Motivation is such a simple word that we hear all the time. But do you really know how much it impacts you every day? Your motivation is literally the thing that drives every decision you make for every action you do. If you don’t have the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, you hit snooze again until there is a strong enough motivation to throw your feet over the side. Every decision from there is all decided by your motivation. Are you motivated to not have a funky taste in your mouth? OK, you’ll brush your teeth. Are you motivated to not be hungry and to have some energy? OK, you’ll eat something for breakfast. Every single action you do is motivated before it is accomplished.
Therefore, motivation is critical to your fitness plan. It’s so easy to see pictures on Facebook and think they will motivate you. It won’t. It will likely make you feel bad about yourself and make you say you “should” work out tomorrow. But the truth is, you’re not going to because it isn’t real to you. It isn’t hitting you on an emotional level where you’ll act on it. You simply aren’t motivated. So what things can you do to help your fitness motivation?
1. Schedule it. If you don’t write it on your calendar it is not going to happen. You need to schedule your workouts just like you schedule a meeting. If you don’t think you’re important enough to warrant a spot on your calendar you’re setting a very negative tone for yourself before you even go to the gym. So put your workout on your calendar and DO IT at that time!
2. Set realistic goals. Goals need to be things that you can actually obtain and can be measured. We’ve all heard about smart goals, but have you set them? Written them down? Just like the calendar, if you don’t write down your goals it isn’t reality. Saying you want to work out more isn’t a good goal. What does that mean? What is a workout to you? How much is more? Instead, saying your goal is to do a 30-minute strength workout twice per week is a goal you can actually assess the outcome of. And when you accomplish this and have your second workout of the week done, you’ll in turn want to do it again next week, since you accomplished it your motivation will improve.
3. Celebrate every accomplishment. If you managed to do something that aligns with your goals, celebrate it. If you want to go to the gym more and you’re there, celebrate it. Some days that celebration may be that you brought your gym clothes because the workout itself felt horrible. But that’s OK! Celebrate that you showed up and had the gear even if the end result wasn’t what you hoped.
4. ALWAYS have a plan. If you are going to work out, make sure you have a plan before you step foot in your fitness facility. Where a lot of people lose the motivation is that they get to the studio and then don’t know what they want to practice so they hop on social media for “inspiration.” Forty five minutes later they have watched a million Instagram videos and have done nothing themselves. Watch the videos the night before if you must. But PLAN your workout the day before and then get excited on the way to do what you’ve planned. Write it down!
5. Ditch the “all or nothing” attitude. If you only have 20 minutes to work out, do it, even if your plan was to do an hour. A workout doesn’t have to be this crazy long ritual of amazing. Sometimes the short workouts are actually great because you’re super focused. Sometimes showing up is all you can do and that at least means you did something toward your goal. If you believe you have to do “all” then you’ll be a lot more likely to do nothing. So instead, be motivated by knowing anything you do is getting you closer to your goals.
We ALL struggle with motivation. Often. You are not alone. I own a fitness studio and 1/3 of the time I don’t want to do my fitness goals! So what is the biggest help? Having a buddy. Get someone on board your journey to help you stay motivated. To check in with you. Someone you can text on a day where you aren’t feeling it so they can support you and kick you in the butt to get you closer to where you want to be. You’re worth investing in and the people in your life want to support you, so ask someone to be your buddy and motivate each other!