Lost Motivation? How To Get It Back!

Let’s talk about motivation. You start a workout routine but stop after a week, month, or even a few days. Something came up at work, family members came for a visit, you traveled, training was delayed 2 days, and poof! You’re no longer on track and completely lose your motivation. Where’d it go? How do you get it back? I talked about this in yesterday's podcast episode, so if you would like to hear this discussion instead of reading it, check it out here

First of all, what I need you to know is that this is normal! It happens with everyone, so forgive yourself for all the times you’ve given up before. Right now. Stop reading and say “I forgive myself”. Doesn’t that feel better? Now allow me to share some fail-proof tips with you on how to keep the momentum going. 

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Truth time: I’m someone who is intrinsically motivated. Most nights, you’ll find me looking over my workout program for the next day. I could be half asleep, exhausted, ready for bed, but still picking out my clothes for the next day to put on the counter. I’m an early bird who loves to go to bed at 10.30 PM but if I remember to prep my breakfast oats at midnight, I will get up to do it. 

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?

Because I’ve been in situations where everything was screwed up due to lack of planning! I’m motivated to do what it takes to create a successful day and minimise any little annoyances.  

I’m sharing this with you because these are the things that have worked for me and even though I do have intrinsic motivation, these tips make a difference in helping me stick to my routine, stay motivated, and make healthy habits. You can become that person too, I promise. You just need to develop the right environment around you and soon enough, you’ll wake up daily with that “Go, go, go!” motivation. 

You’ll notice that some points will resonate a lot more with you, because we’re all different. While it might be difficult to check all these items off your list to get motivated, save them for later. Attempt 1 or 2 points a week, and before you know it, you’ll be doing these motivation techniques in your sleep. 

Keep reading, because towards the end of the article, I’ll be answering an interesting Instagram question: Is working out in 10-minute bouts really beneficial? 

STEPS TO FINDING AND KEEPING MOTIVATION

1. Change your goal

I always hear this from people: “I trained so hard and saw absolutely no results, so I quit.” This blows my mind because as you all know, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will the result you want! 

So yes, it does take time to see results and for that specific reason, your focus shouldn’t be on looks, especially in the beginning. Your focus should be on HEALTH. Focus on the benefits that come from exercising and from living a healthy lifestyle. 

Say things like: I feel better, I feel healthier, I consider myself fit, I follow a healthy routine, it helps me relieve stress, it’s my “me-time”, it makes me happy, I’m doing it for the benefit it has on my blood results and to prevent diseases, I’m doing it for a healthier future with strong bones and independence when I hit age 60, 70, 80 and 90. 

Studies have shown that the more you focus on the process, like completing 2 - 3 workouts a week instead of focusing on the kilos you want to lose, you’re a lot more likely to succeed. At first, it can be hard to ignore the numbers on the scale, but remind yourself why you’re doing this.

Focus on a healthy, reasonable goal. Getting to a specific number on the scale is not motivating because there are so many factors that alter it: water intake, muscle changes, alcohol intake, salt intake, etc. When you don’t meet your expectations in the unrealistic time frame you probably set for yourself, you’re going to be disheartened and it’s going to bring your momentum down. 

ENJOY THE LITTLE VICTORIES

Whenever you reach that micro-goal that you set for yourself, I need you to celebrate it! YES! Share it with your friend, sister, trainer, or dietitian! Tell them you’re on your way to being the healthiest you’ve ever been. 

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It’s worth investing in a tool to help you track your activity. Consider the Apple Watch. I love them for several reasons:

  • Competition is one of the best methods to get people to challenge themselves. It doesn’t have to be competing with a friend, it’s as simple as competing with yourself to close your rings. The Apple Watch has a calorie ring, standing ring, and an exercise ring that you can work to close every day. 
  • You can see the progress of friends from all over, which will motivate you to push yourself when you see them hitting higher goals.

  • You can start a healthy competition with your Apple Watch friends as well. I haven’t dared to start competitions with people yet, but I know my husband is always in competition with his friends to see who gets more points.
     
  • Studies have shown that a direct reminder from your social network motivates you to get active. Whether it’s knowing that your friend worked out or seeing someone close their rings, you’ll get a little push.

  • Another reason I love these trackers is because it helps you understand your activity so you’ll know how your body is responding to your movement throughout the day. Did I move enough today? What do my days at the office look like? What do my weekend days look like? This will give you a lot of answers that are personal to you or just guessing how much calories you burn.

  • If you’re just starting out you can use the health app on your phone to track your steps, and you’ll soon see how addicting it is. I remember when I first introduced my dad to this app, he would share his results with me every night and compete with my mom about how many steps they each get in a day. Give it a try!

2. Schedule

Do you want to be part of the group that has a 91% success rate of sticking to a plan? I’ll assume that’s a yes. 

Check out these results from a UK study: If you simply receive educational material on the benefits of exercise and “plan” on exercising, you are likely to follow through at a rate less than 40%. BUUUUT if you choose the day, time, and place of where you will be working out, you will be part of the group that has a 91% chance of succeeding. 

I like to do this with my clients! I harass them daily, asking them when they’ll be working out, what time will they show up, and what workouts they plan on doing. They do think I’m trying to creep on them, but I don’t care because I have their best interests at heart!

3. Choose how to deal with setbacks (A simple but POWERFUL tip!)

Expect that you’re not always going to workout, but you should always have a plan B. Use words like, “If I don’t wake up for the gym in the morning, then I will go to yoga at 6:30 PM.” 

4. Always come up with a second plan

Change it up and try working out in the morning instead of the evening. Morning workouts elevate your mood by 30% throughout the day and you’re a lot less likely to push-off your training, because you’re not exhausted from all the decisions you had to make throughout the day which tire you out. 

5. Layout your exercise clothes from the night before

This is not a joke. The more convenient you make everything around you, the more you'll succeed. You need to make less decisions from the morning, so prepare everything the night before. 

6. Change or add something to your routine 

Maybe you got bored of whatever training you were doing. That’s normal, don’t sweat it. This doesn’t mean you’re not “meant to be fit” it just means you need to spice it up. Add a dance class? Try a different cardio machine. Try kickboxing, or yoga, just have fun! Stimulate your brain, that’s all it’s asking for

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

I’ve tried so many different types of training over the years, I’ve even done things like Tango and Salsa dancing. The other day I did African Fusion dance class. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but it was fun and it kept me moving. 

Choose at least 1 or 2 tips and apply them this week. You want to make me happy? Send me what you’re trying on Instagram or better yet write it in a review! I hope these tips have brought value to you. 

You’ve read all the way to the end, so now you get to find out the answer to the Instagram question: 

Is working out in 10 minute bouts really beneficial? 

If your schedule is looking at little tight at the moment, I have good news for you. Many studies have found that very small amounts of daily exercise has huge benefits. 

A study done on 464 women who didn’t use to exercise and started brisk walking for 10 minutes a day for 6-weeks. They were able to significantly improve heart health, general fitness, and increase their daily calorie-burn.

Another study reported that walking just 15 minutes a day was associated with a 22 percent lower risk of death for people over 60 years of age. So in summary, yes, these 10 to 15 minutes daily can have a huge impact. Soon enough, you’ll be wanting to do more to gain even more benefits. 

YOU CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN

Let me know what worked for you from this list and what motivational tips you use that I haven't mentioned. We’re all in this together! 

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