It has happened to all of us at one time or another. Most of us have probably experienced it dozens of times if we’re honest…. We start out rocking our way towards new goals. Everything is going great, and then BAM! It’s like we’ve hit a mental wall and we have no desire to get around it. The good news is that this is completely normal, and you’ll feel even more accomplished when you beat your lack of motivation.
The biggest challenge you often face is yourself
If you don’t want to do it, excuses are not hard to find. Make a habit of not listening to yourself when you don’t want to train. The excuses are many, but it all comes down to overcoming yourself. Just remember you will almost always regret the extra ten minutes spent in bed or on the couch. You will never regret making good decisions that work toward your health and fitness goals.
If you need help forming goals, be sure to check out our blog post on SMART goals.
Give yourself time
We’ve all heard it takes 21 days to form a habit, but did you know that information is completely inaccurate? According to an article by Psychology Today, it can take an average of 66 days to form a habit. Some studies say it takes anywhere from 18-254 days!
So, don’t beat yourself up about not feeling like it. Getting out there when you don’t feel like it is more to celebrate than getting out there and training when you feel like it. You won’t always be motivated. You must learn to be disciplined.
Do just 10 minutes
Did you know that you can do exercise in as little as ten-minute increments and still receive maximum benefits? Even if you are about 99% certain you don’t want to train that day, commit to just ten minutes. More often than not, after ten minutes you will want to continue and meet your goal.
Live by the clock
Discipline does indeed start by forming a habit. Choose an exact time you intend to train each day. Set an alarm on your smartphone to go off at that time. Even if your schedule varies, most smartphones will allow you to set recurring alarms by the day of the week. When training becomes as common as brushing your teeth or going to work, you are well on your way to conquering any motivation issues that arise.
If one of your biggest struggles to feel motivated is the fact that you don’t have much time for working out, you are not alone! Find ways to minimize the time needed to work out by squeezing a small portion of your workout on your lunch break. If you prefer morning workouts, consider sleeping in your workout gear to shorten the time to get up and get going. Almost always, we can find time for the things that are important to us.
Dress for success
Speaking of workout gear, some are motivated by having a workout outfit that makes them feel good. If you’re wearing clothes that aren’t breathable or rub in all the wrong places, you’re less likely to want to get your training on. Investing in proper workout clothing isn’t a frivolous expense if it helps you take better care of yourself.
Find a few minutes each day to watch or listen to something that inspires you. Maybe you watch a YouTube channel while you eat breakfast or listen to a podcast while driving to work. There are thousands of possibilities you can discover. Starting out the day with a positive attitude and the belief that you can do it will help increase your motivation level.
Remember your “why”
Everyone has reasons why they sign up for SOS that are deeper than wanting to tackle the course. You may run in remembrance of someone lost to cancer. You may cycle to set a good example of staying active for your children.
Having visual reminders may help. Consider storing photos in a folder on your smartphone that helps you remember your “why” or create a vision board. A vision board is a collection of images that represent your goals. It may include something fun you plan to reward yourself with after race day, a photo of the swimsuit you plan to wear on your next vacation if you’re also working on weight loss goals, motivation quotes, and pictures of those you want to make proud.
Find like-minded people to encourage you
Taking your best friend, spouse or child along may be all the motivation you need. Joining a gym and making new friends may also help.
Last but not least, reach out to our SOS Resources group on Facebook. What better way to get motivated than reaching out to those you will run with on race day?
Need other training tips? Check out our other SOS blog articles!
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