Demotivation is a recurring problem for those who exercise, but luckily there are ways to fight the urge to stop training.
No one can say that they have never lost the motivation to do sport. Perhaps because the results stubbornly remained to be seen, because they were tired, because they didn't like how they trained or because they simply didn't feel like it. Often, that discouragement led you to miss one day, then another and another, and before you knew it, you hadn't trained for months.
It's easy to have the intention to eat healthy and exercise regularly. However, as the days go by, the motivation starts to give way. While it's normal for this to happen, we want to help you not fall prey to the temptation of the sofa and laziness. To that end, we've put together five tips to keep you motivated to train.
1. Set concrete goals
When you start training, it's important to know why you're doing it, whether it's to lose weight, to live a healthier life or to help with a health condition. Once you've clearly defined your reason for doing sport, it's essential to set goals.You need to make a plan of attack, so to speak.
Think about achievable, realistic and simple goals. If you set a very high goal, you are likely to become discouraged after a short time. Opt for shorter goals instead and increase the difficulty as you go along. That way, you will be able to adjust your goals according to your reality. People without plans tend to lose interest faster.
2. Have fun exercising
It may sound like silly advice, but it is the most important of all. Make doing sport fun and a hobby you enjoy. Not one for going to the gym to train? Then try a group sport like football, volleyball, tennis, basketball or even ballroom dancing. The important thing is that you get moving. It doesn't matter if it's with martial arts, with running or with swimming. There are many possibilities and you can certainly find one you like to do.
Furthermore, there are many ways to make your sports practice more fun. There is a strategy called "temtaption building" which advocates that you should combine exercise with something you really want to do. For example, do you love listening to music or listening to a particular podcast or audiobook, but feel you don't have time to do it? Why not put the two together and listen to them whilst doing sport?
Another way to have fun is to change up the type of exercise you do. Run in different places, change your training routine and, believe me, you'll end up discovering new muscles you didn't even know you had. Also think about practices that are so fun you won't even remember you're being active. It could be an afternoon in a trampoline room, or the simple game of catch with kids. There are plenty of options.
3. Reward yourself for goals met
Usually at the end of a workout, you feel that sense of well-being and duty done. For many people, that feeling is the reward they need, but for others it's not enough. If you need extra motivation, set rewards. If you accomplish a certain workout, you can buy those trainers you've been dreaming about. Or eat that food you've been craving. However, if you don't, you can't do it.
Have a pep talk with yourself and decide what reward you want and deserve after making the effort you set out to do. The reward can be anything you want, from material goods and to moments of rest.
4. Journal your progress
Journaling is a widely used and proven technique of writing down your thoughts. Basically, it works like a diary, but it goes beyond that. Some people do it to keep track of their diet and the same can apply to exercise. Write down what you did, when you did it and where. If you want to keep an eye on more visible change, you can also write down your measurements and add photos.
As well as helping you to see your progress, keeping track of it will allow you to see what went less well, so that you can change your routine for better results. Also write down your reasons and why you started. When you feel discouraged, read them back over and take a moment to think about how far you've come. Do you feel stronger? Faster? Better?
5. Get yourself a training buddy
Have you tried all the options and still remain unmotivated? Then join a group that enjoys the same sport as you or train with a friend. That way, the people who are with you will encourage you to exercise. It's one thing not to want to get out of bed to train, but it's quite another to do it knowing that you have a friend waiting for you.
Another way of doing this is by sharing your workouts on social media or on specific apps. For example, we have a running club on strava where you can compete healthily with other runners and even win prizes. Being part of these groups has been proven to encourage sport, increase your desire to perform better and give you a sense of commitment to your sport.
Now that you know 5 ways to stay motivated, start thinking like an athlete. Set a goal, have fun, recruit a friend to challenge you, reward yourself and keep track of your progress. At the end of the day, you'll train, you'll be in a good mood and you'll improve your health. Be the best version of yourself, but never forget that you must listen to your body. If you need to rest, rest. And come back the next day full of energy! Let's go!