Trust me – you are not the only one.
Many folks want to get fit but lack the motivation to get started. And even those who start exercising with a lot of enthusiasm lose motivation after only a few weeks.
Truth is nobody is always in the mood to exercise….not even the lean folks. At times they can’t get themselves to exercise despite working out for many years.
Whether you are newbie or a seasoned fitness enthusiast who has lost motivation, this article will show you how to overcome this common hurdle.
Honestly, skipping one workout is no big deal. But if you make it a regular occurrence it will stall your progress.
Keep the workouts consistent and train optimally. That’s right, showing up is not enough….you have to put maximum effort in your workouts. And these tips can help you do that as well.
It’s time to stop saying you’ll do it tomorrow, or Monday, or New Year, and start exercising right now!
Here are 18 ways to overcome lack of motivation to exercise.
#1 Make quick decisions
We’ve all had the inner conversation to decide whether to exercise or not. And it’s usually something like this – “Let me go workout….but I’m tired….skipping one workout won’t make a big difference anyway…..I’ll do it tomorrow……by the way there’s this movie I’m supposed to watch…..”
Most times this monologue ends with the decision NOT to exercise. So you should this inner conversation. Instead make an abrupt decision to go exercise right away. Don’t overthink it.
The more you dwell on a decision the harder it will be to decide. And you’ll always end up choosing the lazy option.
Think about it – when the alarm clock rings and you start contemplating whether to get up or lie down for a few minutes…do you usually get up immediately? …..I don’t think so.
The next time you think about exercising, immediately get off the couch and start warming up.
This approach can also help you train maximally. For instance, if you feel like giving up before you complete the reps, instantly decide to finish the set – no matter what.
This can also be applied in other aspects of life. You can even try it tomorrow morning. When the alarm rings immediately get off the bed as if you’ve been invaded by aliens.
If you feel beat up and depressed – listen to your favorite tunes. It might be just what you need to get in workout mode.
If you don’t have one, make a workout playlist which you can listen to before and during the workout. Frankly, most people (me included) consider music the best workout motivation.
But it might be weird to put on headphones if you have a workout partner or a trainer. In that case, listen to inspiring music before the workout.
#3 Start moderately
It’s the same thing with exercise. If you start with too much enthusiasm and intensity, you’ll be quickly burn out. Start training moderately and give the body time to adjust to exercise.
Start with 30 minutes workouts, 3 times a week then advance the workouts as you get fitter.
#4 Have a workout routine
You have to know all the exercises for that workout before you start exercising. It’s also preferable you know the order of the exercises.
Don’t download any workout plan you find online. Most of them won’t match your strength level and goals. I can customize one for you or download the bodyweight beginner workout.
#5 Track your workouts
Keep records of sets and reps in every workout. And try to increase the number of reps after every workout.
After a few weeks you’ll notice an increase in the number of reps (strength). And it’s highly unlikely you’ll quit when you are making progress.
This tip can do wonders for you if you apply it. In fact, it will help you get lean in the shortest time possible.
Use these free printable workout logs to record reps and sets for each exercise.
#6 Set a rule
Set a rule that you’ll stick to no matter what. For me, I can only go for a maximum of 2 days without exercise. Even if I don’t follow the routine on the 3rd day, I make sure I do something like jumping rope.
This rule has helped me stay consistent for long. You can use it or find another rule which will help you stay consistent. Whatever the rule is make sure it makes you exercise at least 3 times a week.
#7 Turn to Youtube for motivation
You’ll find a lot of inspirational videos which can lift your spirits. In fact, some are made specifically for people who need motivation to exercise.
Watching a motivational video will definitely make you want to exercise.
#8 Change your workouts
Change your workout routine after every 3 – 4 weeks. This could be something simple like doing different exercise variations or adding new exercises to your routine.
#9 Analyze your lack of motivation
Do you feel fatigued? Is it your routine? Are you not getting results? Come up with a list of things that you think are stopping you. Then use that list to come up with a permanent solution to your lack of motivation.
#10 Expect to fail
Knowing that you will not always be in a mood to exercise will help you persevere the bad days when they come. But if you expect to be psyched up for exercise all the time, you’ll get frustrated and start blaming yourself.
Be prepared for the bad days, and when they come…suck it up and exercise.
#11 Exercise to feel better
Exercise will improve your mood and get rid of stress. On the other hand, you will still be in a bad mood if you skip workout.
Ignore the bad feelings and exercise…you’ll feel better in the end.
I bet you do.
Now, every time you feel unmotivated, think about feeling you get after workout.
Try to have a clear picture of you after workout…..see the sweat dripping off your face, blood pumping through the veins, being in a better mood and so on. If you focus enough this will motivate you to exercise.
And if the feeling you get after workout doesn’t inspire you. Think how disappointed you will be when you skip a workout.
You can also visualize on bigger goals like how you’ll look when you are leaner, the clothes you’ll wear, the activities you’ll be able to do, and so on.
#13 Be Accountable
We all need someone to kick our butt when we start being lazy. This could be a workout partner or a trainer.
When picking a workout partner, pick one on your fitness level or someone fitter than you. Someone who will make you push yourself.
Alternatively, you can subscribe to a blog or join online social groups for people who share the same goals as you.
#14 Think and talk positively
You are not doing yourself any favours by saying things like “I’m lazy, or I’ll give up anyway, or I can’t give up chocolate”. Your previous habits don’t define you. You’re only fat because you’ve been eating unhealthy and not exercising. All that will change when you start exercising and eating healthy.
Spending time with unfit people won’t make you want to exercise either. I’m not saying you ditch friends but you may want to find a few fit friends.
#15 Make exercising very convenient
That said you need to prepare for your workouts early. Eat your pre workout meal on time and have your workout outfit ready. So that when it’s time to work out you’ll start right away.
Doing things last minute can stop you from exercising.
#16 Eat healthy
If you take time to cook meals and eat healthy, you’ll also want to exercise. The reverse is also true. Exercising regularly will make you want to eat healthy.
#17 Get enough rest and sleep
If you exercise 6 days a week and sleep for 6 hours a night, fatigue will eventually catch up with you.
Give the muscles enough time to recover and grow. Like I said in tip #3, start moderately then advance slowly. And anytime you feel you are overtraining reduce the frequency of your workouts or do fewer exercises.
#18 Step up or Give up
Instead of making endless excuses, suck it up and exercise. It’s entirely up to you to decide whether to exercise or not. Realize that you won’t always be motivated to exercise. Even the lean guys have bad days but they still workout.
Bad days will always be there and when they come, forget the excuses and just do it.
You don’t have to apply all the 18 tips, just find a few that you think will work for you. And as you continue to apply them, training will become an habit and you won’t need motivation to exercise.
Truth is these tips can’t help you if you are not fully committed. You can’t exercise for a few months and then stop. Make exercising part of your lifestyle.
Is there anything else stopping you from exercising?