If you are lacking motivation to workout, you are not alone. It’s totally fine if you feel lazy and unmotivated towards your fitness goals or other life goals. In fact, it is very natural. But, and this is a big “but”, you can’t let it get the best of you. If you want to achieve your goals in terms of health and fitness, then you need to stay consistent. You don’t need to be as dedicated as Arnold Schwarzenegger was back in his hay days but some consistency is going to be required if you want to achieve your goals. Today we’re going to talk about some things that you can do to increase your motivation. (And feel free to share what works for you by leaving a comment below!)
Plaster Your Goals… Everywhere
Working out “because you have to” is not a good enough reason and it won’t get you anywhere, in our opinion. You have to come up with specific reasons why you want to be healthy and fit. Maybe you love to travel to warm destinations, but you are extremely self-conscious and hate the way you look in a bathing suit? Or maybe you are having health issues (knee pain, gout, etc.) and you know your weight and food choices are making it worse? Whatever it is, make sure it’s something specific write it down and read it every day. Actually, what works even better… find pictures or images of the Web that mimic how you want to look and feel, and post them everywhere. Make sure you see them when you wake up in the morning, when you are making breakfast, when you are at work, when you go to bed, etc. The constant reminder will encourage you to keep going when you don’t feel like it.
Plan Ahead – Yes… It’s a Must and It Works
Planning your week can help you to feel like you have stuff to do and it gives you a sense of responsibility when it comes to doing specific tasks. We get it that most people don’t even plan their meals, let alone their days and weeks, but it’s highly effective. Don’t believe us? Try it out for two weeks in a row to see what happens. All you have to do is look at the upcoming week and then jot down 3 times that you are going to work out, then go a step further and plan 1-2 “backup” work out times. Why? The universe has a funny way of derailing your plans sometimes, so it’s good if you miss one workout, at least you have a backup. Checking them off as you do them will make you feel good about yourself and will motivate you to do the next. Don’t believe us? Then try it out for 2-3 weeks in a row to see if you end up exercising more than usual.
Shake It Up A Bit
Sometimes, all you need is a change in your routine to get motivated again. If you’re bored of working out, then chances are you are tired of the exercise that you’re doing every day at the gym. Try and switch up your workout routine, and add new exercises so that you feel motivated to go and hit the gym. On the same line as your first tip, try planning a new routine every 4-5 weeks to keep things interesting. If you always have a tendency to run on the treadmill, change it to an elliptical machine or bike. If you always do the same strength training workouts (i.e.: A / B workout, etc.) then switch it to something else.
Make Yourself Accountable To Someone (Don’t Roll Your Eyes, Just Keep Reading)
One great way to stick to your goals is to actually share them with someone, and the more people the better. We know it sounds weird and it might be outside of your comfort zone, but it works. Why? Because a “shift” happens inside of you when you start putting your goals out there for everybody to see. It’s like you feel guilty if you don’t live up to them, so you work extra hard to make them happen. Getting a workout partner who has similar goals than you can help you to stay on track, especially if they are the type of person who will make you accountable when you don’t show up one day, or don’t put in your full potential. If money isn’t a problem for you, a personal trainer is great option because they will go through all your goals (on a regular basis) and can give you specific workouts and nutrition plans to get you there faster. If that’s not an option and you can’t find someone to do it with you, join an online forum. There are a ton of amazing people hanging out on online forums every day (Facebook, Reddit, etc.). People just like you, who are struggling to get the motivation, and others who are extremely good at motivating others.
Workout At Home Instead of The Gym
Sometimes going to the gym can be the hardest part, which is why many people have a home gym where they can exercise. You don’t need a lot of money to set up your own home gym, a couple of dumbbells and resistance bands should do the trick. That combined with a boat-load of great YouTube videos, you can work out for hours at home and feel amazing afterwards. The great thing about doing it at home is that you don’t waste time getting dressed, driving to the gym, working out, showering, then coming back, etc. This is time-consuming and one of the most common reasons why people skip it. If you feel like getting to the gym is the hardest part for you, then get some equipment at your home so that you can do your workouts inside the comfort of your home. You won’t regret it.
Sleep… And The Timing Of Your Workout
Another big culprit when it comes to not feeling motivated to work out, is a lack of sleep. Unless you are the type of person that can go about your day on 4-5 hours of sleep, then you need to focus on this. Yes, we know that it sounds simpler than it is and it’s not always easy to get more sleep time in, but it’s a must. If sleep issues are your reason for not working out, do what you need to do to get past it, or at least make it better. See your doctor about getting referred to a sleep specialist, stop watching TV at least an hour before you go to bed, lay off the caffeine 5-6 hours before going to bed (or maybe longer if needed), etc. We’re not saying that caffeine is bad, in fact, caffeine about 30 minutes before a workout has been known to give you a boost of energy and the motivation that you need to actually do the workout. Just keep the caffeine to earlier in the day.
Also play around with the time of day that you exercise. Sometimes a person’s body is just “wired” to work out at a specific time. For example, some people will get a better workout when they first wake up in the morning, while others it’s the complete opposite and the only time they can work out is later in the day. The best way to find out, is to test it out yourself. Example – for 2 weeks, work out in the morning. Then two weeks after that, try lunch time or after work. Keep an eye on your energy levels during the day and see what works for you.
Look, it’s completely natural to feel unmotivated and it happens to everyone. Don’t beat yourself up for it and please don’t lose hope. Sometimes the best thing (and only thing) you can do is to suck it up and work out anyways, regardless of how you are feeling. It might not be the best workout ever, or the longest, but you’ll definitely feel better afterwards. Just keep that in mind.
If you have time to stick around, check out our Health Blog for more great information.