Do you have trouble finding motivation after just a few weeks into your workout plan? If you are among the millions who do, don’t fret for you came to the right place.
Fortunately, economists and psychologists have been joining forces to study how to turn something you don’t always want to do into your daily routine, and all these strategies can actually be applied to exercising.
Let’s see how.
1. Reward System
He says that making the benefits of working out more tangible can go a long way. You can treat yourself to a delicious smoothie after a successful workout session, or make a rule that you can’t watch the next episode of your favorite TV show before the workout is done.
This will create a neurological “habit loop” that will trigger the positive behavior each time your exercise is due.
“An extrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile,” explains Duhigg. “It increases the odds the routine becomes a habit.”
2. Redefine “Positive Thinking”
The trick here is to visualize the benefits of a behavior as a motivational strategy. For instance, if you need to get out of bed to go running in the morning, it helps to actually imagine and picture how your muscles will tighten and develop, or how the warm sun will feel on your body as you do your running session.
However, this is only effective if you also identify what’s holding you back.
According to Gabriele Oettingen, PhD, psychologist at New York University and author of Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation, this technique is called “mental contrasting” and will do wonders for both – your workout motivation AND your healthy diet habits.
3. Money Talks
If the previous 2 strategies are still not doing the trick for you, maybe you should just turn to the most powerful driving force out there – cold, hard cash.
Numerous studies dealing with monetary incentives and exercise found that people who were paid $100 to exercise actually doubled their gym attendance rate.
“You just need to get people to keep doing an activity, and paying them money was effective,” explains study author Gary Charness, PhD, behavioral economist at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Well, what do ya know…