I’m not one that typically has to “find the motivation“ to get my workouts accomplished. They’re one of the things I look forward to most in my day. However, it was not always this way. For most people, sticking with an exercise regimen long enough to start enjoying it is the key to long-term success. The biggest factor in finding a turning point to enjoying exercise is sticking with it until you find an activity that you love. Whether it’s running, weightlifting, Pilates, yoga, spin class, swimming, hiking, CrossFit, walking, or anything else, you have to find what you truly enjoy. Please know that motivation is not necessary for maintaining consistency. Even those of us who love exercise have days where we’re just not motivated. Stop looking towards motivation and start relying instead on systems and habits!
1️⃣ Try something new! Sometimes just mixing things up so that you aren’t doing the same thing every day is enough to keep you excited about activity. Other times, you may just not have come across something that fits well for you yet. Don’t be afraid to “shop around“ until you find something that feels like a good fit.
2️⃣ Partner up! I personally prefer lifting alone, but for many people having a workout partner provides them with the level of accountability that is beneficial. Some of us are more likely to follow through when we know there’s someone depending on us. It may also help for time to fly by if you’ve got someone with you. Having a workout partner doesn’t work for every activity, but it can be highly useful for those which allow for it.
3️⃣ Pair it with something that you enjoy. One of my favorite things to do while I work out is listen to an audiobooks, sermons, or podcasts. When you have something to look forward to during the activity itself, you’re more likely to associate it with positive feelings. So not only will you feel like working out now, but should be more likely to get excited about it in the future. Eventually you’ll learn to love exercise in and of itself, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop listening to personal growth material! 😉
4️⃣ Think about one part of it you might truly enjoy. When I have a particularly grueling workout planned (hello heavy leg day!) but find my usual enthusiasm not showing up for me, I make sure to program in movements that get me excited. I put those first, and 9 times out of 10, I feel just as excited about the remainder of my work out as I do about those movements once I get going.
5️⃣ Just do it. Yes, I know it’s not what you want to hear. But just making the decision and taking action will make you feel good about yourself. Also, when have you ever finished a workout and not felt good about it or not been proud of yourself for following through on a challenging task? The more that you train yourself to associate accomplishing difficult things with a sense of pride, the more likely you are to continue to pursue them. Eventually it becomes part of your identity and you just may fall in love with exercise!
Again, motivation is great when it shows up, but we cannot rely on it to be the sole source of action.
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1/ What are your best tips for maintaining exercise consistency when you don’t feel the motivation to do so?