When it comes to working out, dieting, and losing weight, we all search for the motivation to make it happen. Let’s be honest these aren’t activities we naturally wake up feeling excited about doing. I’ll be the first to admit that at least 70% of the time I DON’T feel like working out. Most days I feel lazy, tired, and many times I’d rather be watching Netflix.
The good news is even though I don’t feel like working out most days I still do. Why do I say it’s good news? Because 1). I know how you feel because I’ve been there, and 2). I have the solution to help you.
There are many reasons why you may feel unmotivated to workout or lose weight. You may feel you have no time. The gym may be too far. The workout may be a bit too hectic for you. Even eating healthy may be a bit too costly for you.
Before I get into how you can maintain your workout and weight loss routine each day (with or without motivation), let me first help you understand what can cause you to feel unmotivated.
I really want to focus on the two main reasons most people seem to feel unmotivated to stick with their workout and weight loss goals.
Two Main Reasons You Feel Unmotivated With Working Out And Losing Weight
1. You’re Focusing On Immediate Results
If I had to choose I would put this at number one as the top reason most feel unmotivated to stick with their routine.
It’s normal that as human beings we crave instant gratification, it’s just how our brains are wired. Nothing is worse than when you’re trying to lose weight and build muscle, but find yourself lacking in both areas. It’s frustrating! Believe I know, I’ve been there.
When I restarted my own fitness journey in 2016 I worked out the first 30 days straight without missing a day. For me this was super exciting because it’s something I’ve never been able to do before. However, a few weeks in I started focusing on my body and the fact that after all those weeks I still couldn’t see a big noticeable change. This caused me to feel unmotivated and questioned what was the point of continuing if I was seeing any results.
When you aren’t seeing the results you want quickly, it’s natural to question the point of going through the pain of trying to get in shape. This is the first reason why you feel unmotivated. You’re not seeing the immediate results you want.
I’m sure you can already hear that little voice in your mind telling you how much of a waste of time this is.
2. You Don’t Have An Emotionally Compelling Reason
What do I mean by an emotionally compelling reason? I mean a reason for working out and losing weight that means so much to you, that it lights you up to the very depth of your core every time you think about it.
I’ve realized most people don’t really know why they have a fitness goal, or why it’s important for them to achieve it. Too often people want to work out and lose weight for reasons that aren’t that important to them. Wanting to just for the sake of it isn’t enough either.
I’ve been there too. The reason why I would start and stop many times sticking with working out was because the reason I was doing it was to look good. Mind you nothing is wrong with wanting to look good. However, for me looking good wasn’t that important, it wasn’t emotionally compelling to me.
If you find yourself lacking the motivation to work out, 8/10 times it’s probably because your reasons for wanting to do it aren’t emotionally strong enough. That or you really don’t know why you’re doing it other than it seemed like something fun to do.
If you don’t have a strong reason I can tell you it’s a 100% guarantee you’re going to feel unmotivated to put in the work everyday, and eventually quit.
What To Do When You Feel Unmotivated
1. Focus On The Daily Activity NOT The Results
As mentioned the reason you feel unmotivated is because you’re focusing on the results you’re not getting. Instead focus on the daily activity that will move you each day towards achieving your goal.
This may seem counterproductive, but the reason this is powerful is because your focus determines your feelings. Let me say that again in bold. Your focus determines your feelings.
Okay, let’s break it down.
If you’re doing the activity everyday, and you’re focusing on the fact that you’re not seeing the fruits of your hard labour, your brain will interpret the activity as a complete waste of time. If you think something is a waste of your time will you feel the energy or motivation to continue doing it? Probably not.
On the other hand if you focus on the daily activities, and make your goal to do the activity each day and never miss a day, then that will create feelings of pride and accomplishment. Add to that celebrating and congratulating yourself for taking action, and you experience feelings of awesomeness.
Why is this so? When we follow through on doing something we had committed to it makes us feel good about ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves I creates the desire (and motivation) to want to do it again to get the same feelings.
If you focus on the end goal of losing weight and building muscle, because it hasn’t happened yet, you aren’t getting that instant gratification your brain craves. However, by focusing on the daily activity, and making that your goal, once you execute your brain sees it as something accomplished.
Your brain focuses on the goal to be accomplished. So if your goal is to lose weight and build muscle, but it doesn’t happen, you feel bad and get unmotivated. If your goal is to do the daily activity and never miss a day, and you follow through, you feel good and you’re motivated because you accomplished the goal.
It’s a matter of choosing to hit a closer target that is easier to see immediate results from, rather than trying to hit a target you can’t see.
2. Focus On Why It’s Important to Achieve Your Workout and Weight Loss Goals
Before you can focus on WHY it’s important for you to achieve your goals, you have to first be able to identify WHAT is important to you.
Ask yourself these questions:
A. “What am I really hoping to accomplish by sticking with this goal?“
B. “How would it make me feel if I did?“
Once you identify the answers to these questions then you want to keep asking “Why” to really uncover why it’s important to you. So if you your answer to the first question is “I want to start living a healthier lifestyle“, your next question should be “Why”. Once you’ve gotten the answer for that ask yourself “Why” again. Keep asking “Why” until you really get to the heart of why this is important for you.
You will know when you’ve got the right answer when two things happen:
A. You think about this thing that’s important to you A LOT
B. You have a deep desire to see what’s important manifest and come true for you
If you don’t feel this way then it means you haven’t dug deep enough to cover an emotionally compelling reason.
Once you’ve identified what it is, then on the days you feel unmotivated think back to your reason why it’s important to you. That desire once strong enough will propel you to get up and get it done. Notice I didn’t say think about your fitness goal, because the goal itself is irrelevant in this scenario. What is most important is WHY it’s a important for you you to accomplish it.
I’ve put together a free practical guide to help you stick with your workout and weight loss goals, even on the days you feel unmotivated to get it done.
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