Do you constantly find yourself severely lacking motivation and making excuses whenever the time comes to exercise? Use these techniques to help you overcome this problem and stop self-sabotaging.
This might be a controversial statement but you need to hear it.
It’s ok if you don’t want to workout, seriously.
Phew, there, I said it.
Although the benefits of exercise are universally accepted there’s no shame in admitting that sometimes you may not want to work out.
The trouble is, even if you don’t want to, you probably should, and that’s the tricky part.
What do you do and how do you ensure you exercise even on the days where you would much rather lounge on the sofa, instead of squatting or running on the treadmill?
If that is an issue you’ve been struggling with, don’t worry, because, in this article, I am going to explain what to do when your motivation levels are running low and how you can make sure you still complete your session.
Isn’t Motivation Enough?
Before we go on it’s worth looking at the idea of motivation and why it doesn’t work.
Ask yourself, how many times have you laced up your sneakers, only to see the weather and turn back around?
How many times have you promised to start a diet on Monday, only to promise to start again the following week?
How many times have you stated your intentions to get up early and go work out, only to find yourself hitting the snooze button when the alarm beeps and it’s time to go.
See the thing with motivation is, it’s great when you’re in the moment and feeling motivated, but not so great when you’re comfortable, warm, relaxed, and quite frankly not in the mood to go sweat, ache and put in work.
Motivation is very often useless, and whether it’s a bigger goal or event that you need to spur you on, you need to rely on something other than motivation if you’re going to get the job done, and in some examples, when you haven’t got a bigger goal to work towards, you may have to get a little creative to guarantee you don’t skip your workout.
Get Some Tricks Up Your Sleeve
There’s always going to be a certain degree of effort needed to show you do have some willingness to train. Setting your alarm, packing your bag, or finding your running shoes from the back of the closet is just the bare minimum to get the ball rolling, but when you’ve done that, there is a range of methods you can use when your motivation begins to drop.
- 1Workout Early – For those of you with a home gym, this method could be your best friend. Instead of working at set times later in the day, plan your workouts for first thing in the morning and have everything set up ready to go. Shoes, clothes, water bottles, whatever you need already laid out. Then stumble out of bed, straight into the gym, and whilst you’re still half asleep, you’ll be working out before you know it. This can also work if you’re a runner and want to get outside. Before you give yourself a chance to make excuses, just do it. Don’t think about it, just lace up and go.
- 2Pick Milestones – Whatever your choice of exercise, picking small milestones is a great way to keep your momentum up without making it too daunting. Setting off for a 10-mile run sounds horrendous before you’ve even walked out of the door, but telling yourself that you’re running to 1-mile markers, along the way and when heading back, is a great way to break that big daunting task down into small manageable chunks.
- 3Lie or Bargain With Yourself – This one works wonders. Sometimes you’ve just got to outright lie to yourself. Going to the gym after work but put off by the thought of it? Tell yourself you’ll go and warm-up but if you want to quit after the warm-up, fine, you’ll quit and go home. Chances are, once you’ve changed and got started you’ll feel better and you won’t want to leave. By telling yourself small lies like this you can trick yourself into completing your session even if you have no motivation.
- 4Put Yourself in Challenging Situations – It’s not uncommon to hear of people that purposely go somewhere, with no way of getting home to force themselves to run or walk back. This method is a little more extreme but when left without a traditional way to get home, you’ll do what’s necessary, even if you don’t want to. It could be as simple as leaving your wallet at home so that you can’t get the bus or purposely leaving your car keys at home, but by putting yourself in a bind, you can guarantee action.
- 5Learn to count – Splitting your workout into smaller, manageable phases is also a great way to complete a workout. It’s much easier to face when you’re doing a 10-minute AMRAP or 8 rounds of an EMOM workout compared to being faced with the option of tackling a 60-minute session. These workouts are short but very effective and as you start to countdown towards zero, your motivation will grow with each passing set.
It’s a common flaw, to think that motivation alone will carry you through to your goals, but the truth is motivation will only get you so far. To truly reach the heights that you desire, you need something deeper to keep you going and to keep you on track, and with that, it always helps to have other creative methods available to fall back on.
Of course, you will still require a minimum amount of effort on your part, using these tips alone will not lead to success, but they are great methods for helping you to keep going.
It’s normal for your motivation to drop in the winter months or when you’re feeling low but by finding alternative ways of working out, or committing to your goals, you can keep on top of your fitness goals and remain focused on self-improvement, making it far easier to finally achieve the results you crave.