How to Get & STAY Motivated in Your Fitness Journey
Have you ever struggled to get (or stay) motivated to reach your fitness goals?
Maybe it feels like you would rather do ANYTHING than go to the gym that day... or you're just feeling an overall sense of unmotivated 'blah' in your day-to-day life.
I got a text from one of my online coaching clients the other day, and I'm sure you've had the same feelings... so I figured I'd share with you.
She said, "I'm really finding it hard to stay motivated lately."
SAMEEEE GIRL. We've all been there at some point.
Here's the trick: there are THREE levels to getting/staying motivated. Let's break each of them down so you can understand how you operate on both a surface and deeper level of motivation.
1. Daily motivators
We’re not going to feel motivated to go to the gym every day -- shocking, right? Even if you’re the most seasoned athlete in the gym, there will surely be days you don’t want to show up and put in the work.
So what do you do on a daily basis to get motivated to go to the gym? To pull off the covers at 5 am when it’s -2 degrees outside and you’d rather stay in your warm bed? Or to get motivated to head to the gym after a 10-hour day at work?
Here are a few practical tips you can implement on a daily basis:
Morning workouts: Set your clothes out the night before (OR sleep in them, if you’re really riding the struggle bus in the mornings). Put your shoes, gym bag, work clothes, packed breakfast and lunch, etc. in ONE SPOT so that when you wake up in the morning, all you have to do is brush your teeth, change your clothes and head out the door.
Evening workouts: Keep a gym bag in your car with an extra set of clothes at all times -- no more using the excuse ‘I forgot my clothes at home - can’t go!’ One of the biggest keys to success is heading straight to the gym after work. That means making sure you eat an hour or two before you leave work so you’re fueled for your workout, and packing your clothes ahead of time so you can change at work/at the gym and get straight to your workout. I don’t know about you, but if I go home between work and the gym and sit on the couch, the chances of me actually getting back up to work out automatically decrease by at least 50%.
I always say: work WITH yourself rather than against yourself.
Stack the odds in your favor by being prepared and ready to go to the gym ahead of time, no matter the time of day.
Schedule your workout: Pay for a class ahead of time, schedule a date with a friend, book a class, hire a trainer. All of things require you to show up and not ditch out. It’s much easier to say, “Oh, I’ll just go tomorrow!” when you don’t have a friend waiting for you to show up.
Listen to music: One of my favorite ways to get motivated is to BLAST THE JAMS in my car on the way to the gym. Create your own “motivation” workout playlist (or search Booty Jams on Spotify - that’s my go-to), and crank up the volume. Have a dance party in your car on the way to the gym! That’s sure to get the energy pumping.
Hydrate: If it’s mid-afternoon and you’re feeling tired, chances are, you’re probably thirsty. Chug a bottle of water & you’re sure to naturally wake up. If that doesn't work, have a few sips of black coffee.
2. Surface-level reasons
- Knowing how you’ll feel when you finish a workout.
- The sense of pride and accomplishment you get from setting a goal and sticking to it.
- Doing what you say you’re going to do: integrity.
These are all surface-level motivators that you can remind yourself of when you feel like doing anything BUT working out or eating healthy.
3. Pain points (the deepest level of motivation)
What’s your reason WHY? The reason you want to work out and eat healthy, lose weight, get fit, whatever your goal is - in the first place?
... Now let’s dig a little bit deeper - WHY do you want your WHY?
When I first ask a client what their WHY is (why they want to work out, hire a coach, eat healthier, etc.), I get responses like, “To be healthy” or “To feel confident in my own skin”.
From there I always say, “Let’s dig a little deeper - WHY are those things important to you? Meaning: why do you want to be healthy? What does it actually look and feel like to be confident in your own skin?”
It’s only when you question your WHY that you get the real reason WHY.
That’s when things come out of the closet:
“My dad has suffered from major heart attacks. Heart disease is prevalent in my family, and exercising is one of the things I can do to prevent disease and be healthy enough to have kids later in life.”
“I want to feel more confident in my own skin because I’ve always felt 'bigger' than all my friends. People used to make fun of me when I was younger for being ‘big boned’ and that’s stuck around with me for a huge part of my life. I just want to wear a bathing suit or tight shirt and not have to worry about it.”
…. Ahhh. The pain points.
Pain points are the areas in your life that HURT you to think about.
It's the feeling when you've finally had enough of your own BS, or you're sick of being/feeling the same way you always have... that finally motivates you to take charge of your life and make a change.
Your pain points and your WHY are both huge factors in you staying motivated in this healthy lifestyle for the long haul.
It’s not easy to always be motivated, but you’re strong. And strong people accomplish what they set out to do.
I hope this helped you find (and KEEP) your motivation for the long haul!
Let me know - what inspires you to stay motivated?
NEED HELP STAYING MOTIVATED?
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