I’ve seen it over and over. Most people give up on their fitness journeys within 6 months due to lack of motivation to workout.
The story goes like this:
You’re living life. Doing what you want. Eating what you want. And even though in the back of your mind you know that you have some “flaws,” as of now they’re not that important.
But eventually you begin to self reflect. Whether that means wishing you were more toned, had a bigger butt, a six pack, etc. You want to better yourself. So you get a gym membership.
You follow some fitness influencers on social media that are either your body goals or are really informational. #fitspo. I mean, they started where you are now so of course you can do it too, right?
You start working out, going to the gym consistently, making healthier food choices, taking post workout pics and putting them on Instagram,
Maybe you’re too sore to go to the gym. Too tired. You have other priorities. Or maybe you just don’t feel like it because you worked all day and that bath is calling your name.
It’s no big deal. you’ll go tomorrow.
But the thing about tomorrow is, it’s always a day away.
I hear it all of the time. And it usually comes from people in awe of the fact that I’ve been consistently working out for the past two years anywhere between 3 – 5 times a week.
And they just can’t seem to wrap their head around how I’m always motivated to work out.
But, I think it’s time to be honest here.
Motivation is like that friend that you see every once in a while who always says “We should hang out soon!” and you say “Yeah, we should.” but never do. It’s fleeting and it usually comes when you’re preoccupied with something else and then it may or may not be there when you actually need it.
I know that’s not the answer you were hoping for but hear me out.
I’m not always motivated to workout but somehow I’m able to do it on top of working full time, building a brand, and balancing a social life. So what’s different about me? How can I do so much and still find a way to drag myself to the gym or even simply do an at home workout?
There is a key. But it’s not motivation.
It’s commitment and discipline.
Committing to my long term and short term goals and having discipline to see them through.
This is something that people who always reach their goals do whether they realize it or not. I was doing it even before I learned what a S.M.A.R.T. goal is. It’s a principal that they teach a lot in the fitness industry and in business. But it can be applied to all aspects of life.
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Time oriented
And when you break it down it makes sense.
Having a goal that is specific and measurable goes hand in hand. Don’t just say I want to gain weight or lose weight or get in shape. How much weight? What type of shape? Dig a little deeper to figure out exactly why you want to start working out and use that to come up with a more specific goal. Start thinking in terms of visuals and numbers.
Also make sure that your goal something that’s actually attainable and realistic for you. For example, having a goal of gaining 20 pounds in a month is probably not possible. It’s not that having a goal to gain 20 pounds in general isn’t attainable but the time frame isn’t realistic. And if you are able to do it in a month, it would more than likely not look how you want it to and be more fat than muscle.
Which brings me to my next point. Make sure that your goal is time oriented. What if when you were in school your teacher told you that you had a 10 page report due but said it doesn’t matter when you turn it in? I doubt you’d actually do it. Most people need some type of deadline to keep track of their progress and stay committed to their goal. So create a goal that is time based. Just make sure that you give yourself a realistic amount of time.
This is where most people go and either hire a trainer, buy someone’s workout plan, or join a class. Whatever it is that you choose to do you need to plan for your goals accordingly. Don’t take a cardio based program if your goal is to gain weight and build muscle. That would be counter productive. Find a strength trainer or a strength training program that’s going to better help you reach your goals.
Planning for your goals includes paying attention to your diet as well. Meal prepping, grocery, lists, tracking macros or calories, whatever it is that makes your goal feel more ATTAINABLE is what you should do.
It’s much easier to stay committed to your goals when you have direction and actionable steps to reach them.
True story, I had a mini meltdown the first time I missed a gym workout after I made a commitment to go.
At the time my goal was reach 130 lbs by my birthday which meant I had 3 months to do it. I committed to going to the gym 5 days a week and each week I created a workout plan to follow. It wasn’t easy staying consistent with it for over a month, but I did.
However, on the particular week that I had my meltdown I chose to have a date night instead of going to the gym. I almost freaked out on the way to my date because somehow I convinced myself that if I missed a workout then I’d keep missing them and stop going altogether.
What I forgot about is that discipline is what keeps me going even if I don’t want to or even if I make other plans. That night I chose to enjoy my night out and count it as a rest day for it and make it up tomorrow. And then… I actually did it.
Discipline is not something that comes naturally, it’s a learned behavior. And the best way to maintain that behavior, especially when it comes to working out, is to take things one day at a time until working out becomes a habit and part of your routine as much as brushing your teeth in the morning.
Don’t allow yourself to talk yourself out of doing that workout even it’s 12 am and you’re exhausted. Instead either do it that night or set an alarm to wake up earlier and make up for it in the morning.
Know your weaknesses and avoid them.
If you know that when you go straight home after work you don’t want to go to the gym later, bring your gym clothes to work and skip the middle man. If you know that having a heavy meal makes you lethargic then eat something light instead before you go workout. Make adjustments to your routine that match your goals.
Stop relying on motivation or waiting until it “feels right” to work out. JUST GET UP AND GO!
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Hi, I'm Jazmin. If you’re ready to get serious about your health and wellness then you’ve come to the right place!