First of all, no one, absolutely no one, is motivated and wants to workout and eat kale every day. No matter what their posts on social media say.
So don’t beat yourself up on days that you are lacking motivation. It’s totally normal.
The real reason behind your lack of motivation will dictate what you should do about it.
Ask yourself why you are feeling unmotivated. Are you tired? Overworked? Burned out? Sad that you’re not seeing results? Just lazy today?
If your lack of motivation is because your couch just feels too comfortable today and you’re feeling lazy, then it is probably nothing serious. In this case you will definitely want to do your best to push through and get your workout in. However, if you are extremely drained and unmotivated this isn’t something to just push through. Therefore, you will want to skip the first set of tips and take a different action plan.
Here are my top tips for getting inspired to hit the gym:
- Remind yourself why. Whether you want to fit in to an old pair of jeans, or decrease your blood pressure, focus on that goal. Think about how important that goal is to you, and how you will feel when your hard work pays off.
- Get on social media and find someone who inspires you, someone who embodies hard work and success. This is not to make you feel bad, jealous or upset, because that is not motivation at all. The point is to remind yourself that this person has worked very hard. Keep in mind that what they’re showing you is not their starting point, it is most likely their chapter 10 (or later) in their journey. Use them as an inspiration to show you that consistency and effort do pay off. Remember, nothing worth having comes easy, and no one reached a goal by sitting on the couch.
- Talk to someone. But pick that someone(s) wisely. Don’t go complaining to your lazy friend, or unsupportive family member about the gym, because chances are they will support your laziness and leave you less motivated. Send a message to your gym buddy and ask them to make you accountable. Ask them to meet you at the gym, or straight up tell them you need a little motivation or push today!
- Just get your butt up and go. If you can force yourself to get off the couch and get your body moving that will be the hardest exercise you do. Newton’s first law of motion explains it perfectly, “ an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.” Even if it’s not your best workout, something is better than nothing. Plus, you will always feel more accomplished if you go to the gym than if you stay at home.
Are you doing too much??
Sometimes lack of motivation can come from a more serious issue, in which case you want to ignore the above tips and take a whole other route to getting it back…
Sometimes people are super motivated; they have a goal and are working hard towards it. They are seeing results by hitting the gym and drinking green smoothies everyday… Then they wake up one day and are just exhausted, both mentally and physically, and instead of looking forward to their workout they are dreading it. But they force themselves to do it because they don’t want to stop seeing results. However, now they are still miserable and no longer seeing results so they are even more frustrated. Therefore they start adding in longer workouts and replacing even more meals with shakes hoping that this will get them through their plateau.
However, just pushing through is not always the answer. In this scenario what you need to do to get your motivation back is take a rest. Feeling tired and unmotivated for a prolonged period of time and no longer seeing results are all signs of overtraining, which means your body is under too much stress and is not getting enough recovery.
Too much stress and not enough rest for too long can lead to symptoms of overtraining.
Your best bet is to take a few (2-7) days off from the gym. You can and should stay active in other ways, but give your body a break from the gruelling workouts and gym atmosphere. This is is also a good reminder of how important it is to pay attention to recovery techniques (which will be a whole blog on it’s own) and to take better care of yourself in general. The amount of time you will want to take off will depend on how long you’ve been at your current program and how intense it is. Your best bet is to learn how to pay attention to your body and notice how you feel after each day of rest.
Not only will you find your motivation again, but you will most likely kick through that plateau and start feeling stronger and seeing results again!
In conclusion, sometimes you will need a break and that is totally normal. But sometimes you just need a little reminder or tough love to get that fire back!
Please feel free to email me at email@example.com if you are struggling with motivation, or suspect you might be overtraining and have any further questions about it! Or subscribe here to join my mailing list and receive motivation, advice and workouts right to your inbox!