I wish I woke up every day with as much enthusiasm for running as my dog, Biscuit, has for life. Every day he wakes up excited to run, snuggle, and eat yummy treats. Meanwhile, I wake up either excited to put on my shoes and get out the door to train or with a strong desire to stay in bed and scroll through other people’s post-run selfies. While my motivation seems to ebb and flow on its own unpredictable timetable, I have seen one constant dip pattern. Typically, I get a bad case of “I don’t want tos” sprinkled with some dread on Tuesdays, workout day. Experience tells me that I am not the only one that has a dip in motivation when they see a workout come up on their schedule. Maybe it is the thought of entering into the pain cave or how many of us think of workouts as some sort of test of our fitness and worth. Whatever, it is for you, know that if you are lacking motivation for your workout you’re not alone. Also, know that with some tweaks to structure and mindset, you can get yourself out the door and crush your goals.
5 Ways To Get Motivated For A Workout
Revisit Your Why
Having a strong Why is essential when it comes to waning motivation. Why are you doing what you are doing? Consider writing your why down and posting it somewhere that you can read when you are lacking motivation. Include goals that you have and intrinsic motivation. Write yourself a letter about Why you should keep going when things are hard, telling yourself the things that you know you need to hear. Read that letter to yourself when you are lacking motivation.
Ditch the Gadgets
I’m personally a big fan of the “dumb watch,” particularly on workout days when I already struggle to get out the door. I exchange my smart watch for a regular Timex that lacks the ability to calculate pace or distance. Leaving metrics at home can help remove feelings of pressure and allow you to fully embrace the moment.
Explore Somewhere New
Sometimes the simple act of going to a new place for a workout helps bring feelings of excitement. This may be one of the easiest ways to get motivated for a workout. Seeing new areas can bring about excitement. In addition to that, you may be able to find new running partners at the new spot. Consider changing up your route or exploring a new trail.
Meet up with Friends or a Running Group
Committing to meeting up with others can help with motivation by providing connection and accountability. It can be easy to bail 5 minutes before when you know you’re the only one that you’re bailing on but much more difficult to bail on a friend. Also, having someone to do your workout with can provide something else to focus on such as friendly competition, a fun chat, or the bonding silence of suffering together.
Understand That It’s Okay And Normal To Not Feel Motivated
It would probably surprise you how many times people talk with me about not having the motivation to do their training. I think in this world of social media snapshots it can seem as if everyone, but you, are not only crushing their training but are excited to get out every day to train. What those perfectly curated photos don’t tell are the stories of the feelings that kept that person in their car an extra 15 minutes before starting or the looming sense of dread they had before beginning their workout. It can appear as if the key to success is always feeling excited, hopeful, and motivated. A deeper dive into conversations reveals that wanting to stay in your warm bed is not unique to you. These are universal, to even the best athletes in the world. We often associate motivation with feelings and think that even if we do our workout despite our feelings of not wanting to, we are wrong or somehow cheapened the workout because our feelings weren’t that of joy and excitement. Instead of waiting for your feelings to line up with your goals, do the behaviors that you want to achieve. Your feelings will eventually follow your behaviors.
It’s nice when we have the feelings of motivation, but they aren’t necessary for achieving our goals. More than we need the feelings, we need a plan of behaviors. This will help us commit to our goals when our feelings wane. The best athletes aren’t the athletes that always feel motivated. The best athletes are the athletes that are committed to their goals despite their feelings. They find ways to get motivated for a workout. These tips can help you do that as well.