It’s been a minute since I’ve posted – it’s due to being almost overwhelmingly busy with life.. all good things though! Believe me when I say trying to find the time to fit everything in has been a struggle. And that’s when it hit me – this is usually the number one excuse people have to not working out or eating clean. They don’t have time. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it stems from a lack of motivation. If you really wanted to accomplish something, you would make it happen no matter what. Unfortunately, motivation isn’t something that you find once and then it sticks with you. You have to cultivate it monthly, weekly, even daily. That’s not to say that some days aren’t just harder than others.
In the fitness world especially, it can be difficult to maintain motivation. Maybe you aren’t seeing results right away or you are bored with your current training, or worse you aren’t following any sort of structure and you just wander through the gym. There isn’t one right or fail safe way to stay motivated or find motivation – you need to find what works for you. These are just a few of the ways that I’ve discovered help me.
Set A Goal
We’ve heard this a million times – set a measurable goal. The key is that the goal should be personal and meaningful to you. Maybe you want to be able to do 10 pull-ups, run a half marathon, or compete in a show. Maybe you want to hit a certain body fat percentage. Your goal could even be to hit the gym 3 times a week. Whatever it is, write it down, and make sure it’s something that you can track. If you say your goal is to “get in shape” or “tone”, my question to you is, how do you measure that? The second part to this is to actually track your training. It doesn’t have to be a spreadsheet with color coded sections (I do love these though), it can be a notebook that you write things down in with a pen if you like.
I’m a very technical and methodical person – so I love having structure in my workouts and overall programming. I like to know what muscle group(s) I’m training, how many sets and reps, if I’m doing cardio that day or not, etc. There is always a little variance however… a machine may be in use or out-of-order or I may tweak something mid-workout and need to adjust accordingly. If you are deciding what to hit at the gym when you get there, or just wandering around looking for any empty equipment – chances are that you aren’t seeing any real results. The other side of that scenario is doing the same routine, over and over until the end of time. Similarly, if you are using the same training technique (BFR, supersets, dropsets, etc) all the time, you will see diminishing returns.
It may sound overly simple, but having a couple of go-to gym playlists can help boost your motivation, even if you’ve had the day from hell. It doesn’t even have to be music – I have a couple of playlists that are motivational speaking tracks to get me through tough training sessions. There is nothing more frustrating and time-consuming than skipping through what feels like 500 songs during your workout to find something you can tolerate through your next set.
How many pairs of workout leggings are too much? Asking for a friend… I love buying new gym gear, especially as a way to keep myself motivated. Right now I’m dreaming about wearing some of my gym gear that I wore pre-pregnancy. You don’t have to buy the most expensive stuff out there, and you don’t need to buy things all the time. Try using gym gear as a reward for hitting one of your goals you set for yourself – if you’ve been following your nutrition and training like a boss and have hit a weight/body fat goal you set, why not celebrate with a new tank or t-shirt?
Working out by yourself can be an awesome way to relieve stress at the end of the day or psych yourself up to have a great day. And then, there are times that you need a little extra kick in the rear. Set up a gym date with a friend, partner, spouse, trainer, etc. You are far more likely to show up and push hard if someone else is expecting you to. Imagine getting up at 5 am to meet your friend at the gym only to find out that they cancelled last minute – are you ever going to let them live that down? Would you want to be the one that cancelled?
These methods can be used outside of the fitness world as well. Create goals, set a plan, and reward yourself for making progress. What are some of the ways that help you stay motivated?
Photo credit: Monique Caves @monique_caves
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