It is unrealistic to think that we are always going to be in the mood to workout.
Our energy and workout motivation will constantly ebb and flow, depending on what we have going on in our lives.
And while yes, it’s important to listen to our bodies and rest if we are feeling sore, fatigued, and/or overly stressed, it’s also important to be honest with ourselves about whether we actually do NEED to rest oooor if we need to suck it up, stop making excuses, and just get it done because we are adults and know that exercise is good for us!
Below are some simple motivation hacks to get yourself going on those days you truly don’t need to rest but you just don’t feel in the mood:
1. Use the five favorites strategy.
The five favorites is when you first pick five of your favorite songs, and get them on a playlist. Then you pick five of your favorite exercises, ones that make you feel badass and that you usually enjoy. These five exercises are now your workout! Start your playlist, and then get to work. Do 10 reps of each in a circuit format, one after the other, with as little rest as possible. See how many rounds of your 5 favorite exercises you can complete while your 5 favorite songs play. When the songs are over, so is your workout.
Here’s a little sample circuit to get you started:
10 bent over dumbbell rows
10 dumbbell squat to presses
10 bodyweight squats
2. Make a bargain with yourself.
Sometimes the hardest part when you aren’t feeling your workout is to just get started. I’ll often bargain with myself by telling myself that I at least have to get up and get going. I decide to do one set, ten minutes, one mile, etc. Something. I have to complete what I said I would, and then IF I’m still not feeling it, I give myself permission to stop or leave. I use this bargaining method ALL the time, and honestly almost never stop once I get going.
3. Put on your favorite workout outfit.
Sometimes just changing into my gym clothes and lacing up my sneakers can be enough to turn my “blah, I don’t wanna do this” mood right around… especially if it’s a workout outfit that I feel awesome and super confident in. Try buying yourself a motivation outfit from a store that you love just to bust out during fitness funks!
4. Think about the last awesome workout you had.
This is a strategy I often use with my clients when their motivation just doesn’t want to show up. I ask them to think about the last stellar sweat sesh they had and tell me what was so good about it. When we remember how we felt not necessarily during, but AFTER, it can make us want to get the job done so we can feel energized and accomplished again. You could even consider keeping a little exercise journal where you write yourself a little inspirational message after your workouts. Then you have something to refer back to for a pep talk when you need to remind yourself of that post workout high!
5. Reach out to an accountability partner.
Do you have a friend, co-worker, family member, or someone you can reach out to if you need it? If not, I recommend finding a partner, team, or coach who is willing to be your accountability partner and 100% in your corner every step of the way. This person should be someone who will check in on you, give you an extra empathetic push if you are feeling stuck, and help you stop procrastinating when you’d rather just wait until Monday. This person should be someone you feel comfortable turning to when you feel frustrated, and you know they will give you a little pep talk when you need the nudge instead of the “oh, it’s okay, live a little!” response. On days you feel blah, text the person you know will help you get it done.
If your motivation has been feeling a little off, give one or a few of these a try. And remember, the people you think are ALWAYS motivated? That’s not necessarily the case. Often times the people who appear to have the highest motivation levels actually don’t. They have simply built the habits and routines needed to support consistency, they’ve planned for bumps in the road, they often just adopt a “do it anyways” attitude because they know what it means for their long term goals.
Readers, let’s chat! What are your go to motivation hacks for the days you just don’t feel like working out? Who are your accountability partners?
Want more motivation tips?
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