Honestly, if I had a pound for every time I’d heard this, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog. I would have retired a long long time ago!
Motivation is something that a lot of people struggle with.
My Weightlifting Coach, Adam Travis, has a great analogy, “Motivation is like a hot bath…. It soon goes cold!”
It’s so true.
Think about the last diet you went on, or the last workout routine that you committed to.
The first week always feels exciting, new, and sexy! You think, “This is it! This is me now! I’m going to stick to it this time!”
Fast forward another week or so…
Maybe you’ve had a tough day at work, or the kids are doing your head in. You’re meant to be cooking a healthy meal for tea, but your spark and excitement has gone. You’re not bothered about losing weight at this very moment in time, so you order a take-away. Or, you’re meant to be doing your home workout or meeting your friend for a run, but you’ve got so much to do (Bake Off is on soon…) and you’re so tired, so you decide to skip it for today (and maybe tomorrow and the day after…)
If this sounds familiar, it’s because I totally get it! I’ve been there myself, and I have worked with hundreds (maybe thousands) of ladies over the past 20 years who tell me that this is how it is for them too. So, what can we do about it?
1. Be clear on your goal
In my opinion, first of all, you need to have a very strong reason WHY you’re doing these things (working out, exercising, whatever else it is).
For example, if your goal is to lose weight, WHY do you want to lose weight?
Really think about it. It probably goes much much deeper than just wanting to lose weight.
Maybe you’re fed up of not being able to fit into your ‘nice’ clothes anymore.
Maybe you’ve spent your whole life ‘yo-yo dieting’ and you’re sick of it and want to make a permanent change.
Maybe you don’t feel sexy anymore and it’s affecting your relationship (let me pause for a sec here to make it very clear – I don’t think slim automatically equals sexy, I’m just giving examples that I’ve heard in the past).
Maybe you’re fed up that you can’t get up and down from the floor easily to play with your kids.
Your reason is your reason, but I’m pretty positive that it runs deeper than ‘I just want to lose weight.’ On the days when you’re not motivated, keep this reason in mind. What steps can you take to take you a little bit closer to your goal?
2. Do the work anyway
Here’s another thing…. Motivation will not always be there.
If you want the result (whatever that result may be) and it’s important to you, you’re going to need to do the work on days you don’t feel like doing it.
That’s the truth.
If you find that you’re constantly unmotivated or can’t be bothered, maybe you need to revisit your goal and ask yourself if it is really that important to you. And, you know what, it’s ok if it isn’t but be honest with yourself.
I make my living as a Fitness Professional. I love training. Training is my hobby, my escape, and my passion.
But even I don’t always want to do it! So, if I don’t want to train all the time, I understand why someone who has no interest in fitness might not feel like it sometimes!
3. Find someone to hold you accountable
Something that helps lots of my clients is being held accountable, and being supported by someone. Usually it’s best if this is not a family member or partner because, let’s face it, being held accountable by your husband just feels like they’re picking on you or moaning at you!
So for example, in my 6 Week Slim Down programme, I ask my clients to share their food diaries with me and the group, and to post when they’ve completed a workout.
My 1:1 clients update me every day on their nutrition and workouts, and I have a Coach who I’m accountable to too (even though this is my job, and I’m really bloody good at it!)
Knowing that someone has your back is massive when it comes to putting the work in and sticking to the plan.
Many clients have said to me, in the past, “I didn’t want to train tonight, but I didn’t want to let you down, so I did it and I’m glad I did.”
Now, I would never ever tell anyone that they’d let me down if they hadn’t trained, but sometimes that little voice in the back of your head is all you need to get you started.
I know there will probably be people reading this, thinking “We’re in the middle of a pandemic. If you don’t want to exercise, you don’t have to! If you don’t want to eat well, you don’t have to!”
I do kind of agree with this… to an extent…
What I will say is, we don’t know how long this pandemic is going to last. It has already been going on for the best part of a year.
That’s a long time to not do any form of exercise, or to not worry about eating a healthy and balanced diet.
In my opinion, exercising (even if it’s just walking) and eating well are a couple of things that you actually can control at the moment, that might make you feel a bit better about what is currently going on, and may actually have some sort of protective factor against getting ill.
I know everyone is busy with work, looking after family, and everything else that’s going on, but do you really not have 20 minutes a day to go out for a walk or to do a home workout? Check your screen time app on your phone – how long did you spend on Facebook yesterday…?
Despite the fact we’re in the middle of a pandemic, I’m still being contacted daily by women who tell me that they want to lose weight so, if this blog is helpful to those ladies in some way, I’m happy.
So, to round up, my top three tips for getting motivated are:
- Be really clear on what your goal is
- Do the work anyway, even on days when you don’t want to
- Find someone to hold you accountable
And, finally, if you’re hating every minute of exercising maybe it isn’t the right form of exercise for you.
Experiment and find out what’s out there – exercising doesn’t always have to mean the gym or running – maybe try a Zoom yoga or Zumba class, take up GeoCaching, dance in your living room….
Find something you enjoy, that will take you closer to your goal, and you’re much more likely to want to stick to it.