It is Thursday and I am 2 days out from my last show of the season. This is the Fitness America Pageant in Boston this Saturday. I am extremely excited to share the stage with some amazing competitors and teammates. I have to say I have never done two shows this close back to back and it was quite a challenge. I thought this was a perfect post for this time seeing as I was getting closer and closer to this show, I really needed to check in with myself mentally to regain my sense of motivation and inspiration. I came off the Atlantic City show on such a high, I would be lying if I said that getting right back into the 'diet mode' wasn't a challenge. I needed to dig deep.
In today's post I wanted to talk about what happens when we have a lack of motivation and what we can do to reboot, recharge and come back stronger than ever!
I consider myself a high motivated "type a" person. I love pushing myself, setting new goals and enjoy learning as much as I can about both my hobby as a competitor and in my professional work as well. As highly motivated as you may feel, there may be a time in your life where you jet thrown off. You just moved, you got a new job, you broke up with a boyfriend or girlfriend,p or maybe just going through personal issues. Whatever the case or instance may be-you know that there is something 'off' you have lot that fire you so yearn to get back that keeps you focused and centered. Your loss of motivation may cause you to to have negative thoughts-you may want to give up, quit and once you have spiraled that far down, you have trouble seeing the light. Loss of motivation can happen for a number of reasons but this is no reason to let it control you or your goals. It's time to re-charge, re-boot and recognize what caused this downward spiral on the first place and what YOU can do to get it back!
Also check out my related post on 7 reasons why you may be hitting a plateau!
Set NEW Goals:
The first question I get asked after a fitness competition is "so what now" The time right after a show can be very hard at first. No more goal of getting on stage, no more strict dieting...what now? Where do I go from here? Many competitors call this time 'post show depression' It is the time where they just feel like a lost puppy. You have trained and dieted and been on such a regimented plan for so long that once you are 'off' this plan you don't know what the heck to do with yourself. For me, it is somewhat of a blessing in disguise. It is a time for me to recharge, re-boot and put new goals into my focus. I know that right after my show-my goals will be to stay active and to continue to work my whole body. I want to focus more on my HEALTH and STRENGTH than anything else. This close to show due to the rigidity of the diet, my strength is not at its peak. One goal I know I want to work on is regaining my strength which will come with a hearty, healthy, fueling diet. I am going to focus on giving my personal best-not beating myself up over anything, but being the best I can be.
I would suggest reading as much as you can; other blogs, magazines, articles, information on websites about nutrition, fitness, exercise and health. Something may spark your interest that you had no idea before which will cause you to set a NEW goal for yourself.
Talk to your friends-see what they have been doing and maybe sign up for a class, race, competition or personal training session together!
Bottom line-inspiration is ALL AROUND YOU. Keep your eyes and ears open and know that nothing can stand in your way of setting a new goal for yourself. See it as a challenge. Your goal may even be as simple as making it to the gym 3x a week. Once you hit your goals--the sky is the limit!
If you are constantly putting yourself down, displaying the attitude "I could have" or "I should have" "I hate my thighs" "She looks better than me" You will not get ANYWHERE. Motivation starts from within. Positive energy is contagious and can truly change any situation. The journey to a healthier lifestyle can take time and there will be good days and bad. If you do not have fun along the way, looking at the glass half full and seeing all of the amazing opportunities that will arise-it will be a harder road that's for sure! We all CHOOSE to think in certain ways. We wake up everyday with a choice; is today going to be a good day or a bad day? It is an opportunity to get one step closer to your goal. If throughout the day you find that negative thoughts are floating around, write down how you are feeling and why you think it is you are feeling this way? Make it a point to try to get it out and away. Surround yourself with positive people and get rid of toxic people; those who bring you down. They are a waste of energy and space. YOU define YOUR ATTITUDE.
Take Time OFF:
This one is hard for most people to choke down-especially for those who go, go, go pushing their bodies everyday. Have you ever felt 'guilty' for skipping a workout? You MUST get out of this mental mindset. I see it way too much on blogs from young, beautiful women who say they preach health but then complain to the world that they skipped a workout and will be in the gym twice as long the next day. This is an extremely unhealthy, borderline disordered approach to exercise, not to mention excessive dependency on exercise can cause a loss of motivation, lack of results and feeling of constant fatigue. I challenge you all to step away from the gym for 3,4 or 5 days. YES I SAID IT.
