity with friends (or your pup!). On weekends when working out is the last thing I want to do, I like to plan something active like hiking, taking a bike ride or playing kickball. It's a win-win because you're exploring, laughing, interacting and seeing so many awesome things that you almost forget that you're panting like crazy getting up that hill (unless you're doing a ridiculous 22-mile hike up a mountain in which case it's hard to forget about the cardio aspect). During the week when time is more limited, I'll do a short yoga video or just go for a long walk when the thought of running or doing a full-on strength training workout sounds terrible. Chances are by the time you're warmed up with 20 minutes of an easy activity you'll be ready to take on more, but if not, remember 20 minutes is better than no minutes.
4. Creep on Instagram. You can get lost in Instagram hashtags if you're not careful, but there is some serious motivation to be had on there. From #sweatyselfies to #fitchicks, for every minute you put off working out there are approximate 495 million ladies sweating their faces off and Instagramming about it. I have my own fitness-specific Instagram which also serves as a great motivator--your followers know that when you're not posting sweaty selfies you're probably Netflix binging and while they're probably not actually judging, just pretend they are. Plus you can use all the hashtags you want without judgement because none of your 'normal' followers have to know about it. #blessed
5. Enlist a Partner In Crime. Sometimes you just need a real life person to hold you accountable even if it's just a text saying "Hey, did you run today?" or a Nike+ friend you're "competing" with to gain the top rank. I definitely do better when I have someone telling me how well they're doing. It's like a friendly competition where everyone wins (but you can bet your butt I'll run an extra .20 miles just to beat you). Sign up for a race together that neither of you are ready for and then keep each other in check. Everyone works harder when there's money on the line.
6. Look good, feel good. Put on all your favorite workout gear. You know you'd much rather go to the gym wearing your fancy workout gear you spent too much money on than in your old D.A.R.E. shirt (although I do that all the time). Sometimes just the act of getting ready to work out is enough to get you out the door.
7. That LBD though. Put on those shorts, that bikini, those pants or that dress. You know, the ones you bought when you were on your most legit to date fitness kick and felt freaking fantastic. Remember how it used to fit? Yea, go lace up those running shoes because if you did it before you can do it again.
8. Picture it. Just take a couple minutes to visualize yourself after you finish working out. Suddenly you feel like you earned your shower. Your endorphins are flowing and your bed is going to be so much more comfortable by the time you're ready to sleep. You'll be one step closer to fitting beautifully into that garment from number 7. One step closer to finishing strong in that race from number 5. And one step closer to that glass of wine.
9. Take your dog. If you have a dog, get into the habit of taking the little fur ball on runs with you. I can tell you right now, there's nothing sadder than seeing the disappointment on your pooch's face when he/she thinks it's time for a run and his/her human bails. Guilt runs are still runs.
10. Whatevs. If none of the other steps work, make it a rest day. Read a good book. Drink some tea. Don't beat yourself up. Try again tomorrow.
I use all of these techniques daily. I'm not the kind of person that jumps up at the crack of dawn to get my workout in--I have to force myself to get it done but I always feel better after I do. What do you do when you're lacking motivation?