Maintaining motivation to exercise is one of those topics that so many have written on because it’s a problem that affects everyone. Motivation is not like a switch that we can readily be turned off and on. Rather I see it more like a thermostat with degrees of motivation running along a constant slide. Once at a predetermined temperature, your internal call to action kicks in and you find yourself willing to get out there and exercise. When we are super motivated, we don’t dread the thought of exercise. We look at it as an opportunity to get healthier every day. On the other hand, when we lack motivation, exercise can be the chore that manages quite nicely to get put onto the back burner. It’s amazing how many things we’ll find to do to avoid exercise; clean the garage, wash the dog, organizing the junk drawer, pay bills, slop the hogs, etc. And those things we don’t find to do, we’ll just make them up.
We can joke about this because we’ve all been there. The truth is motivation comes and goes. You may find yourself on a roll for a little while then slowly the temperature drops in your thermostat and your exercise bouts begin to get fewer and farther between. Here’s the key… recognition. Recognize when your motivation is beginning to wane and guess what- stick it out baby. Continue your fitness routine any way you can because eventually what goes down must come up. I guarantee your motivation will pick back up eventually but those who let their exercise lapse turn into a collapse will not be around when the motivation thermostat starts to rise again. Likewise, those who stuck it out and just continued along business as usual will be that much further down the path towards their goals.
It’s easy to say, just stick it out and I certainly understand firsthand how difficult it is to actually put that into practice. My motivation came and went a million times as I was losing my 172 pounds. When my motivation was hovering somewhere between the dumps and the abyss, I used a number of things to get it going again like trying a different exercise activity, downloading some new music, etc. I’ve even bought new workout outfits all in the name of motivation of course.
Lastly, remember to cut yourself some slack. We are all a “work in progress” and far from perfect. If you don’t make it out there today, look at some of the motivation tactics and try again tomorrow. By only concentrating on the things that we are not doing right, chances are we’ll miss the things we are doing right.