Your gym membership card is laying lonely on the side of your desk, your sneakers are buried in the darkest corner of your closet and your personal trainer has given up his attempts to reach you. It’s not that you don’t have all the tools to restart your journey – you just need motivation… SELF motivation!
After quitting on your workouts and healthy eating, the dawn of the season change (or an unexpected vacation/beach party/Baywatch run…) can leave many of us in a panic. Getting back into an exercise routine can be difficult if you have gotten off track. When you feel paralyzed by obstacles like lack of motivation, low energy, or indecision, taking small, unrelated actions can rev that idling engine.
I have been there (many times!) and have experienced the ‘blah’ feeling. But it’s been years since I have been there all thanks to the 6 tips below. If you have fallen off the wagon for more than a few weeks, you can restart your healthy habits this weekend with these tips on how to get motivated to keeping up with your fitness routine.
Self Motivation 101 – 6 Easy Tips to Becoming Unstoppable
Self motivation is not something that happens by itself, you need to hone it and stay on top of it. If you are already using the Body Beautiful mobile app, then you are probably staying on track already – the app has tons of motivational tricks and tools to keep you focused. But if you find yourself falling off the wagon unable to get back to the swing of things, here are 6 ways you can improve your self motivation:
Look back at all you’ve already achieved – With many of our fitness and body composition goals, we often go through cycles of self motivation and having life interrupting us. If you have been taking steps towards your goals previously, then it can be great to take some time to consider all that you have already accomplished. All long haul goals take multiple, incremental steps to attain. Pat yourself on the back, and remind yourself of these achievements.
Set new goals – We all have a large over arching goal we are aiming for, but we have to break it down so we can have more victories. Set some clear goals about why you are working out and what you want from it. This will give you something to work towards and keep you motivated. A good goal is one that you can track and that gets you going every day. It is important to be aware of that getting fit will take time, and not setting expectations for yourself to get back into shape overnight. Because of this, you need to set realistic goals that you will be able to meet. Unrealistic goals will only demotivate you.
Explore the reasons you have gone off track before – Examining times you haven’t been completely successful with your goals and actually help you stay on track this time around. Identify barriers that came up previously and brainstorm how you can deal with them. For example, maybe you had time constraint issues, so this time you can schedule in workouts and meal prep to overcome this barrier. Maybe you get bored of the healthy food options you chose, now you can commit to trying new foods and seeking out fun new recipes.
Schedule your habits into your life – Tying into the tip above about barriers, give your healthy habits a specific space in your life. Put it on your calendar or allow time every day to perform the new behaviour. For exercise, give yourself a time and place that it needs to happen. 6pm every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For diet, make it a commitment to pack your lunch every night before bed. The bottom line is this: it might be nice to tell yourself that you’re going to change, but getting specific makes it real and gives you a reason and a reminder to get back on track whenever you slip up.
Have people who keep you accountable – Perhaps not a fully self motivation tip, but we’ll count it in… When you belong to a team as an athlete, you show up as your teammates are counting on you. The good news is that you don’t have to be on a team to make this work. Talk to strangers and make friends in the gym. Simply knowing that a familiar face expects to see you can be enough to get you to show up.
Remind yourself that you’re in charge – There are loads of reasons we get off track with goals. Self-doubt, fear we won’t succeed, and concern that we are not setting realistic goals are just a few of them. This is really important to remember: You can change this goal if you want. You can keep going, you can revise it, or you can dump it altogether. When we are experiencing doubts, it’s easy to feel like we have no power; it’s easy to feel like we don’t have a choice and thus lose our self motivation. However, most often, we do. I find it helps to simply remind myself that I’m in charge. Many times, when the going gets tough, we begin to feel like the choices we made (sometimes long ago) are not our own. Sometimes a reminder to ourselves that we are the ones who originally set this goal is a good way to rev the engine.
By evaluating your fitness level and developing some healthy goals. You can also jump-start your motivation by increasing your accountability through a fitness tracker (like the Body Beautiful mobile app), a workout buddy, or a personal trainer. Finally, you can ease your way back into exercising by gradually building up to more difficult workouts and rewarding yourself for reaching your objectives.