We all know some people that always find the motivation to go to the gym. They always look like they have energy and nothing will get in between them and their workout. However, after having interviewed many of them, I can tell you that what you see on the outside is not necessarily what they always feel on the inside. They also struggle with motivation, and often have to kick themselves in the butt to get to the gym.
This article serves the purpose of giving you the tips you need to exercise when you don't really feel inspired.
So let's get to it. How do you workout when you're lacking the motivation?
The reality is regardless of who you are and how disciplined you are, there are going to be days when you just don't feel it. But not feeling it, doesn't have to mean not working out!
The good news is that there are tricks you can master and tools you can use to motivate yourself when you're feeling down and transform you lack of motivation into a driving force.
Below are our top 10 hacks to find and build your workout motivation:
- Concentrate on why
- Don't think just do
- Take little steps
- Develop a habit
- Track progress for inspiration
- Concentrate on the positives
- Recognize why you are not feeling motivated
- What is motivation and is it necessary to workout?
- Track your after workout condition
- Use an accountability partner or a support group
It is very important to note that everyone may have a different reason to loose motivation, because we are all different and we all have different lives that impact us differently.
However, this list works for everyone. You don't have to do all of these, even though you could most definitely, if you feel they would benefit you. So start by identifying the ones that would benefit you most and focus mainly on those. The objective is to figure out what works for you!
So let's check out each one in detail.
FOCUS ON WHY
This one is first on the list for a reason. Knowing your "why" in everything in life is probably one of the most powerful mindset tools ever, that will help you clarify and achieve your goals must faster.
If you genuinely know why you are exercising, why you established these goals and stay focused on your "why", then making exercise a priority and maintaining that motivation will come easy. It's at that point where you can really take control of your destiny, because motivation becomes part of your mission and no longer something you need to try to develop. Your perception will also change and the energy you put towards your goals will change as well.
Whatever your why is you are exercising for, make sure you always keep that in mind!
DO NOT THINK SIMPLY DO
It's as simple as you hear it and I speak from experience when I say that on the days I lack motivation, sometimes all I need to do is get started with the workout. As soon as I get my blood pumping, there is no stopping me and I become so proud of having made that first step. So don't think about it too much, just do it!
Humans are a fascinating breed, very intelligent, sometimes too intelligent for their own good. We tend to instinctively rationalize, think and overthink, which opens the door for excuses. This is often the reason behind our failures and it's not all our fault. Humans have been preprogrammed to do everything in their power to avoid uncomfortable situations and pain. So don't be too hard on yourself.
The key here is to be organized. Set everything up, so you're ready to go. Have your equipment and food prepped, your calendar up to date, your plan established and be prepared to execute!
Make it, so there is absolutely nothing to reconsider and don't think twice, just go!
TAKE LITTLE ACTIONS
Wanting to change our bodies and our lifestyles is not a small task and can be quite overwhelming when focusing on the end result. But like anything in life, our bodies, our work, our relationships, we can only do so much every day and we need to pace ourselves with smaller goals that will turn into the big goal over time. Remind yourself that this is not a sprint, it's a marathon and you want to make this a sustainable change, so try not to burn out in the process. One workout at a time!
CREATE A ROUTINE
If you're just getting started with exercising, it can definitely be more challenging and intimidating for you.
Your body is untrained and you haven't built up a routine yet. Gyms can definitely be an uncomfortable setting at first when you don't know what you are doing. You will probably also need to reprogram your body from all the negative habits you've adopted.
Creating a habit is much more than just working out over and over again until it sticks. It requires structure, practice and all the little things you do to get into the appropriate mindset to smash your workout. These small things such as putting on your training equipment, filling your water bottle, having a pre-workout meal, lead up to creating your routine and develop a winning attitude.
Make sure you create a routine that fits well into your lifestyle and that you can stick with overtime. Anything else will become overwhelming and won't be sustainable.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS FOR MOTIVATION
If you want to build your motivation, tracking your progress is essential. You can do this by monitoring your weight, looking at body pictures and tracking other progress indices.
For example, when you start lifting heavier, when your exercises become more complex, more challenging and you compare your before and after pictures, all these become positive reinforcement that you absolutely need to focus on. These remind us why we do it, how exercising helps us and especially how we will look if we stop exercising. Use all this motivation as gas to help you push through barriers.
When motivation is low, its all about using all these triggers and habits that will get us pumped to go to the gym and destroy the workout!
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES
If you want to kill your motivation, then self-doubt, a negative attitude and focusing on the difficulties associated with working out, will definitely do that for you.
You need to shift your mindset and focus on the positives and the final objectives.
Try to identify the negative idea patterns as they emerge, and replace them with positive thoughts. Here are some tools that will help you do that:
- focus on your why
- start a post-workout journal
- take progression photos
- look at the positive results of working out
You can also establish your own list of favorable gym affirmations that will supercharge your motivation in times of need.
DETERMINE WHY YOU ARE NOT INSPIRED TO WORKOUT
Having tips and tools can be incredibly beneficial in times of low motivation, however it's always better to prevent than to cure.
Firstly, eliminating the elements that are triggering the lack of motivation is of outmost importance, but recognizing this is easier said than done. The very first step is to identify what the causes are for loosing motivation and attack them one by one.
Below is a list of some main reasons people usually get unmotivated and hopefully this can help you get started with yours.
- Training for the wrong reasons, i.e. To please someone else or because everyone is doing it.
- Not having a "why" and just training for the heck of it.
- Having a workout routine you don't enjoy.
- You're focused on the negatives.
- Making excuses of why you shouldn't, or even worse, why you can't!
WHAT IS MOTIVATION AND DO YOU REALLY NEED IT?
Motivation is a word that gets thrown around a lot and some people would debate whether motivation is really needed when you are already determined to succeed.
So does motivation even matter?
Do you need to be motivated to work out?
What is motivation anyhow?
It's not that I am stating that motivation does not exist or that it isn't valuable, however motivation in itself can end up being the excuse as well as the limiting element to not working out even if we placed so much emphasis on those words.
I strongly believe that as you advance in your fitness journey and you start building strong habits, routines and best practices, and clearly define what your "why" is, motivation takes the back seat because passion, determination and perseverance take over and push you forward.
TRACK YOUR AFTER WORKOUT STATUS
Most of us already know that the way we feel before a workout and after a workout is completely different. Working out has the ability to completely shift your mindset.
So get a pen and paper (use an app if you're on the move) and start a post-workout journal for the following:
- Write down exactly how you are feeling after your workout.
- How you feel the work out went.
- What do you feel good about and what you liked most about it.
This positive reinforcement will boost your motivation and these documented facts will serve their purpose when you feel like bailing on your workout.
GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY FRIEND OR A SUPPORT GROUP
When all else falls short, having a gym partner that hold you accountable for commitment, is sometimes all you need as a good kick in the butt to get you to the gym.
* It's important you choose your partner wisely, because a wrong choice can get you the opposite results you're looking for..
If you feel that there is no-one in your circle you can partner with for accountability and motivation, then make sure you turn to the internet where there are plenty of support groups nowadays that will be happy to help you out.