The single hardest part of getting in shape is just showing up. You have to tell yourself I feel unmotivated and that’s ok. There is no such thing as a bad workout compared to doing nothing. If you put so much stress on yourself to always preform at your best, to always feel motivated, you will fail. It’s ok to not want to go to the gym. It’s ok to even hate it sometimes.
There is a difference between someone who works out each day, and someone who works out when feeling motivated. That difference is habit. If you plan to use motivation as the primary vehicle to fuel your resolution to get in shape, let me tell you from experience don’t rely on motivation! Motivation is fleeting and unpredictable. It can come and go in an instant. Life is unpredictable and events can inspire and destroy us. There is a better way to base the foundation of your gym lifestyle.
A habit is something we do without thinking. You don’t plan to get dressed in the morning. It is a natural motion of living day to day. I know this title is about motivation, but I urge you to stop caring about motivation. Start caring about your health and your future. Even those of us who love the gym and seem to never miss a workout experience intense times of feeling unmotivated. Due to the stress of life, lack of sleep or otherwise, I feel unmotivated to train sometimes multiple times a week. But I always do. This is because I understand the very truth that it is all in my head. Physically I am always capable of working out. The second I start to question if I should go to the gym do I experience the stress of forcing myself to go.
Instead I recommend a different approach. The gym needs to become a toothbrush and your body the teeth. I brush my teeth twice a day. So do most people I know regardless of their physical health. We understand the importance of cleaning our teeth. So it becomes a habit. I haven’t heard of anyone reading a book on finding motivation to brush your teeth. It’s something most of us just do. The gym should become the same way.
Whether tired, hungry, energetic…sad…happy…you need to set a routine time aside each day and go to the gym. It’s ok to hate the thought of it. No one always feels 100% in the gym. I don’t think I have ever in my life felt 100% during a workout. There is always some kind of muscle soreness, sleepiness, stress in my life or a long list of things that could make training harder. But I show up each day. Be it cloudy, rainy or snowy, high up beyond the earth’s influence the sun still shines. You need to be the sun. Show up every day regardless of the “weather” in your life or outside it.
A habit becomes a habit by doing it. Simply put, one day you will stop asking yourself if you should go to the gym. It will no longer be a question of if. It will be a question of when and for how long. Going to the gym routinely also makes working out itself easier and even fun! You will start to see increased positivity in your life. And that is motivating. And motivation is good, it certainly makes the journey less of a mental challenge. But never rely on it. Motivation comes and goes. Make fitness a habit by working out when you don’t feel like it. That is the perfect time to change. Repeat this phrase: “The best time to do something is when you don’t want to do it.” If you follow through I guarantee you the motivation will soon come. And it will be in abundance. Motivated people self generate motivation by daily habits and practices.
You are the master of your mind, and the master of your body. Do not be fooled. Refuse to accept defeat. When you walk out the door dreading your gym session walk with a smile because you are growing stronger just by the act of showing up.