How many times have you said to yourself that during a workout, you’re actually getting nowhere? Nothing evaporates motivation faster than feeling like you’re not making any noticeable improvement.
The problem is that when it comes to working out, you become notorious for seeking a comfort zone. And then once you master a new skill, you stick to it because you know you can do it. But it also impedes progress and breeds boredom big time. The less interesting something is, the less motivated you are.
People simply have this basic need to feel engaged. Take away the novelty, and the motivation vanishes. It’s much like Groundhog Day where the monotony eventually stops your muscles from responding and you really hit the wall this time.
The best cure for this would be to mix things up and push yourself further. Changing the intensity and types of exercise trains the muscles differently, and you’ll start to see the improvements more quickly. Do this weekly and drop back down to where you started to let your body rest.
Next, write your exercise routine down. A workout log functions not only as an exercise checklist but as a concrete record of how far you’ve come. This is a way to motivate yourself when you become frustrated.
This is a way of establishing competence and it’s the core in fueling the drive that lasts. To make it work, keep the focus on what you can do rather than on what you can’t. And more importantly, don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
Once you start focusing on you, your confidence will grow and ignite a cycle of positive reinforcement that will keep you hooked and craving for more.
It also helps to make your workout routine social. Besides dirty martinis, there’s a reason you look forward to happy hour. You get to laugh, socialize, and hang out with friends. It makes you feel connected.
Making your workouts more like these happy hours at your local pub will put you well on your way to stoking your inner motivator. You can start by finding like-minded workout buddies because this congenial atmosphere, as opposed to a competitive one, helps you stay on track because you’re provided with a source of encouragement.
A group provides built-in support, and it’s way more fun than working out alone. You get to push each other to reach goals as you cheer each other on. And when someone has a bad day, the group is there to lift spirits and sympathize.
If you go to the gym, get to know a few trainers. While this relationship is limited to their giving you pointers on form, it still does help a lot. If you don’t like gyms, hook up with a friend with a similar fitness level or search the message boards for local clubs so you can find people who share your definition of fun.
If you’re a lone ranger, don’t sweat it. Just focus on taking charge and feeling good. The ability to stick will make you happy. You already have what you need within you, and it’s a matter of tweaking your perspective so you can tap into what really gets you going.