Exercising with a partner is fun. You have someone to compete against and someone to hold you accountable for continuing to train. Unfortunately there comes a time when you find yourself without a person to accompany you but you still want to stay in shape. When you find yourself in this situation, the key is self-motivation. Motivating yourself can be difficult, but the results you get are really worth it.
An important key to staying motivated is knowing – with or without a partner – that you want to keep staying healthy. Although sometimes this is not enough. There are times when you need that extra help to stay focused on your goal.
6 tips to stay motivated when you exercise alone
The question is: How do you stay motivated to keep training as hard as you can, when no one is there to force you to do it?
Here are some strategies you can implement to stay motivated when you don’t have a suitable training partner.
1. Set a schedule and stick to it
When you train alone, there is no one to call you and remind you of the gym session. Create a schedule in which you will put the days and hours you want to exercise. You must commit to your schedule! The schedule will not be entirely tentative. Treat it like it’s your job. You have a schedule and you have to stick to it. The same should apply to your exercise routine. In addition to sticking to your schedule, it’s also helpful to keep track of your workouts. A written record of your body measurements and body fat percentage can help you stay motivated. You will see the results on paper even if you don’t see them in the mirror.
2. Don’t train just for your appearance
Exercising has a positive effect on your appearance. People will start to notice the difference. The clothes will fit you better. But there will come a time when you will hit a plateau and need something else to keep going. Focus on building a stronger body. Concentrate on pushing your body to be in the best shape possible. Do workouts you’ve never been able to do. If you’ve only been able to run one kilometer, then press to run two. Have you always dreamed of reaching a certain body percentage? Work toward that goal. Once you start accomplishing new feats, you’ll want to keep improving.
3. Bet on yourself
Another way to make your workouts more interesting is to put money into it. Write a check for an amount that makes you cringe, then give it to someone you know and trust. You can also write the check to a charity. The key is to be responsible and complete the goal you chose to work towards. When you complete the objective, you receive your check back. If you don’t, your friend can keep it or give it to an NGO. This strategy can also be used to compete in an event. The thought of losing money should be enough to stimulate you.
4. Create goals
When you work day after day on your own without a coach or partner to push you, it’s easier to give up what you’re doing. This is why you should create goals for yourself.
Your training goals can be anything, big or small: you may be aiming to lift 80 kilos on the bench press or do 15 kilometers on the treadmill.
Signing up for some kind of race or event can also be a good goal and is motivating. I did a triathlon once and it was amazing, a lot of people also enjoy challenging themselves with a half marathon. Do whatever feels fun to you.
Goals will keep you motivated because you will always be working towards something tangible instead of just exercising because you know you should be.
5. Give yourself rewards
No, you shouldn’t eat a candy bar every time you hit the gym (an easy way to stop or reverse the progress you want to make), but giving yourself a tangible reward for exercising can be a great motivator.
This advice is very similar to point 3. Try to set a number of days for which you want to exercise and give yourself some kind of reward when you meet your goal. This could be a nice dinner, a new piece of home exercise equipment you’ve been looking at, new training shoes, or something else entirely.
Just make sure your reward is motivating enough that you really want it. A kale salad at the end of your desired training period probably won’t help.
6. Find a community on the internet
The Internet allows you to find like-minded people all over the world. You may not have a training partner, but you can still have others with you on your journey. There are blogs, websites, forums, and social media pages for any interest. Cycling, running, boxing, weightlifting or CrossFit, you can find people to connect with and share your stories.
The lack of a training partner should never be an excuse to abandon your workouts. With proper planning and internal guidance, you can achieve your goals on your own.