When Motivation is Low (or Nonexistent)
You will not always be motivated. There will be days, weeks, months where your motivation will run low.
This is when your true colors show.
When motivation is gone, dedication kicks in. Dedication is what will get you to your goals. Dedication is what will keep you going when you're tired, you're busy, you just don't feel like it.
If there's anything that this fitness journey has taught me, it's that dedication > motivation. So, accept that now and practice dedication. This will translate into every part of your life. You'll notice. Others will notice.
However, this doesn't mean you can't make an effort to re-discover that motivation; here are a few tips to find some of that motivation -
- (Re)define a goal
- Evaluate what kinds of goals can get you motivated. For example, set a numeric goal of some weight amount or rep amount to work up to, set an aesthetic goal for an upcoming event or vacation, or sign up for a race or competition to work towards. If you have a goal and you're still not motivated, revaluate your goal or set micro goals.
- Switch up the activity
- If you always do the same exercise and you're starting to lose motivation - try something else! Go lift weights or run outside or take a spin class or do a HIIT workout. Who knows, maybe you'll find something else that lights your fire or you'll remember how much you love the activity you always do.
- Take a week of lower-intensity
- Sometimes, you may just need a break. Maybe not a full break from your workouts (I find that can hurt motivation even further), but a partial break. You still go do your workouts, but you keep the intensity lower - you don't go as heavy as usual on the weights or you run a bit slower/less milage or you don't go to spin as many times this week. I find this can get me excited to go hard again.
- Listen to a podcast or a new playlist
- If I'm not feeling my workout, sometimes I need an extra something to keep me engaged. That's when I start the podcasts or look for a new Spotify playlist. Lately, my favorite podcasts are Redefine Healthy Radio, EMBody Radio, and The Health Code. As for playlists, nothing gets me as pumped as some awesome 90's music that I can sing along to - just go to Spotify > Moods & Genres > Decades > find a 90's playlist and enjoy.
- Implement the "I have to at least start" rule
- This is my favorite rule. If I don't feel like going to exercise, my rule is: I have to get dressed and start. I have to give it a true effort. After I get warmed up and start and if I'm still not feeling it, I give myself permission to take that as a rest day. But typically, just starting is enough to propel me through the rest of the workout.
Again, you won't always be motivated. You have to practice dedication. However, you can also implement some changes to help you rediscover your motivation and I hope these techniques help you do so!