Finding Mental Motivation for Working Out

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Why is this here?  Looking your best is in part finding clothes that fit. The other part is truly being fit. Living a healthy lifestyle plus dressing well is the ultimate combination. More about our trainer at the end of the post.

Do you have days when you just can’t make yourself get to the gym, go on your run, or do other activities that keep you fit? Sometimes we all need that extra push to help us meet our goals. Even the rattiest of Gym rats. Where do you reach for that extra motivation?

It seems simple, but ask yourself the question: Why do I do this? And then answer it. Focus on your answer (or, your multiple answers). Focusing on the reasons why you work out can help on the days when your motivation is lacking. But what if you’re struggling to answer that “why do I do this?” question? Try to keep these things in mind:

I work out because I like the way I look and feel psychologically.

If you’re on this website, you obviously pay attention to your appearance. Perhaps you work out because you like the way you fit into clothing? The angles of your shoulders in your suits, or how your torso looks in a t-shirt. Maybe you get a kick out of impressing your significant other? Or you’re trying to impress potential significant others? Do you work out because you like the way it makes you feel (strong, successful, motivated, empowered, etc)?

I work out because I know it’s good for my health, both physically and mentally.

Do you work out because you want to keep your weight in check? Your cholesterol and other blood work at healthy levels? To decrease the risk of diabetes, certain cancers and diseases? Perhaps it’s because it helps you manage stress, think more clearly, feel organized and in control? You’re stressed, but you haven’t exercised lately because you’ve been too busy. Remind yourself how much easier mundane tasks seem to get after you’ve had a great workout. That’s stress-relief in action.

I work out just because I feel good after doing so.

Do you work out because you get a “runners high” after doing so? You know, that exhausted, but crazy strong feeling you get after using your body to its fullest potential. Perhaps it’s because you feel like you just accomplished something?

Finding motivation for working out / Dappered.comExercise is medicine for your brain too.

“That’s great Kelly. And I’ve tried keeping my “Whys” in mind.

BUT ITS NOT WORKING AND I FEEL LIKE I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE.

First, don’t panic. If you’ve already started a fitness routine and you’ve hit a slump, remember that you’ve done it once before, so you can do it again. But here are a few suggestions that you can try if you’ve really hit a slump that you can’t seem to get out of:

Get back to the basics. Food, water, sleep:

Eating properly is what everyone seems to focus on. And that’s good, but you’ve got to drink enough water and get enough sleep. Most know we’re  supposed to be doing these “simple” things, but if you’re in a slump, are you? Make it a point to drink plenty of water during the day (try keeping a large bottle of water with you at all times), get to sleep maybe a little earlier than you normally do, and try to keep eating healthy.

Set a new routine:

Doing the same thing over and over again can get boring, and it’s a sneaky kind of boring. You’re comfortable in your routine, you’re having fun, you’re seeing results, and then one day you’d rather go to the dentist than hit the streets for a run.  Try varying up your lifting days, try a workout class or learning a new sport.

Make it a habit:

Doing anything for 3-4 weeks regularly will create a habit. And habits are hard to break once established. Think of it in those “I just need to get to April” terms, then have faith in yourself that you’ll keep up with it.

Set new goals with rewards for accomplishing them:

Examples: If I workout three- four days a week for three months, I’m going to take a weekend trip to (insert fun place here). If I accomplish losing X amount of weight or body fat by a certain date, then I’m going to buy those Allen Edmonds I’ve been coveting. You get the idea. Rewards can be simpler as well (a massage, or a fancy steak) but they need to be something that you will enjoy giving yourself. Sometimes that extra push for a reward other than the “why do I do this?” answers is what you need to get out of a slump.

Workout motivation on Dappered.comThose aren’t dumbbells, those are the currency needed for that new pair of shoes.

Hire someone:

Most people will be held accountable by the act of paying someone. Plus, you don’t want to stand them up, do you? Hiring a personal trainer can help you focus on your goals, change up your routine, and give you new ideas for workouts.

Find a workout buddy:

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it really, really works. Having someone to meet at the gym to lift or the hills for a run will help you get to that place. Make sure that your buddy is just as invested in this relationship as you are. If you pair up with someone who will regularly bail on you, chances are you’ll bail too. This strategy is extra effective if you car pool to the gym together, or meet each other on a trail/streets while running. You know your pal is on his/her way. Are you really just not going to show up?

The will to get moving has to come from within.  In the end, it’s all about you.  Remind yourself  why you work out and the reasons for doing so.  Ask yourself questions as to why you are doing this.  Find the things that will motivate you to stay on track.

So, what motivates you?

Contributor Kelly Sturdy is a Certified Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition. While not training her clients or competing in Bikini Class body building competitions, Kelly can be found in her organic garden, possibly talking to a chicken or two. For more of her articles, click here.