Mind Over Matter: Better Prep for Better Workouts

“Get your head in the game!” Coaches say it to players all the time to get them to focus. The same advice can help you be more enthusiastic about your workouts. Here are five ideas:

1. Set both short-term and long-term goals based on your current abilities. Celebrate each one as you reach it and then re-set it. According to the American Council on Exercise, a goal should meet five different criteria to be effective. Make sure each goal is:

Specific: You should be able to articulate it in one simple sentence.
Measurable: The goal should be something you can see, like an amount of weight lost or duration of a workout.
Attainable: The goal should represent a challenge to you, but not be impossible to reach.
Relevant: It should be important to you and your life.
Time-Bound: The time you allot to reach the goal shouldn’t be open-ended, which could lead to procrastination. Set a reasonable time period for achieving it.

2. Identify what type of pre-exercise prep gets you psyched, such as quiet focused breathing or