If you have been feeling a lack of motivation, this time away from the gym could be just what your body has been yearning for. You may think at first that taking time off will make you feel lazy, unfit and bored. One of the biggest benefits that this time away from the gym will provide you with is a complete chance to recover. During your weekly exercise routine, of course you should be incorporating 1-2 rest days, but these days are still not sufficient enough to FULLY let your body recharge and recover. I guarantee that when you get back to the gym from taking this time off you will feel stronger, more focused, invigorated and re-energized from taking time off. When you have been feeling like a hamster in a wheel-going through the motions of your workout program day in and day out, this time off will jump start a whole new level of motivation!
Check out my post "It's okay to not be so intense" to learn more about the importance of listening to your body and realizing that it IS OKAY to not give 150% every single workout. Too many times I see people who complete great workouts, but then will go on complaining about it because it wasn't 'hard or intense enough' When did it not become okay to just have a refreshing, fun workout that leaves you feeling energized, not fatigued and great about yourself? Take a step back first to find your motivation again!
If you are feeling a lack of motivation, you may be feeling this way because you are not pushing yourself as hard as you could be. As humans, it is our natural inclination to do things we are good at. A challenge in itself is to focus your weak points or maybe those exercises that are not 'your favorite' I truly believe that what makes a 100% beautifully balanced workout program is one that has a mix of exercises and activities you ENJOY and some that make you just hate life (to put it bluntly) Try choosing more challenging classes at the gym or just increase your speed or resistance when using the machines. Change up your routines so you're challenging different muscle groups and pushing your body to work that much harder. You'll get better results from your workout and might actually start enjoying them again.
Check out these pasts posts of some of my favorite NEW exercises you can try today!
Focus on the NOW
Sometimes things happen in our lives that throw us for a curve ball. We cannot predict or plan every single detail of our lives which is hard to choke down for some of us 'type A' people. Maybe you experienced a loss of a family member, moved locations for work, just broke up with a boyfriend, girlfriend or dealing a more serious personal issue. Whatever the case may be-this unexpected event may have thrown off your whole routine and thus been the root cause of your lack of motivation. All I can say is suck it up. Do not let a single event in your life take control and power over your decisions and your life. Focus on what is happening NOW, not five minutes ago, not one week ago.
Think About It Daily
If you are thinking about your goal, whether it be that long term goal of getting back into those jeans or short term goal of making it to your favorite bootcamp class 2x this week--always have it be in the forefront of your mind! Send yourself reminders, mark it in your calender, tell your friends, whatever it is you have to do to think about your goals--this will bring you one step closer to that new found motivation!
What inspires you? Is it a person? An event? or maybe its YOU. Look at pictures, read books and find your inspiration; find that something that creates chills up and down your spine-the feeling of wanting something so bad. I myself created a vision board going into my very first competition. I found and pieced together my personal favorite inspirational pictures and quotes on a cork board and created a vision board collage. Sounds pretty cheesy right? I looked at that board everyday. It kept my fire going constantly. Some of you have vision boards on Pinterest (FOLLOW ME!) While others may create one the old school way that I did. Whatever floats your boat--never stop finding out what inspires you. Keep in mind as you change, so will your inspiration; Never give up that fight!
My inspiration: Erin Stern
Don't Let it Slip Before You Start:
If you have plans to attend a class or head to the gym for your workout...DO IT. Tread it as an appointment that you simply cannot skip. Put it in your calender in advance and plan your day around your workout time. For some, it is okay to skip a workout, but for the majority of us-it becomes a downward spiral from that one missed workout. The one workout becomes two and those two missed workout becomes ordering McDonald's instead of packing your lunch the night before. Yes, I realize these are two completely different things, but in hindsight if you feel like you slipped in one healthy aspect of your life, you are more likely to slip in others as well, especially since diet and exercise go hand in hand. Sooner or later you will be saying to yourself 'screw the gym, I already sabotaged myself already" Prevent this from happening before it starts! Take action and stay accountable.
New Workout Routines:
If you are feeling a loss of motivation, check your routine--it may need a revamping. We all get stuck in a rut when it comes to workouts and I am a HUGE advocate for changing it up every 4-6 weeks or so. If you are looking for fresh, new workout ideas (CLICK THERE!!) This post is filled with ways to really keep you on your toes, challenge you and have you try something you probably have never done before!
In conclusion--whether you are David Beckham, a Personal Trainer, a Starbucks Employee or a stay at home mom- we all need a reboot of motivation every now and then. Follow some of these tips to get out of that rut and see how it goes! Stop going through the motions and ENJOY exercise again.
Have you ever been stuck in a rut? What have you found works for you as a new found source of motivation?