4 Things You Need to Make Exercise a Habit
It's what you'll use to get out of an I-really-don't-want-to-work-out state of mind, and it needs to be internal.
How it helps: "When you're focused on an external outcome, whether that's looking a certain way or, like some of the athletes I work with, having an undefeated season, it makes you anxious, increases muscle tension, and negatively affects your mood," says Leah Lagos, PsyD, a sports psychologist in New York. No one wants to work out when they feel that way. So turn it inward, which will make it motivating rather than draining. Lagos works with her clients to focus on how they want to feel when they achieve their goal rather than the goal itself. It could also be a simpler, everyday motivation that drives you. "I know that I'm nicer and more agreeable to the people in my life when I work out," says Rupa Mehta, a fitness instructor and author of The Nalini Method: 7 Workouts for 7 Moods.