Am I naturally motivated to exercise four times a week? Hell no! While doing it to have energy, to act as a role model for my kids, and to be strong and healthy for myself are huge motivators, some days I'm, like, "F*ck this. Can't I just sleep or eat all day instead?"
To keep me bolted to the healthy path, I have a few tricks up my capris for those days when I'm just not feeling it: this workout piggy bank is definitely one of them. For every completed 30- to 60-minute workout, I take a dollar from my wallet, and I place it in the jar. For longer, more intense workouts (like my recent half-marathon training runs), I pay myself $5.
Yes, it is technically my money to begin with, but being able to put a dollar into my workout piggy bank gets me psyched. Once the jar is filled, I'm like an 8-year-old after a night of trick-or-treating: I lay out all the money, count it up, and then think about how I want to spend it — in a healthy way, of course. I use it to splurge on a pricey fitness top I normally would never buy, or this time around, I'm putting it toward that GPS watch I've had my eye on. Not only do I get rewarded for my hard work, but using the reward that comes from the money I have saved also reminds me how hard I've been working and makes me want to keep it up.
The jar sits on my kitchen counter so I see it a few times a day. It stares back at me when I'm thinking about eating ice cream for dinner, prompts me to pack a healthy lunch, and reminds me to get that load of laundry in the washer so I have a sports bra for tomorrow's workout. It acts as a visual reminder that although my workouts are just a small part of my day, they are priceless in the grand scheme of things — and a huge investment in my future health.