There’s this sense of awe that I get when I explain to people that I manage to find the time to work out, be a mom, have a full time job, stay happily married, have a social life with other adults, and continue to blog.Read more
Each person comes through a certain part of their fitness journey where motivation seems to dissipate. I find that this can often happen when the sight of victory or even the taste of victory is near. For example when you hit your initial weight loss goal, or when you’ve accomplished a feat that you’ve worked so incredibly hard to get to. Most people, like myself, go into a fitness journey with the state of mind being that this will be a lifestyle change and boldly declare statements like, “I want to be fit for life.” But what does that mean and how does it affect our own internal drive and motivation toward the goal?
In my own journey I have gone through certain stages. The first stage was weight loss where I was focusing my efforts in simply trying to get back in shape. I was overweight for my age and height, out of shape for my lifestyle of running around after young children, and lacking the self confidence in my physical and mental abilities to accomplish anything. So for the first few months of my journey I was directing my energy into losing weight. I lost a substantial amount of 19lbs in the first 12 weeks which I was incredibly surprised by. For 9 years I’d wanted to lose the weight gain from having two kids and nothing I had done in the past was helping me get there. After hitting this goal, I thought to myself what else can I do now that I’ve accomplished that, so I decided to try competing. After hitting the stage 3 times and training and dieting hard for those shows I clearly knew I had the ability to narrow my focus and buckle down hard when it was “go time.”
Now I’m in a place in life where I’m repositioning my fitness goals to trying to build a little muscle and stay as lean as I can. But this can be challenging especially when the light of motivation is a little dim. When I reach this point of my journey I do a quick gut check and ask myself why I started in the first place, what was the reason driving my journey on day 1. It’s been 116 weeks since I started my fitness commitment and from time to time I have to reconnect my motivation by reminding myself why I started in the first place. I wanted to become a healthier and happier woman for my kids, my husband, and those around me.
"I wanted to become a healthier and happier woman for my kids, my husband, and those around me."
Here are 5 other things you can do to reignite your drive and motivation:
1. Take a small break. When working hard on a project or task at work it’s common to get burned out. We are creatures who with a habit for striving to bring a sense of accomplishment and control in our lives. This sense of drive can be heightened when working toward a fitness goal, especially when the results are coming in fast. However, when we’re driving really hard towards a goal we can burn ourselves out and the motivation and momentum can come to a halt. It’s important that before this happens you recognize the signs that you need a break. Take a day off from working out, counting macros or dieting. The duration of these breaks are entirely up to your needs, it can mean a day or a week whatever it may be know that it’s intended to be a brief moment to give the body and mind the mental refreshment it needs.
2. Change the plan. The beauty about fitness is that there are so many paths that can lead you to the healthier life you want and each plan works differently for each person. Maybe instead of 5 days a week of lifting you drop down to 4 and do a little more cardio or the opposite. Switch up the days you workout certain body groups.
3. Challenge yourself with something new. If you’re lacking motivation in what you’re currently doing maybe its time to switch up how you’re moving your body. Maybe heading to the gym and lifting weights is starting to feel like a chore, try Yoga or Pilates to work your body in a different way. Maybe instead of doing cardio on a treadmill its time to explore other machines like the stairmill or plyometrics. Get your body moving in a different way.
4. Reward yourself for hitting a goal. It’s easy for us to feel a lack of engagement when the end result isn’t a tangible one. One thing I like to do is give myself a gift or a treat for hitting a goal. Workout clothes are always a great reward for hitting a goal especially when losing weight or reshaping the body.
5. Pep talks with friends. The other day I was telling my husband about my lack of motivation especially when coming back from a vacation. It’s been a bit of a challenge for me to get back into the groove of both training and work mode. It’s sorta feeling like the beginning of school year when summer vacation has come to an end. My husband said the most incredible thing to me which I want to share with you: “You’ve worked too hard to get sucked into this mindset. If you need to call it a day, call it a day. But you will always have another chance.”
Motivation can ebb and flow just like anything in life. It’s important to recognize when you’re about to feel the lack of motivation hitting and to do your best to give yourself that extra grace and love that you’re not always going to be 110%. Take a moment to reset, think about your goals, and make a slight adjustment to the plan on how to get there. And like I say to everyone, “You got this!”