3 Tips To Find Your Motivation For At-Home Workouts (During The Holidays)
- by Christina MacDonald
- December 4, 2020
- Blog Fitness Health Lifestyle
“If you dread your at-home workouts in the best of times, you can’t blame yourself for lacking motivation in the worst of times.”
Everyone has those days when they are struggling to find the motivation to jump into an at-home workout – ESPECIALLY as we enter the holidays. This time of year, motivation is low, stress is high and excuses are suddenly far easier to find. I wanted to share three motivational tips that have worked well for me over the last year. Whether you are traveling or staying solo at home, I hope these tips will help you glide through the holiday season feeling excited and motivated.
#1 Don’t force yourself to do workouts you don’t absolutely LOVE
Everyone who remembers the nineties, will recount the “no pain no gain” mentality of gyms. Sadly, this aggressive attitude of equating physical discomfort to growth still lingers in the mind of so many. Please repeat after me: “IF I CONSISTENTLY DREAD DOING MY WORKOUT, THEN IT IS NOT THE RIGHT WORKOUT FOR ME”. And guess what – that’s okay! There are millions of at-home workouts in the world, from stretching to low impact sculpt to high intensity cardio with dumbbells. Everyone deserves to find the particular glass slipper that is their perfect fit. Fitness and fun should never be mutually exclusive.
This is not to say that there won’t be days when you don’t feel up to sweating it out. The kids woke you up early, your boss is riding you, or you had a few too many Corona cocktails the night before. But if you are making an active choice to take time out of your day for an activity, no matter what it is, there should be joy involved.
Take a minute and ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. What are my fitness goals and does my current routine help me achieve them?
2. Even if I start in a bad mood, do I end my workouts feeling focused, successful and energized?
3. Would I recommend my current workout routine to a friend?
If you answered no to any of these questions – maybe ask yourself the following:
1. Have I fallen into a routine that used to work for me but has just become a habit that I no longer enjoy?
2. Who am I outside of my workouts – am I adventurous, intensely focused, silly? What at-home workouts and Coaches also embody these traits?
3. Is there a workout I have always wanted to try but felt intimidated?
Make your list and go for it!
To sum it up: If you dread your at-home workout in the best of times, you can’t blame yourself for lacking motivation in the worst of times. Don’t be afraid to look outside the box and try a variety of at-home workouts available until you find your fit.
#2 Create a dedicated workout space that gets you excited
As a former New Yorker, who lived like a sardine for a portion of my life, I can tell you with confidence that any space, no matter how small, can be turned into a sanctuary. For many of us, our workout sanctuary used to be a gym or studio. The lighting, smells, sights and equipment seemed to be made just for us. I even miss the shampoo at BoxUnion!
With 2020 still in full effect, many of us lack motivation because we don’t have the same experience at home. We can do our favorite classes, engage with our favorite coaches, even connect with the community through Facebook and Comments, but its not the same.
If you find this to be the case, here is a step-by-step guide on how to set up the perfect at-home workout space to increase your motivation. Hint: Lighting is a game changer.
1. Ask yourself what feeling you want to evoke with your workout space?
Do you prefer bright, light and friendly? Set up your space near a window with natural light. Do you prefer the intensity and focus of working out in a dark room? Close the curtains, dim the lights and get at it!
This can even change depending on your workout.
Because I was used to my classes in a dark boutique studio, I naturally found that cardio in my brightly lit living room was really draining my motivation. Instead, I moved my little workout dojo to a small side office with one tiny window. I would turn off the lights completely and punch it out.
For weight classes, I like to be in front of a mirror, so I started doing the arms classes in my bathroom (this is not a joke).
2. How does your perfect workout environment smell?
Smell is one of the most powerful senses we have. It is also one of the easiest elements to instantly change how a space feels, no matter the size or restrictions. Although subtle, I do miss the white tea scent of BoxUnion. I even bought a candle and light it right as I begin my workout (so it doesn’t get too strong).
In her article, 11 Scents That Can Do Wonders For Your Well-Being, Lindsay Holmes explains why smells can often feel like a memory, “these nostalgic ties aren’t just a coincidence — there’s science behind why we cherish these aromas. Our olfactory response is directly linked to the emotional center of our brain, causing a flood of warm and fuzzy feelings with a simple sniff. Unlike touch or taste, scents are directly correlated with past experiences.”
Holmes continues on to recommend the following. I also included how I personally like to mix and match these scents with my at-home workout goals. The combinations are endless:
- Lavender can make you feel sleepy (great for a relaxing post-workout stretch right before bed)
- Cinnamon can sharpen your mind (perfect to challenge yourself with a long combo in a bag class)
- Pine can alleviate stress (ideal for high intensity and low intensity yoga)
- Fresh-cut grass can make you more joyful (my favorite for fun and fast theme classes or mashups, especially anything that includes POP)
- Citrus can help you feel more energized (a nice option for early morning HIIT)
- Peppermint can boost concentration (a lovely choice for learning new boxing skills or tutorials)
- Jasmine can ease depression (recommend this for a difficult and technique-based sculpt class, especially after a long hard day)
- Olive oil can help you feel satisfied (this light, simple scent is great for any workout – protip: the scent of olive oil is also believed to reduce food cravings)
3. Is your environment lacking any equipment?
These days, equipment can span from $5 – $5,000+ (let me know your favorite brands in the comments!) Depending on your budget, there are a million different ways to personalize your workout space. Sometimes it is as easy as changing the color of your yoga mat.
From the very beginning on lockdown, my friend recommended that I include a heat lamp and humidifier when I am doing a yoga class. Luckily, I owned both of these already, and it completely changed the experience.
Ultimately, as shut down lingered, I also invested in an at-home freestanding heavy bag that took my boxing classes to the next level. Bands are also an easy way to spice up workouts and can be purchased for under $10 (let me know below if you have tried out our new boxing and bands classes.)
I have not experienced it firsthand, but I am also considering tile flooring for high intensity classes that require a lot of jumping. I’ll let you know if/when I pull the trigger!
To sum it up: We will never be able to turn our homes into our favorite studios, however there are hundreds of ways to create an environment that compliments every part of your unique workout style.
#3 Remind your (future) self how good it feels to workout
This is a little tip I started doing when I was having trouble motivating myself after the second wave of lockdowns hit Los Angeles. I kept a journal in my workout space – directly after every workout, I would just write a couple of sentences explaining how I felt. Here is an example of one of the entries (excuse the language, but I did not know I would be sharing it at the time!).
“Just did Justin’s bag class. Felt like sh*t before, was in the worst mood. Feel amazing now. I went crazy on the bag. I haven’t sweat this much in a while. Feeling super grateful at the moment. Happy I did it”
The next time I was scheduled for Justin’s LIVE class, I felt sluggish and unmotivated. I read that page a couple times and reminded myself how much I truly love working out. In fact, 10/10 times, I always leave a workout feeling better than I started.
To sum it up: There’s no one who knows you better than YOU. So be your own hype man/woman!
Thank you for reading! Please comment below with any of your favorite at-home motivation secrets. For more tips and tricks on how to stay motivated, don’t forget to join our BoxUnion Digital Facebook Community.