There’s one question I get asked all the time, “How do you stay motivated to work out?” In all honesty, I have never really known how to answer this question. My usual response is a mumble of “I don’t know it’s just something I do”, and then I quickly change the topic. While this is somewhat true, it doesn’t actually answer anything. It actually suggests that I am always motivated 100% of the time. Riiiight. Let’s be real, who is motivated ALL of the time? I bet you would be hard pressed to find someone. Even the most “hardcore” inspiring person that you look up to on IG surely has days where they would rather stay in bed rather than get to the gym.
Today, I couldn’t wait to get to the gym. When I was there, although I was sore and tired, I gladly gave it my all. Now, let’s flashback to last Friday, and play out a little different scene. Last week, and oh I’d say the 6 weeks before that, I would have given anything for an excuse to avoid the gym. I was in the tired, too busy, not in the mood, will missing one day really matter, sort of way. My heart wasn’t in it; I just wanted some time off, I was no longer motivated for the one thing that I “always did”. If you follow me on IG or twitter you probably would have never guessed this as I was still posting videos from my workouts and pictures in the gym (which is why you should never base your life off of someone else’s IG, but that’s a story for another day). So how did I go from almost hating the idea of the gym to loving it and working my butt off (or up!) once again?
First, I never stopped going. Even though some mornings I was dreaded it, I still went every time I was supposed to. And furthermore, I let go of the idea of only having “Good” or “tough” workouts. I accepted that making the effort to get there and do SOMETHING was enough for the day. There were days where my workout would usually last over an hour and I was in an out in 20 minutes without ever breaking a sweat. Sure there were days where I still had good workouts, but overall the intensity just was not there. It’s like that saying “fake it until you make it”. Apparently it holds true for your motivation too! Although I didn’t take a physical break from going to the gym, I took a break while I was there. What I do know is that if I had stopped going it would have been 10 million times harder to get back in there. We are quick to fall into habits, and sitting on the couch or getting used to an extra two hours of sleep were not going to be good habits to pick up and definitely hard ones to break.
Secondly, I always work out with my boyfriend. On days where I would have skipped, I knew that I had an obligation to meet him there. Where my motivation lacked, he helped keep me on track. While you may not choose to workout with someone, making it a point to meet someone there can really help keep you going. While you’re there you can do your own thing but having that accountability will keep your tush working.
Another thing that helped was finding motivated people around me. The plethora of fabulous fit ladies on IG who were hitting new PR’s and competing in shows on the weekends, always kept that flame alive deep down inside. I love watching them work hard, and then seeing that hard work pay off. I even tried going to the gym at a different time when I knew more people would be there. Being surrounded by people in the gym can get annoying, but it can also push you a little harder than normal when you’ve got competition right next to you!
Finally, I completely changed my program. It’s easy to get into programming ruts when you train, which over time can get boring. We all have our “go to” type workout. One that we know and like, and constantly resort back to when we show up to the gym with no plan. I sat down last week, pulled some articles, and wrote out a program that is so new and different from what I have been doing recently. I added in new rep and set schemes that I have never tried before. I also added in lifts that I typically don’t do or even avoid because they are the hard ones! The change in my program re-motivated me because its fun and even challenging again.
It took time, but being consistent, patient, and not stressing over bad workouts or even gained weight was enough to keep me on course until that fire was relit inside of me. What I learned from this time was that consistency still trumps any other factor when it comes to your life. The more consistent you can remain, the better results you will have. And now, when someone asks me that question, I may just have some advice for them!