Chances are, you’ve been in or are currently in a workout rut. It’s hard to stay motivated ALL the time. I’ve been through it many times and probably still will. However, I’m not letting that ruin everything. It’s a fitness journey so there are ups and downs. I’m not using it as an excuse to stop working out. I may take small breaks but it doesn’t end there. I keep my head up, look at the brighter side of things and get back into it!
Sometimes, I wake up and I just love my bed more than ever. The warm blankets, my soft pillow… you know. I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to go to work or do anything. I want to be my lazy self and curl up in my bed. Sometimes feeling down about something will make me not want to face the day.
There are times we feel lazy and there are times we actually NEED a break. If you’re physically tired & fatigued, don’t push yourself. Allow yourself rest and your body will reward you later. If you’re lazy, then that’s a different story. Here are some ideas to help kickstart your motivation!
1. Do What You Enjoy
If you hate running, don’t force yourself. If you don’t like a certain type of workout, why do it? It’s not fun and not something to look forward to. I personally enjoy strength and circuit training. I love bootcamp style workouts. When I know I have that type of workout planned ahead of me, I look forward to it because I ENJOY it. It doesn’t feel like an obligation or chore. Exercising does not have to be boring. You’re more likely to stick to a fitness program if you actually enjoy it. Love what you do and do it well!
2. Break up the routine
Doing the exact same thing week to week will get boring. Eventually, it’ll feel like a routine. Try a new spin class or fitness studio. Get into a group setting and see how you enjoy that. Some people have a hard time staying motivated when working out alone. Find a workout buddy or a studio to keep you accountable. Maybe you can even keep a variety. Go to the gym 2x a week, do outdoor workouts 2x a week and hit a fitness studio 2x a week. Do what works for you.
3. Tailor your workouts
Too tired to do strength or circuit training? Go on a walk or short jog outside instead. Any type of physical activity to get you moving is beneficial. You don’t need to be dripping sweating to consider it a good workout. When I get bored of doing LISS on the treadmill or stairmaster at my gym, I’ll take my LISS outside. I’ll walk to a grocery market to get a drink and walk back home. LISS, done. If you have a 45-minute workout planned and you don’t have enough time, cut it to 30 minutes. Any workout is a good workout.
4. Schedule It In
Make an appointment with yourself to get in your workout. Don’t wake up and just say you’ll try to get in the workout sometime during the day when you’re free. Make a specific time slot in your daily schedule. Schedule your workout like any other important activity you have and don’t flake on yourself.
5. Make Specific Goals & Reward Yourself
Write it on paper to ensure you know exactly what your goal is. Make it specific. Don’t make your goal “go to the gym more” or “eat healthier”. Instead, make your goal “go to the gym in the morning before work 3-4x a week for the next month” or “for my snacks, eating less chips and replacing it with nuts and fruits.” Make your goal tailored for your lifestyle and what your capabilities are. Don’t make it impossible to reach. Start by making specific small goals you can reach in 1 week, then slowly begin making bigger goals as you progress. Reward yourself after because you know you deserve it!
6. Make a Workout Calendar
I find this to be extremely helpful. I make my own calendar devoted to tracking my workouts and hang it right next to my desk. Every Sunday, I plan my entire weeks workout plan as well as the exact time I’ll be doing it. For example, I write down “Legs 12PM” on Monday and “LISS 6PM” on Tuesday. When the workout is done, I check off the box next to the workout. It’s motivating to physically look at the calendar and see what I’ve accomplished.
7. Make it a Lifestyle
You can get in some physical activity here and there throughout your day. Ditch the elevator and take the stairs. If you’re watching TV and a commercial comes on, get up and walk around your house. Take a short 15-20 minute walk during your lunch break at work. Sitting for long periods of time may negatively affect your health. If you sit for many hours a day, get up every hour or so to get some water, grab a snack or go to the bathroom to get your blood flowing.
8. New Workout Gear
New workout clothes is just another motivation because who doesn’t love cute workout clothes? When you’ve reached a goal, reward yourself with a new top or pair of leggings that you’ve been eyeing. Another thing I’ve heard of before is putting in $1 towards a pair of new shoes for every mile that you run. If your shoes cost $100, you’ll be able to get them when you run 100 miles. Obviously, this is if you are training heavy on running! You can do this for anything else you want to reward yourself with! Maybe you can put in $2 for every workout do towards your “workout gear fund”. 🙂
9. Be Flexible
If life has been overwhelming and you’re physically and mentally tired, getting in a workout may not be the best idea. Give yourself 1-2 days off and be gentle with yourself. Go get a massage, get more sleep at night or even take naps! Once you’ve given yourself that break to recharge, set new goals and get moving!
How do I challenge myself?
Challenging myself is about taking myself out of my comfort zone to try something new. Trying something new is taking risks of failing and realizing I’m not great at it. However, it’s a way to grow and expose my strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. I do get embarrassed at times because I’m not good at everything but we all have different talents and capabilities! Remember that!! Just because you aren’t good at something doesn’t mean you give up. Even though it may be discouraging at times, I try to see it as a way to discover more about myself. I continue to challenge myself to different things which I love because I learn a lot! In terms of working out, I challenge myself by not always sticking to the same workouts. I change things up but increasing weights, making my own moves or trying new fitness studios. This helps keep things interesting! If I feel comfortable doing something, I’ll change it up the next time to challenge myself in a different area. Recently, I’ve been wanting to go boxing and bouldering!! 🙂
Do I get embarrassed working out at the gym?
At times, I still do. I don’t want people to see me struggle while doing push ups, burpees or jump lunges. I’m jumping around everywhere and people will think I’m weird. Like… “why is that girl jumping around everywhere because it sounds like she’s about to die”. It’s embarrassing right? I still have this fear and it’s hard to get over. However, it’s hard to tell myself “screw it” and ignore these thoughts.
If you feel uncomfortable, try to find a small spot at the gym and do your workout there. I use to only go to the gym at noon, which is when the gym is pretty empty. Each gym has its “dead” hours. Once you find out when those are, you can try to make it at that time! If not, you can always do it at home. Whatever the case is, commit to your workouts. Please don’t let this embarrassment hinder you from working out! That’s the last thing you want. This fitness journey and healthy lifestyle change is something to be proud of!
If you have any other tips on staying motivated, please share 🙂 I want to hear about how YOU stay motivated!