Motivtation is a Funny Thing!
Motivation, especially exercise motivation, can be really tricky at times. It’s a wonderful feeling when we have it, but all too often it seems to desert us when we need it most.
“How do you stay motivated to exercise?” is a common question in my Facebook group. We have a monthly thread that’s mostly used to track progress towards our exercise for the month. Even so, a lot of group members struggle to reach their target.
Because consistency is actually the key. Doing something even when you don’t really feel like it and that’s not easy.
Inspiration and motivation in general, not just exercise motivation, naturally ebbs and flows. No-one is motivated all the time – no matter what they may portray on social media!
The other important point to keep in mind is that motivation comes from taking action. You know how you feel great after a workout? That’s when you feel motivated to do it again. If you can get your head around this concept, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals.
So how do you take action when you don’t feel like it? You just do it. Really! As I said above, it’s not easy. And it’s best not to think about it or you’ll talk yourself out of it.
For me, I make sure my exercise happens by scheduling it into my calendar every week. I don’t always make myself do whatever’s scheduled tho. If my day calls for a tough gym session or a run and I really don’t feel like it, I opt for a short walk instead. The important thing is to do something consistently so it becomes a habit.
Of course, different things work for different people. So I put the question to a bunch of fellow healthy living experts and here are their best tips:
I’ll admit I am usually kicking and screaming my way to the gym most mornings, but once I’m there and get started, I feel so much better! I try to keep that in mind if I’m feeling particularly unmotivated. I’m also lucky enough to have a partner who loves working out, and doesn’t miss a session for the world. It’s hard to live with someone like that and be lazy! When I feel particularly uninspired I like to try a new class and challenge myself. My latest addiction is Barre and I can see my body strengthening and changing with each class I do, so that helps me stay motivated to keep going too!
Almost every time I train, I feel better afterwards and am in a great mood, so when I don’t feel like training, I think about how good I’ll feel afterwards. On days when the motivation is low, I tell myself to just get through 20-minutes. If you can make 20-minutes, you can stay on track with your goals and results. And usually once I get started, my mojo is back and I get through a good workout. It’s also important to know the difference between low motivation, and your body needing a rest, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
I use my Apple watch to keep me motivated and consistently exercising as I’m able to track my activity for the day in real time. I know I have to “close my activity rings” before I go to bed – no excuses. Even if it’s 11pm and I’m utterly exhausted I might squeeze in some star jumps just to reach my activity goals.
Firstly, I make sure I choose a form of movement that I actually enjoy like dancing and yoga. I also find that moving my body in the morning means that I’m more likely to get it done and that choosing something I can do at home takes away the excuse and resistance of having to travel somewhere. I’ve been loving the online dance program by Rachael Finch.
It really helps me to have a support system. I carpool with my friend to Boot Camp in the mornings and she really helps me stay accountable. We also have a Facebook group to help motivate and anytime I miss class I make it a point to message my trainer so making excuses is not an option.
I have two large dogs that need a lot of exercise and long walks, this helps because I don’t have a choice. I also try to make it a part of my everyday routine, rather than go to the gym all the time I try and take the stairs rather than elevator, walk or bike rather than drive, and do push ups, squats etc while I am watching TV. I also find activities that I enjoy, I go rock climbing, swimming, tennis and yoga which I love so I don’t need to force myself to do it, I actually want to.
Motivational techniques I use when I don’t feel like exercising is watching youtube exercise videos with dance. It makes me wanna join in and inspires me to get the body I dream of ha.
I tell myself that even a small workout is better than no workout at all. I signed up for a program where I have a series of short, 15 minute workouts, that I can access online and that you can do anywhere. If I’m stuck for time, I do one of these and always feel better after.
I enrolled in a stroller bootcamp class that lets me bring my kids, so I don’t have to worry about childcare. The moms are so nice and I look forward to socializing as well as exercising. Also, when I really don’t feel like going because I’m exhausted, sometimes I drink a little Ningxia Red or Ningxia Nitro. The Nitro gives me a pick-me-up without caffeine or sugar. It’s infused with essential oils, botanical extracts, D-ribose, Korean ginseng, and green tea extract.
The thing about staying motivated to exercise is to change the way we look at exercise and find something we enjoy doing. That way, to exercise is not a chore anymore and would require less motivation because its just something you normally do. I guess the hard thing is finding what we love doing. As a mum of two, there is a couple of things I do to ensure that I get my exercise daily. I volunteer as a walking group leader once a week to make sure I get one big walk with my daughter. I also have a small weekly chart on my wall and I tick off when I do my walks or strengthening exercises for the week. Visually its great to help me keep track of how much I have done for the week.
I’m sure you’ll find something to suit from all of these different ideas. Let me know over on Facebook how you’re getting on and what’s working for you.
Don’t forget to pin this for later!