THE REAL REASON YOU'RE FEELING UNMOTIVATED TO WORKOUT EVERYDAY
Sometimes we've fallen off the fitness wagon and have absolutely no motivation but just CANNOT seem to get ourselves back on track.
We try to get up early to go to the gym but then find every excuse not to exercise or show up. Then those excuses are compounded by other life stressors (like financial difficulties, relationship issues, shitty-job-syndrome etc.)
& you keep asking yourself, "How can I get out of this rut?!" or "Why can't I get my self back to the gym!"
When I started my fitness journey, I was pretty surprised that getting to the gym was definitely hard (at first) but staying motivated to keep showing up was 10X harder -- especially because the motivation does wear off after a couple of weeks.
One of the most important lessons I've learned being a certified personal trainer is that staying consistent is a much better indicator of your success than how motivated you feel in the beginning ever can be.
THE 2 FAQ THAT I'LL BE DISCUSSING IN DEPTH TODAY:
I feel like I'm lacking motivation and admit that I've have fallen off. What should I do?
How do you stay motivated to work out?
First and foremost: If you've ever fallen off, I just want you to know that it is completely normal. It's normal to have off-days when you just can’t be bothered to do anything.
If you've been working hard, it can be your bodies way of letting you know you need to calm the f*ck down OR that you need to recover and recharge (or a little bit of both). And since you're not a robot ... that’s okay.
What's not okay is you giving up completely.
The problem usually comes when that normal “off day” turns into 7 days, then 7 weeks and before you know it you look back on your calendar to realize we haven’t been back to the gym in MONTHS.
BELOW ARE THE REAL REASONS YOU’RE FEELING UNMOTIVATED AND HOW WE CAN CHANGE THAT TODAY.
Reason #1: It’s not YOUR goal
How does this even happen? This happens when you choose a goal based off of someone else's desire for you. When you feel the need to make someone else happy -- be it, your doctor, your boyfriend, your sister, your bestie or someone telling you “you should” or "need to" to do something.
That spike in motivation that has come from an outside source (who I'm sure they love you and want the best for you) will only work for a little. This only works temporarily and eventually without noticing you'll start to slack. You then realize "your" goal doesn’t really matter to you and feels completely foreign.
A lot of times a goal may seem desirable to you at first, but once you start digging you might be surprised to find out it's not actually that important to you.
This, in turn, affects your mindset. Your subconscious knows that it wasn't your idea and you're just not ready to commit.
So, how do you determine whether the goal you've set is, in fact, your goal?
Right now, write down and describe why this goal matters to you. Now, when you finish, reflect did you feel good while writing it and reading it out loud?
If you don't feel positive about your goal, this may be a clear indicator that it's not yours. Although women are often looked at as the nurtures and caretakers, I often feel that this can inhibit our own ability to care for and nurture ourselves, our goals and aspirations.
Remember that this is your fitness journey? Ask yourself, "What do I want."
Reason #2: You haven’t gotten clear on your why
Once you get clear on what you want then you need to have a specific and meaningful reason behind your workouts that goes beyond motivation.
Motivation is a dime a dozen girl, it's going to come and go! Motivation is not a long-standing emotion. No one feels motivated 24/7 (not even me!)
The “I’m supposed to” response is not going to be an acceptable answer at this point in your journey. The first step to finding what your WHY is, doing personal inventory to identify your core values.
Your core values are your most deeply held beliefs and they guide your behavior.
When our core values are clear to us we have a greater sense of self and of the actions, we want to take. Your core values aren't just what’s important to you but the things that you refuse to waiver on.
You’re going to want to take an inventory and ask yourself why you're on your fitness journey in the first place. Some questions that you want to consider asking yourself is:
- Are you doing this to building muscle?
- Is it so that you can play with your kids? (without getting tired)
- Do you want to feel strong?
- Do you want to be able to be able to walk into the gym and feel confident?
- Is it the fact you want to wear a bikini this summer?
- Is it your health?
Once you know your why and have identified your core values you can reverse engineer it to constantly remind yourseld on why you're doing this.
Your core values will also change over time. So periodically, you'll want to get clear on what has caused those changes and if you need to shift or change your fitness goals.
Whether that's making it your cell phone background, getting it printed on a tank top, or a mug, writing it on your whiteboard in your room or repeating it to yourself every morning as a positive affirmation (do whatever works for you).
I want to use a relationship analogy because we have to treat our goals the same way we treat the people we date. You wouldn't start dating a guy (or girl) just because you're bored You wouldn't settle for less just because they're available. (hopefully not!)
Some of the reasons you'd know if you should continually date this person would be questions like:
- Do I like the way they make me feel when I'm around them?
- Do they make my life better?
- Are they good company?
- Do they make me laugh?
If they're wack, or you don't vibe with them, or they're stressing you TF out or suck as a human being, you'd quickly come to your senses and say “This person is not for me.”
