Are you struggling to find the motivation to stick to a workout routine? Well, you’re not alone, whether you’re drained from a job, exhausted with a newborn, intimidated to start or outright lazy, the truth is motivation is easily lost when life gets tough or you don’t work at it on a regular basis.
How many new year’s resolutions did you break every February after promising yourself to stick to an exercise plan?
Well, many reasons can account for breaking your promises to yourself and you’re going to find out 6 ways to find the fitness motivation you need to get you back on track.
1. Link Exercise to Pleasure
When you hear the word exercise, your mind is most likely going to label it as a painful experience. More so, if you engage in it irregularly.
You see, as humans we are hard wired to seek comfort and avoid pain at all costs.
As you put your body through the stress of exercise, therefore, you’ll be quick to label it as a painful experience, more so if you don’t make it a habit or set any underlying purpose behind your exercise regime.
Luckily, however, your mind can choose what you derive pleasure from and it all boils down to tying your goal to a purpose and positive emotion.
Most of the time, people start exercising without ultimately knowing the emotional reason behind wanting to exercise.
‘I want to lose weight’. Sure, but why do you want to lose weight?
Maybe because you want to feel great or feel strong and healthy in your own body.
Well feel those feelings.
All you have to do is set yourself and maintain a strong underlying positive purpose behind your exercise routine and your mind will start to register the positive feelings of your vision every time you workout.
Just like any habit, the more you feel the positive feelings of the goal you want to achieve, the more results you will see. Every time you exercise, your mind will mask out the pain as it brings your fitness goal to the forefront, making exercise a more pleasurable experience.
So clearly set, define and feel your ultimate fitness purpose and your mind itself will motivate you as you program it to reach your goal.
2. Find What You Like
You may have the idea that exercise is all about running on a treadmill for 30 minutes to an hour, three times a week, until you’re covered and dripping in sweat.
Let’s face it, the treadmill isn’t exactly the most ecstatic of exercises.
Beneficial? Absolutely, but I don’t blame you for lacking the constant motivation if it feels as though you’re running on a hamster wheel.
Well, that’s some people’s cup of tea, and if it is great! BUT if it’s not yours then there are many other options out there for you to choose from.
It’s important that you like what you’re doing if you want to find the fitness motivation to really get going.
Your problem may be that you’re simply not aware of the different ways your body can exercise.
Exercise should be fun to begin with. If it isn’t, then you are limiting yourself to the wrong activity.
There are literally hundreds of different sports and exercises to choose from. Try exploring different fitness avenues until you find a few activities you best love doing.
3. Seek an Accountability Partner
It’s easy to miss or skip a workout when the only person you report to is yourself.
Chances are you’re not so likely to get up at 6am on a cold rainy day to train if you’re nicely snuggled in bed and prone to laziness.
Why? because we’re conditioned to avoid pain if nothing challenges us.
That’s where an accountability partner or personal trainer can come in handy to you. You see, in general, there’s something about disappointing or displeasing others that irks most people.
When you are committed to showing up and have someone waiting for you, you won’t want the embarrassment of having to say sorry for having slept in.
How’s that for fitness motivation?
4. Find a Role Model
Fitness can be tough to maintain over a longer stretch of time, though many people successfully manage to do so.
Whether you’re a beginner who’s intimidated to get started or a regular who’s struggling to keep consistent, looking up to a role model can be your key to fitness motivation.
In life, If there’s a goal you really want to achieve, then chances are, it means somebody has successfully accomplished that goal before you.
Not exclusively, but most of the time.
Modelling someone in the fitness space, therefore, ticking all the goal boxes you wish to achieve can drive you to keep showing up day in/day out.
By adopting their successful daily habits and routines and applying them directly into your daily schedule, you may find the success formula to keep you motivated and see the results you want to see.
Often it’s not the lack of intention that hampers your fitness motivation, but the incorrect strategy and inefficient results.
Modelling the right person and strategy and seeing consistent results on a regular basis, will almost certainly boost your morale and keep you committed to working out.
5. Brush up Your Diet
Yes, you’re always hearing about which foods are good and bad for you and why you should try out tens of different diets to feel great.
While you don’t need to necessarily enroll on a strict restrictive diet, you do however need to watch the foods you eat everyday.
If you have a regular habit of snacking on Doritos and ordering junk food for dinner, then you’re most likely not going to regularly feel great in your own skin.
When you don’t feel great in your own body, your self-esteem and energy levels usually take a dip to suboptimal levels. The result will be lower to a complete loss of fitness motivation.
Adding plenty of clean healthy foods to your diet, therefore, will help signal to the mitochondria in each one of your cells to produce more energy.
The result will be a healthier, more vibrant you. As you feel greater and lighter in your body and mind, you will find fitness motivation much easier to come by.
6. Mix it Up
Have you ever noticed that we are creatures of habit?
You may like setting a routine for yourself because you feel comfortable with what is known and familiar to you. That’s because deep down there’s something about uncertainty that scares you.
It’s normal, most humans are uncomfortable with uncertainty.
In fact, most of your daily routines tend to follow a repetitive cycle and your exercise routine most likely is no exception to that.
As you get used to one activity, your mind is quick to memorize it and switch on your autopilot function every time you workout. As a result you’re unlikely to experience any new emotional thrill or motivation.
…..And since emotions run life, we need to experience change and uncertainty to experience new positive emotions.
If you find yourself bored, therefore, or unmotivated, it’s most likely due to the lack of change in your exercise schedule.
So try to mix up your weekly exercise habits. Once you’ve found those activities you love doing, start incorporating a few of those into your week.
For example, if you’re used to simply jogging everyday for 30 minutes, try to cut it down to 3 times a week and on the other days fit in activities such as weight training, swimming and/or yoga, to name a few.
The choices are endless!
If after a few months that too gets stale, mix the routine up again. Either change the order and frequency of your exercise schedule or change the schedule and exercises altogether.
Choose whatever triggers your mind to experience change and something new in your routine.
So there you have it, these 6 tools will boost your confidence and fitness motivation to generate consistent results.
Start seeing the pain of exercise as a blessing to being able to generate and create something great. The joys of life and exercise cannot be cherished without an opposite to contrast against and be grateful.
Remember it’s completely normal not to feel like exerting on most days and throw in the towel. The motivation to do so, however, and remain committed is 100% in your control.
So it’s now time to take back charge of your mindset and start feeling like your most vibrant self again.
Are you ready?
Featured photo credit: Fitsum Admasu via unsplash.com
|||^||Psychology Today: The NeuroScience of Seeking Pleasure and Avoiding Pain|
|||^||Nature: Computations of uncertainty mediate acute stress response in humans|