When Motivation isn’t Motivating

Motivation Isn’t Motivating Enough

We have all learned many lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic, and as professional fitness coaches we faced new obstacles while working with our members that we have never faced before. One of the obstacles that we had to learn to overcome was motivating the unmotivated members. Many people had fallen off from their exercise and nutrition goals, because it was difficult to stay on track while being quarantined at home. Although this does happen during normal life, it was exacerbated during the pandemic. What made it difficult to overcome was the inability to coach someone in person. Without being able to connect with someone in person, it was very difficult to transfer energy and motivation to them. We have discovered three rules to help you stay motivated on your journey towards accomplishing your goals, even when you’re not feeling motivated to do so.

  1. Remember Your “Why”

When someone decides to start an exercise program, it usually doesn’t happen because they are already in love with working out. It generally happens out of necessity. Whether you were told by a doctor that you should do it for your health, because you don’t like the way your pants fit anymore, or because you want to rock that thong bikini to the beach next summer, there is usually a reason someone decides to start working out. The problem is that once that emotional motivation wears off through all of the hard work and sweat, it makes it very easy to fall off of your routine as well. Our emotions usually drive our “why” when we start, but when the emotions wear off and we are stuck with our own thoughts, the excuses can easily take over. Keeping your “why” at the forefront of your mind will help drive you through the difficult times when you don’t feel like doing the workout, or tracking your food. Do you ever feel like quitting your job, but then remember all of the bills that you need to pay? It is the same thing with your health and fitness. Before you allow yourself to give into your lack of motivation, just think about why you started. If you need help keeping your “why” to motivate you, I suggest writing it down every morning in a notebook or journal. When you write it down you take the thought out of your head, and make it a real and tangible action. You can also write it on post-it notes, and tape them in places that you frequent often. Put one on your bathroom mirror, on your fridge, as the background of your phone, or on your steering wheel. This way there is always a reminder in front of you so that you never forget your “why.”

  1. Feel the Future

With every action that we take, or don’t take, there is an emotional response that follows it. Usually, when we do something that is healthy and productive we feel accomplished and happy. Especially when it comes to exercise. When you workout, you actually change your body’s hormonal chemistry by releasing endorphins that make you feel good. On the flip side, when you decide to skip your workout, you are usually filled with some level of guilt, which we like to bury with excuses. Most of the time, no one says to themselves after their workout, “I wish I never did that workout.” Keeping that feeling in the front of your mind will help you get through the workouts that you just don’t feel like doing. If you remember the feeling of guilt from skipping a workout, and you think about how good you will feel after you’re done, that will help drive you past the unmotivated moments in life.

  1. Prioritize Your Routine

All too often people start an exercise routine without understanding that in order to be successful, it can not be something we “choose” to do. By choosing to workout, we also give ourselves the choice to not workout. It becomes the same level of priority as everything else in life that we choose to do. Many actions in our daily routine have started off that way, but they were ingrained in us at an early age that it is part of our daily life. For example, brushing your teeth. At an early age, if left to our own devices, most of us would probably skip brushing our teeth unless our mom and dad forced us to do it. Over the course of growing up, brushing our teeth becomes a priority through our routine when we first wake up and go to bed, because our parents forced us to make it a priority in our daily routine. For many of us, the thought of skipping a brushing to start the day is something that is unheard of no matter how tired we may be when we wake up. Brushing our teeth is no longer a choice, but a habit from making it a priority in our daily routine. The same could be true for working out. By making exercise a part of your daily routine because it is a priority to you, you will eventually get to the point where it is no longer a choice. It is a part of what you do, and skipping a workout would be unfathomable. This doesn’t happen overnight, but if you continue to make your health and fitness a priority, it will eventually become a part of your routine.