It’s no surprise that I lose motivation to work out from time to time. There are great weeks and not so great weeks. When I’m in the mood to work out, nothing can get in my way of absolutely crushing it in the gym. My energy levels are high, my motivation for life is at its best, and I can envision achieving my goals and the process I will take to do so. On the bad days, however, this entire system goes down the drain. Oftentimes, it’s when I’m unprepared for life. An example of this would be that I forgot to pack my food the day before, and I wake up scrambling to get the day started. Another example is I had a little too much fun during the weekend and I never took a moment on Sunday to get ready for my week. The other reason I may not feel motivated to workout could be quite simply, I’m in a funk. A funk that no amount of preparing could get me out of. Getting out of that one can sometimes mean taking a self care day or week, but the common denominator in the other situations is a failure to plan, so let’s talk about how to work on them all, starting there.
Situation #1- Failure to Pack Food
Do you ever get sad realizing you are starving but have nothing ready to eat, only to be overwhelmed with joy in finding the most delicious leftovers in the fridge? Same. Best feeling EVER. The same goes for planning your meals/snacks the night before a long and busy day. Ok Becca, so what does this have to do with working out? Well you see, great results from the gym are made possible with diet, and diet is the nutrition we put in our bodies. Getting into a great eating routine is so important that it can literally affect our entire mood. If we are feeding our bodies junk, our brains will be junk. When we feed ourselves healthy foods, we will in turn feel healthier (mind/body/spirit). I prefer to pack a few healthy snacks in my lunch box such as a protein bar, nuts, nut butter packets, an apple, banana, etc. For meals, I choose a protein + carb + veggie + healthy fat meal to pack such as chicken + quinoa + broccoli + a serving size pack of guacamole. This meal is sure to keep my brain sharp throughout the day, and having it ready for me in the morning will lessen the burden and allow me to focus on other things, including getting my work out in.
Situation #2- No Sunday Plan-day
I’m all for having a little fun on the weekend, whether that means tequila shots during a girls night out, buttery popcorn during a movie night, or pizza night with friends. However, if you continue this to the week, you will be asking for trouble. Saturday and Sunday might be your days off from the gym, which will begin a habit if not nipped in the bud quick. By Sunday night, you might be feeling like a beached whale with the Sunday Scaries (it’s not great to say, but it’s the truth). No shame because we’ve all been here, but what happens on Monday? You wake up with puffy eyes from all of the extra sodium you’ve consumed on the weekend, with absolutely nothing ready for the week. No meal prep, no goals in place, not one plan to get better. This is a huge motivation crusher for your weekly workouts. When your mindset is off, your motivation will be off. What I suggest you do on your Sunday is this. Do anything that you would normally do on that day. For you it might be church, brunch, and/or family time. Once you have your alone time, the following would be a great checklist to put into place. First, write your weekly goals. Anywhere from 5-10 time-specific goals will help set your intention and focus for the week. Next, meal prep some food. Whether this be a few chicken breasts and some serving size bags of raw spinach to make salads (what I do when I’m feeling lazy and do not want to cook anything else). Gather healthy snacks in serving size bags ready to grab and go for your week. Next, get your clothes ready for the gym the next day or for a few days. Sometimes just seeing your outfit can help you visualize your gym trip and in turn help motivate you to get there the following days. With this type of preparation, you are destined for success.
Situation #3- In a Funk
Sometimes, all of the preparation is complete and you still don’t feel motivated. Then what? This might be your body’s way of telling you that you need a self-care day. A self-care day includes exactly what it sounds like- caring for yourself. For me, this might mean taking a full day as unplugged (off my phone) as possible. I enjoy reading but always get so distracted by my phone, so I will take a walk with my phone left in the house and sit somewhere with my book. Another self-care practice for me is honoring my body enough to sit still and rest, something I do not do as often as I should. Maybe for you, calling up a friend and going for a nice treat is a way for you to practice self-care. Either way, the goal of this self-care moment is to give yourself enough grace to realize that you are human and might need a mental break from the high speed of everyday life in order to function at your best. So kick back, relax, and just breathe until you are ready to get back into the groove.
Concluding, motivation to work out comes and goes in waves. The most important thing to remember is that you are in control of how you handle these situations. I hope this helps you realize that you are not alone in these various phases, and you can kick them with a few simple steps!