The same should be true for your goals and what you're doing!
Once you have your Why's and your core values written down, I need you to be able to identify what is it about your goal that adds to you as a person and makes you feel better and more expansive
In other words, we gotta dig deep Y'all.
Not only do you want to be motivated but you need to emotionally connect to your reason behind it. If you don't connect to the core is not going to be able to stay consistent.
THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE CONSISTENCY IS ONE OF THE MOST UNDERRATED SUPPLEMENTS IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY!
Once your goal is aligned with your core values; then the thought of doing the workout or eating healthy will trigger a positive gut feeling. That positive feeling is what's going to get you the discipline to stay on track until you have nailed it.
Chose a goal/gym/workout program/trainer that you are really excited about and matches with your values and then run towards it.
RELATED POSTS: THE 5 SECRETS TO GETTING RESULTS AT THE GYM
Reason #3 You Haven't Determined Your Readiness For Change
The last part of this process is determining which stage of change you're in.
When I became a personal trainer, I learned about the stages of change and how every single person is going to go and be at different level.
Some people reach out to me asking for help BUT they’re not actually ready to change.
There is no judgment in that, but for you to be able to stay consistent in your journey you're going to need to decipher which stage you're currently in.
Although everyone thinks they're ready to get fit that doesn't mean they actually are. This is what we in the fitness industry call the transtheoretical model of behavior change OR your readiness to change.
So, for example if a person isn't ready to make a change (regardless of how passionate they are about it) it will not stick.
You should know which stage you’re in and also be aware that we can all (regardless of which stage we're currently on) can relapse and reenter any stage at any time. Let me break this down for you a little bit further. There are 5 different stages that a person can be in:
PRECONTEMPLATION (NOT READY)
CONTEMPLATION (GETTING READY)
Each stage is VERY different.
- Precontemplators: are often characterized as resistant, unmotivated, or unready for help. People in this stage don't intend to take action in the foreseeable future, usually measured as the next six months. Being uninformed or under-informed about the consequences of one’s behavior may cause a person to be in this first stage.
- Contemplation: intend to change in the next six months. They are more aware of the pros of changing but are also acutely aware of the cons. AKA behavioral procrastinators.
- Preparation: intend to take action in the immediate future. Typically, they have already taken some significant action in the past year. These people have a plan of action, like going to a gym, talking to their physician, or hiring a coach.
- Action: have made specific overt modifications in their lifestyles.
- Maintenance: have made specific overt modifications in their lifestyles and are working to prevent relapse; While in the Maintenance stage, people are less tempted to relapse and grow increasingly more confident that they can continue their changes.
In other words, there are levels to this shit!
There’s a lot of things you shouldn’t be in the middle of when you’re trying to start your fitness journey (i.e. moving to a new state, apartment, starting a new job, etc.) Why? Because you need to be in a stable place to make a change. Your mindset needs to be on the same level as your body.
Stages of change
If you don't know what stage of change you're in, you'll start to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The cycle goes a little something like this = you've been thinking about it, then you get a shot of motivation and decide to sign up for the gym, you stick to it for like 3 weeks but make no gains and/or you see no visible changes. This makes you feel discouraged and then you end up slowly working out less, stop showing up to the gym and lose motivation completely then you repeat this cycle....for YEARS.
If you’re ready to change & see a difference in your life we need to remember that often times we are looking for motivation (for that feeling) but the truth is that motivation comes after action, not the other way around.
A lot of women look at me and assume “you’re a personal trainer, you must be motivated every day.”
Listen, girl, 50% of the time I'm at the gym I don't want to be there.
Seriously. There's 73452 things I would rather be doing most of the time like sleeping ( I work out at 6 am) going out, online shopping, etc. But guess what? My why is so important to me. After you’ve decided you are ready to change you need to decide that you are going to show up and show out.
Hire a personal trainer you vibe with to provide you accountability and remember that the motivation will come after the action.
Bonus tip: Distraction is a part of human nature
When you hop on the train; everybody and their mama is on their phone, listening to music, reading e-mails or on Snapchat. We are literally on our phones 24/7 super distracted.
Most people plan out their day and say “I’m going to work straight from 9-5 without distractions and be super disciplined but what happens is then as soon as you get a little sidetracked (your work wife or boss comes to talk to you about the last episode of “This is us” and your perfectly planned day gets completely off track.
From that first distraction, then you go into this downward spiral on Twitter, lurking on your someone's Instagram, and knee deep in 17 people's Insta-stories.
In psychology, they call this the what-the-hell-effect.
& the difference between the people who stay unmotivated and the ones who can stick to their plan is that the people who see results understand that getting distracted is human nature.
They accept that it is going to happen; so when it does happen they’re not going to beat themselves up.
I know a lot of people who start their fitness journeys and when they get unmotivated, get off track, gain the weight back, crushes them because they didn't expect it. Whereas, when you expect it to happen you already know that the one moment does not define who you are.