Combat Low Motivation
What is your ‘why’? Is your why a short-term goal or does it run deeper?
Within the first 6 months, research suggests that 50% of people starting exercise will drop out (Wilson and Brookfield, 2009). Why? Excuses are made – ‘I’m too busy’ and ‘I’ve other things to do’ are common, along with the ever present ‘I’m running late’ or ‘I won’t make it in time’ messages!
Social support. There is no denying that exercise is easier when you’ve encouragement and motivation from a trainer or peer but maybe you’ve become dependent on extrinsic motivation? If you’re training in a group and your friend is missing the session, how likely are you to miss the session too? What if your friend drops out of the class, will you? There’s a few ways to deal with a lack of social support or a reliance on social support. Have more than one ‘gym buddy’ that you can contact if you want someone to workout with. Use a personal trainer, they aren’t there just to write you a programme, they’re there to motivate and support you. Another alternative is to book in at a class in the gym or park. There will be multiple people there to motivate you or just talk to, to widen your social circle.
Unrealistic goals. Are you already setting yourself up to fail? It is not sustainable, mentally or physically, to lose the same weight or gain the same amount of muscle week in, week out. Set new goals and target every week, if you don’t hit them that’s fine, its normal to have ups and downs when reaching a goal. No one enjoys a rollercoaster that goes in a straight line.
Social media is not reality…Instagram models have not sculpted their body overnight, similarly to how you won’t either. Think about it, it is easier to set up a social media page than it is to go to the gym. Don’t feel less important or less accomplished because you haven’t got the same figure as a social influencer. Most importantly remember no one else will ever have the same journey as you to feeling content with their body and that’s the beauty of it. Be happy with you.
Finally, maybe you are bored of the gym, maybe you hate doing squats, maybe you hate the elliptical trainer? Not everyone enjoys free weights or cardio. Not everyone feels comfortable in a class or with a personal trainer. Find something that you genuinely enjoy doing and master it, in your own time.
Now that you’ve had a chance to think about what your goals are, think about whether they’re sustainable, think about whether on a rainy day your ‘why’ means more to you than getting cold and wet. If it does, then perfect, you’ll get there. If not, change your motivator.